Reviews From Festivals, Conferences and Institutes

Acadia Repertory Theatre
Somesville, Maine
"For the past ten seasons, Jackson Gillman has been an important facet of our Children's Theatre Program. We have been immensely impressed not just by the quality of his work, but with the skillful blend of storytelling, mime, sign language, and original script development that has made Jackson a unique and important part of this State's theatrical community. He has an unusually warm rapport with all audiences, of any age, and has the flexibility to tailor his connection to each individual audience. His performances are intimate celebrations presented in an entertaining, humorous, and thought-provoking manner. Jackson is one of the most dedicated and honorable performers I have ever met."
- Kenneth Stack, Artistic Director

Hubbards Heritage Society
Hubbards, Nova Scotia
"Jackson, you are a true entertainer. You are so exceptionally gifted and multi-talented, not just in storytelling and song, we feel that your contribution to the festival gave young and old alike a creative variety of entertainment that could only be found on the stages of major festivals around the world."
- Terry J. Harnish, Festival Director

StoryFest Unlimited
Fredericton, New Brunswick
"I have been hearing nothing but rave reviews about your performance at our Saturday night gala. Having had occasion to watch several of your performances, I was blown away by your talent and versatility. What struck me was that every one of those shows was completely different than every other one, but still, every one was wonderful.

"You were an absolute hit, my friend. At our committee's post-festival meeting, the talk was hot about bringing you back next year. In fact, it looks like we are going to make an exception to our own rule of not inviting the same storytellers two years in a row. If ever there was cause for an exception, you certainly are it. We couldn't have asked for more. Thank you."
- Duncan Matheson, Publicity Chair

Doggone Storytelling Festival
Chester, Connecticut
"My deep thanks to you for being such a wonderful host for the Friday night "Tingling Tales." Much of the audience was brand new to storytelling, and your warmth when introducing each teller was the key to the spirit of the evening. The energy of your own stories is marvelous! People are still writing or coming up to me on the street and commenting on how much fun it was to watch you perform. My thanks for all your wit, your generous spirit, and support. It was a genuine pleasure working with you."
- Catherine Conant

Missouri Storytelling
St. Louis, Missouri
"Jackson is a consummate artist, displaying his joyous, bombastic, lovable side along with his sensitive, caring side. At one moment he can have you laughing about the human condition; at the next moment, you are seriously contemplating ecology and our role in the future. One may find many deserving, qualified performers, but one could never err in selecting Jackson Gillman. He's incredible!"
- Perrin Stifel

Three Apples Storytelling Festival
Harvard, Massacusetts
"As the President of the Three Apples Storytelling Festival I have seen Jackson Gillman on many different stages from the Sunday school family performance to a featured performance at the adult comedy evening and in each performance Jackson wove a magical moment for all. There is great inspiration, creative genius and down right ridiculous, knee slapping humor all wrapped up in a wiry, Vaudevillian artist. He's always connected to his audience and brings appropriate material to all of his performances. Because of his artistry, dependability and professionalism he is seen as one of the regulars at our oldest and largest New England Festival."
- Jo-Ann Wangh

"Not only were you a pleasure to work with, flexible, communicative, and efficient, in addition, festival goers loved your work! In a survey that we tallied soon after the dust cleared it was your name that came up again and again as people's favorite teller, host, and comedian."
- Judith Black

Stone Soup Storytelling Festival
Woodruff, South Carolina
"You won your audience's rapt attention in every forum presented. Each of your school audiences in the primary, elementary and middle school grades was mesmerized. Your workshop was extremely well received. Your professionalism and preparedness was evident in every piece you did. However, your gift for innovation was also apparent. You are clever without being slick. The warmth you project is evident in the willingness of your audience to volunteer to participate whenever you need assistance... Your use of music throughout various sketches was wonderful... The grace in your movements certainly demonstrates your prior training. Whether of not you are using sign language, each gesture perfectly accompanies your story. It was amazing to see you transform from character to character... I also want to thank you for your spirit of kindness and cooperation throughout the festival. Your graciousness is a gift."
- Lisa Hyman Lane

The Jackson Storyfest
Jackson, Michigan
"Jackson is like a rare gem when it comes to his performances. His energy and dedication for exceeds the normal expectations of a festival presenter. His performance was impeccable. His zany humor, intermingled with his stories, mime, song and dance provided a delightful, fun filled and warm-hearted evening of entertainment for the mixed audience of adults and children in attendance."
- Judee M. Royster

East Tennessee State University
" Mr. Gillman, together with Donald Davis and the Folktellers, was a workshop leader for the International Storytelling Institutes hosted each year at the campus of East Tennessee State University. With his movement exercises, vocal warm-ups, and unique presentation style, Jackson provided a delightful treat for the forty-five students who took his four-day institute. His intense style coupled with his sense of play make him a dynamic performer. His experiences shared with the class were invaluable."
- Flora Joy

Southern Connecticut State University
"What a smashing success you were at my two summer storytelling institutes. Everyone loved your performances and truly treasured your well directed workshop. You paved the way for a thoroughly successful and enriching week."
- Wendy Nowlan

Keene State College
"Thank you for your thoughtful, entertaining and very successful keynote address "Through Their Eyes" at the New England Conference on Storytelling for Children. You were able to relate some very important information about children and adult perspectives, weaving stories throughout. It was a wonderful balance that truly captivated the audience. I think it especially significant that there was not one negative comment about the keynote."
- Mary Mayshark-Stavely

Full texts of these and other reference letters, with contact information, are available: