Charlotte Ross, also known as “the Legend Lady,” has collected or composed more than 3,400 tales of legends and laughter from Appalachia. She is an energetic performer, playwright, folklorist, raconteuse, and speaker with experience in storytelling concerts, theatrical performances, conferences, school residencies, and workshops. Above all, she is a teacher.
Charlotte engages the audience with each telling. Her legends convey emotional intensity as well as historical context; and her word pictures are vivid. She sometimes invites children onstage to participate in the folktales.
“The stories I have collected are replete with cultural values,” says Charlotte. “They embody the social norms, beliefs, and core values of a people. As a storyteller, I seek to carry this heritage of tales and to share its richness with many diverse audiences by arranging the selections thematically according to the need and goals of the sponsoring group. The stories communicate the power and pride and special beauty of the people of the Appalachian Mountains; they define us as a people.”
Charlotte has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Birmingham Chamber of Conference, Atlanta Historical Society, North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Corn Island Storytelling Festival, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina Storytelling Festival, The Great Aunt Stella Center, Berea College, Kellogg Institute, Appalachian Studies Conference, Museum of Appalachia, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Ireland, and for the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Programs. She has been a featured storyteller on the National Public Radio All Things Considered “Story Tree.”
“I read somewhere that the task of a bard was to define a place and a people, to record history, to transmit cultural values, and to entertain using only the human voice and memory,” says Charlotte. “I guess I was meant to be a bard.”
Charlotte Ross is available for storytelling programs, writers’ conferences, museums, school residencies, performing artist series, festivals, retreats, workshops, and annual meetings, all as a one-woman show.