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Bethany Ellis

Bethany Ellis

9425 - 67th Avenue

Edmonton AB T6E 0N6

Home/Résidence : 780-436-9064

Email/Courriel :

Bethany Ellis was born in Edmonton, Alberta where she currently lives. She grew up in Peace River, Alberta where she discovered a love of acting, writing musical plays and implausible stories. She spent many a summer vacation coercing her local gang into performing these unique dramatic creations. She once convinced some new arrivals to the neighbourhood that she was, in fact, twins (a boy and a girl). Thus began her career as a storyteller and great big fibber.

After studying Drama and French at University, she worked as a teacher, substitute teacher and an actor for 10 years. She began telling stories while working at a summer day camp in which she realized that the young campers did not want to listen to the lovely book she was reading because they couldn't all see the pictures. So she closed the book and began to tell and they began to listen and ask for more. The Fringe Theatre Event in Edmonton in 1984 was where Bethany began telling stories for adults; at that time she believed she was the only storyteller in the world.

Bethany travelled to Cote d'Ivoire, West Africa with Canadian Crossroads International in 1988 to teach English. She doesn't know if her teenaged students learned any English but she sure heard a lot of stories from them. She lived in Asia for 6 years teaching English and sharing her stories with students and staff in South Korea and Malaysia. She has also told stories in Uruguay, Spain, Nepal and Thailand. Bethany met her husband in Korea and they moved England where they lived for 5 years and teamed up to have a son (now 7 years old) and to tell stories together. Her husband specializes in "Early Music" and has been drawn into the world of storytelling through frequent requests for his recorder, viol or crumhorn music during storytelling performances. In England Bethany worked and studied with many storytellers, both novice and master, and learned at last that she was not the only person in the world telling stories.

Since returning to Canada in 2004 Bethany has worked with T.A.L.E.S (The Alberta League Encouraging Storytelling) giving concerts and performing at Story Cafés as well as facilitating workshops to train new tellers and newcomers to Canada in the art she loves so well. For the past two years she has been infiltrating elementary schools with 'Story Fairs'. This is a day-long workshop designed to turn upper elementary students into storytellers to entertain their younger schoolmates.

"Can you do a Nepali story for preschoolers?" - "Of Course!"

"A Medieval ballad for teens?" - "If I Can bring along my crumhorn-playing husband..."

"We need a VERY adult story for our cafe..." - "Would you like that with or without my harp?"

From England to Uruguay, from Malaysia to Korea, Bethany has been storytelling for longer than she hasn't.

Educators! Try my Storyfair workshop. I take over your school, you sit back and smile.

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