Actor, Collaborator, and Story Facilitator
I am an actor and children’s performer; a white, straight, middle class, middle aged woman whose West Texas drawl still rears its head after five years of living in Ontario. My literacy work with children inspires me to approach stories with curiosity, wonder, and openness. Similarly, my experiences with grief and mental health systems compel me to hold compassionate space for others, and to share my own stories with authenticity and willful vulnerability.
My storytelling process is informed by playwright Marilo Nuñez, cartoonist Lynda Barry, play theorist Brian Sutton, and countless children’s books about feelings and kindness. As a story facilitator, I am primarily interested in the relationship which exists between the storyteller and their own stories. I employ memory mapping techniques (combinations of physical activities, visual image making, and sensory questions) to mine details and deepen the telling experience. These enliven the connections between brain, body, and voice to ensure that the story which is eventually told is the right one, both for the storyteller and for their intended audience.
The solo and collaborative projects I choose emphasize community building and mental health advocacy.
I have been reading aloud with children across Turtle Island for over 25 years. I hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in theatre and served as a Resident Teaching Artist for Virginia Stage Company at Park Place School in Norfolk, VA.
Passionate about helping folks of all ages develop literacy skills and a love of reading, I may often be discovered sitting criss-cross-applesauce in the floors of libraries and independent bookstores looking for my next favourite tales to share!
I am the Founding Storylady at Lightbulb Heart, a Hamilton-based storytime and collaborative theatre company committed to emotional wholeness and dismantling oppression through thoughtful story curation and compassionate engagement in safe and welcoming spaces for children of all ages.