"A wit so sharp you can shave with it." A National Circle of Excellence Award recipient, Beth's entertaining and empowering approach to all tales - traditional, musical, literary, personal, historical, and hysterical - makes her the perfect emissary into the world of stories. Laughter, courage, adventure, childhood farmyard escapades, inspiring women, the soldier's experience, love lost and found, and environmental triumph all vividly spring to life through world folktales and Beth's powerful, witty stories of true life. Recent performances: Ravinia, National Storytelling Festival, International Art of Story Festival, Taiwan's Starlight Educational Foundation, American Library Association, Women in Management, Live From National Geographic. Recent workshops for: NASA Astrobiologists, NASA Engineers, Dollywood's Lyrics & Lore Songwriting Conference.
Adults: "Tales of Raucous Humor & Tender Courage", "Love Lost, Found & Fumbled", "Women of Laughter & Light", "Three American Soldiers: Three American Stories", "Pipeline Blues: An Environmental Triumph", "The Haunting & Humorous", "Family Album: the Characters of Our Lives", "Three American Soldiers: Three American Stories"
Children/Families: "Stories of the Night Sky", "Barnyard Baths: Adventures on the Family Farm", "Myth Makers & Dragon Slayers", "American Folktales", "Spine Chillers & Funny Bone Ticklers", "Wacky, Wild & Woeful Tales", "Heroes & Heroines Across the World".
https://vimeo.com/482115288 - "Tales of Raucous Humor and Tender Courage."
Performance for Adults, 11/12/2020. Stories and times listed below.
My performances being tailored for each audience, the Library requested I focus on humor and escapades with language and literature.
I added "Bearista Bear: Taking Care" for Veterans Day.
For Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, Missouri.
Performed "live" via Zoom Webinar from my home in Evanston, Illinois.
(I could not see or hear attendees.)
86 households attended (from Columbia, MO & across the country).
Posted on the Library's YouTube channel through 11/30/2020.
Approximately 100 additional views.
All stories © Beth Horner except "Ravin's of a Piute Poet Poe" by C.L. Edson
1) 0:01 Librarian Introduction
2) 0:51 My Introduction: "Grandaddy is Better Than Nothing/Zoom is Better Than Nothing"
3) 3:25 "Tabouli to Cremation: An Exploration of My Mother's Mind"
(a humorous communication love story)
4) 18:45 "Raven Ravin' Misbehavin': When Poe Gets Stuck in Your Head"
(Includes 4 minute take-off of "The Raven" by C.L. Edsen, told with permission)
5) 44:25 "Bearista Bear: Taking Care" (A Teddy Bear gift unexpectedly calms my significant other's secondary PTSD while I discover my 96-year old father's atypical attachment to a Teddy Bear for living each day.)
6) 1:05:10 Discussion, Photos
The work sample I submitted represents one aspect of my body of work as requested by the presenter: original stories featuring humor, escapades with language and literature.
I added "Bearista Bear: Taking Care" for Veterans Day.
Other aspects of my body of work not included in the sample:
-Extensive repertoire for children "“ both traditional folk tales and stories of my early life in a rural farmhouse (favorites of children). An example of Children's concert adapted for virtual platform:
"Stories For Children July 2020. Library Summer Reading Club Performance" https://vimeo.com/439401155 Passcode: BethStories
- Stories crafted from historical events such as my two-hour performance of "Three Soldiers; Three Stories" (featuring soldiers from the Civil War, WWII, and the Iraq War). An early version of the Civil War Story is on YouTube:
"The Silver Spurs", Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_JVCHCJhnU
"The Silver Spurs", Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G_nBtrPe8U
-Stories of relevance to specific topics such as "The Pipeline Blues: A Tale of Environmental Triumph" and "The Disability Dance" (based on my own life experience).
-My large repertoire of traditional folk material and mythology for adults
-My repertoire of stories enhanced with music
Further examples of my work can be found on Sound Cloud:
With a rural childhood steeped in traditional folk, fairy, literary and ancestral family stories, I designed a degree in Library Science/Child Development/Theatre, worked as a Librarian at Yale University, then gained a Master of Library Science Degree (University of Illinois, 1980). Upon taking Storytelling courses in graduate school, I immediately knew my life's path.
In 1983, I passionately launched from Children's Librarianship into a career as a full-time touring Storyteller. I've developed an extensive repertoire of stories, story programs, residencies and workshops which I customize for all age groups, backgrounds, venues and locations: hospitals, universities, libraries, historical societies, schools, youth detention centers, residential mental health centers, theatres, educational conferences, as well as storytelling festivals. Over 37 years, whether performing for 6,000 at a festival or 6 children in a hospital, in Illinois or in Taiwan, I have never once questioned my career choice.
Some career highlights: Four storytelling projects for NASA, "The Pipeline Blues: A Tale of Environmental Triumph" (performed at National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.), "Three Soldiers, Three Stories" (performed at the National Storytelling Festival, the Woodstock, IL Opera House, high schools), and the "Lyrics & Lore Conference" for Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and The International Storytelling Center.
My vision as a storyteller is to empower, educate and entertain.
Storytelling is a unique and intimate art form that creates connections and inspires change. My goal is to continue to create stories, performances, workshops, and residencies for differing ages, audiences and venues that as a whole embody:
Communication presented powerfully
"There's just something about a song or story that brings things into focus a whole lot sharper than any stack of statistics." "“ Jerome Wheeler, songwriter and one of the subjects of my story "The Pipeline Blues: A Story of Environmental Triumph"
Connection through communication of story
Well-crafted, well-told stories transcend cultural, generational, and experiential differences. Hearing stories told eases isolation, creates community and allows each listener to better understand themselves as individuals.
The love of language
Stories give listeners time to enjoy language and to pause, reflect, ponder, laugh, and feel emotions without judgement or consequences.
I am specifically focused on increasing performances of my environmental repertoire such as "The Pipeline Blues", of my two-hour performance "Three Soldiers; Three Stories" (and its embodiment of the understanding of PTSD), and workshops on crafting one's own life stories for both children and adults across cultures and experience.
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
The Art of Storytelling requires the story, the storyteller, and the listener's imagination. There are no limits on who enjoys a story because each listener brings their own physical and cognitive abilities and life experience to the story. With 37 years in this wonderful career, I have an extensive repertoire and extensive experience in selecting and telling stories for the specific audience's needs -- with programs and workshops for ages two through high school through "senior citizens".
Some audiences require a more intimate setting and careful story selection. I've worked in youth detention centers, was Artist-In-Residence at The Choate State Developmental & Mental Health Center (Anna, IL), presented an address on Storytelling for the LaRabida Children's Hospital Symposium on Mental and Physical Care for the Chronically Ill Child (Chicago), and recently co-analyzed stories with the Columbia, Missouri Support Group for those with Brain Injuries.
My experience has informed me that outward reactions to a story vary from audience to audience and don't always indicate how well a listener is enjoying a story. Each listener takes in and enjoys a story in a different way.
Traditional Folk/Ethnic Artform Statement
I do not consider myself specifically a traditional folk artist, but my childhood was steeped in the folktales of a rural community in Boone County, Missouri and Crawford County, Missouri (in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains). My early repertoire was initially grounded in those traditional stories and in the ancestral family stories told to me by my father. (I do not consider my politics or values to be aligned with the current dominant populations in those counties, but the old stories and my father's ancestral tales embedded an early and lasting love of stories in my life.)
Beth Horner - Storyteller
2646 Broadway Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201-1502
$300 - $4,000