Introducing Tom Lee

 I am a professional storyteller with thirty years' experience performing traditional stories, folktales, and myths for adults and for children.

 My repertoire offers myths and stories from cultures around the world; some are centuries old, some originated thousands of years ago. 

I began researching traditional stories while living in Scotland.  My first performances were late-night retellings of Grimm’s fairy tales in a tiny theater at the back of a London pub called, appropriately, “The Man in the Moon.”  This program was presented at the Edinburgh Festival and, subsequently, on BBC-TV.

 When I encounter a traditional story that intrigues me, I research its origins, going back in time through various manuscripts, often in other languages, and getting as close as I can to the origin or source of a story.   After this process of research and discovery, I craft my own retelling of the story in a version that I hope is both true to the original and relevant to audiences of today.

 Apparently, stories are in my blood. During a research excursion in Ireland I encountered evidence of a distant storyteller in my own family. Morough O’Lee was a Galway villager in the 1700’s who, according to a skeptical letter in the Royal Irish Academy,  “frequently told wild tales to his credulous neighbors.” (He even claimed to have been abducted by the fairies.)

I have brought storytelling programs to thousands of students in grades K-12.

Since moving to Connecticut in 2000, I have been a roster artist with Arts For Learning, the Connecticut chapter of Young Audiences, and also with Connecticut HOT Schools.

 I am the artistic director of artsVOYAGE at Spencertown Academy in Spencertown, NY, a unique arts-in-education program that uses performing and visual arts to enhance learning across the curriculum.

I perform for adults in theaters and at festivals throughout the country.  Evocative, engaging folktales invite adults to reflect on their own response to ancient narratives.

As a frequent guest artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I bring together my passion for research, art, and story, continually connecting with new audiences of all ages.  In addition, I am a performing arts partner with the Yale Center for British Art and the Metropolitan Opera Education Conference.

 

Past Performances Include:

The International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough, TN

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA

The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home, Lenox, MA

Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra, New Haven, CT

The Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT

The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

The Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

The Philadelphia Free Library, Philadelphia, PA

The Connecticut Forum, Hartford, CT

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

The Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival,  Edinburgh, Scotland

Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA

The St. Louis Storytelling Festival, St. Louis, MO

Columbia University Teachers College, New York, NY

National Public Radio - "Morning Edition"

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD

Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut

Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA

BBC Television - "Timewatch"

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, NY

Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cape Cod, MA

The Museum of Biblical Art, New York, NY

The Metropolitan Opera Education Conference, New York, NY

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme, CT

The Rowan County Storytelling Festival, Salisbury, NC

The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT