Cathryn Fairlee : Once Upon a Biography...

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Ottawa Cathryn
Photographer: Colette Laplante

Click to read a personal interview . . .

Just the facts:

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The Legend of Cathryn is Fairlee Ltd.       

Once upon a time a fifth generation Californian named Cathryn went forth to travel the world. After a quest to China to study dragons close up, she returned to conquer a degree in the History of Art at San Jose State University. Her magic carpet was whisked up by a tornado and after much twirling across Asia, Europe and Latin America, Cathryn landed in the romantic wine country of Healdsburg, the town where she was born. There she worked as a Middle School librarian and began performing in 1982. She has been performing traditional folk tales, epics, history and mythology from around the world as a full time occupation since 1999.

Cathryn is an active member of the storytelling community and has been on the Bay Area Storytelling Festival committee for years. She was board member of the Storytelling Association of California, SAC, for seven years. Cathryn is a supporter of our national organization, National Storytelling Network, and served on its board for two years and still works with Storytelling Magazine. She is also a member of Storytellers of Canada. Cathryn produced the Story Swap on public radio for three years and has written and received grants for her local story guild to bring storytelling into the schoolroom. She has told tales on Turkish trains, at Irish pubs, in Buddhist caves, at Balinese ceremonies, in Chinese Teahouses, around the kitchen table in Guatemala, for private parties, conferences, senior centers, at festivals, libraries, classrooms elementary through college, and even in graveyards.

This legend has a happy ending. Cathryn still travels the world as a full-time teller and enjoys spicing, tasting and serving up myths and folk tales wherever she finds herself. She performs world wide and leaves her audiences listening happily ever after.


Some past performances:

  • Pub Telling with Story Laureate Taffy Thomas, UK
  • Guest Teller at Northlands
  • Regional Gem, Bay Area SAC honoree
  • Presentation for AAP, Assn. for Asian Performance
  • Japan Tsunami Benefits, Fort Bragg, CA
  • Gesar of Ling, Bhutan
  • Santa Rosa Tellabration
  • Tejas Workshop on Epic Telling
  • Mahabharata at MythInformed, Mesa College, AZ
  • Northlands Workshop on Chinese Telling
  • Tandem telling with a Chinese Master * Suzhou, China
  • Talk Story Festival * Honolulu
  • Kateryn Parr, last wife of Henry VIII * Toronto Storytelling Festival
  • Mahabharata & Norse Myths * Ottawa Epic Tellers
  • Popol Vuh * Vancouver Epic Tellers
  • Bay Area Storytelling Festival * El Sobrante
  • Benefit of Story * Friends Meetinghouse * Palo Alto
  • Bok Kai Festival * Marysville
  • Day of the Dead Altar Show * Rough & Ready
  • The Donner Party * Fort Bragg Historical Society and Truckee
  • For a list of her current performances, see her Calendar page...

Chinese Cathryn

Cathryn in Hangzhou, China * Share the Tradition

©Fairlee Ltd.
Last Updated: Once upon a time...