Monday, September 13, 6:00-7:45 p.m.
MELANIE RAY, native of Vancouver, Canada, stumbled into acting at age 18. At 37, through rehearsing a very short tale for an acting audition, she was lured into storytelling. That was in 1984.
Since then, Melanie has been telling professionally for all ages, and in diverse venues across Canada, with forays into England, Wales and America. Many festival tents, theatres, school auditoriums, radio studios, grassy hollows and seniors’ dining halls have resonated with the sound of her voice, conjuring a tale. Just once, she told in the hall of a 14th Century castle.
Her repertoire is filled with the stuff of legend, literature, history, personal stories and many, many folktales. Her greatest pride might be in her two-hour version of “Tristan and Iseult,” and the many tours she has made with it. It is a story of a love triangle doomed to failure through societal norms, but also a reflection (for her, anyway) of the possibility of polyamorous, bi- or pansexuality being a route for love to take.
In 2011, Storytellers of Canada/Counteurs du Canada honoured her as that year’s recipient of the Storykeeper Award. The award recognizes both artistic excellence and community-building for, and promotion of, Canadian storytelling.
Her connection to Washington State has been through the Forest Festival, both as presenter and as audience, and through Washington tellers coming to Vancouver, such as Allison Cox and Antoinette Botsford.
It has been said of her storytelling that while she is telling you a tale, you can believe the most otherwise incredible things.
6:00-6:30 p.m. — Social time
6:30-7:45 p.m. — Program begins with land acknowledgement and call to action,
followed by featured and open-mic storytelling; each story followed by group conversation
Under the Rainbow: Storytelling for the LGBTQIA+ and Allied Community takes place every second Monday for teens and adults. Sign up for open mic at the event. LGBTQIA+ tellers are prioritized; allies are welcome in the audience and to participate in post-story conversation. No one is obligated to tell a story.
Under the Rainbow is supported by Edmonds Library, Edmonds Arts Commission, Seattle Storytellers Guild, Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, and a grant from the Pride Foundation.