In reviews of his work, Ed Stivender has been called “the Robin Williams of storytelling” by the Miami Herald and “a Catholic Garrison Keillor” by Kirkus Review.
Since 1977, when he left his day job as a high school teacher in Connecticut and turned to storytelling full-time, Ed has fabulated his way around the globe --appearing in schools, churches, coffeehouses and theaters, as well as at major storytelling festivals. He has been a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, the Cape Clear Island International Storytelling Festival in Ireland, Graz Festival, Austria and our own Philadelphia Folk Festival. Ed enjoyed narrating: “Paddington Bears Special Day” with the Harrisburg Symphony, “Ferdinan the Bull” with a violinist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and “Peter and the Wolf” with the LaGrange Symphony.
In the Spring of 2005 Ed worked with a group called Historic Philadelphia Inc., which has had colonial re-enactors in the historic district, that expanded to include a project called “Once Upon A Nation”.
Ed worked with them as a consultant/writer/trainer, helping them develop short historical stories to be presented throughout Independence National Historic Park on thirteen storytelling benches. He trained the tellers during their three week training, “Benstitute”, and did some paperwork summarizing and suggesting. Ed also wrote a theme song for them.
The National Storytelling Association inducted Ed into its Circle of Excellence in 1996.
Ed has strutted in the Comic division of the annual Philadelphia Mummers Parade since 1982. In 1994, he received the Mummers’ Most Original Character Award for his one-man Vatican-American String Band, and in 1996, he was Captain of the first-prize-winning Kingsessing Morris Men, in 2006 and 2011 he won first prize for Most Original Character.
Ed is the subject of a chapter in the book Storytellers by Corki Miller and Mary Ellen Snodgrass, a story in Chicken Soup for the Romantic Heart and is the author or two books of tales: Raised Catholic, Can You Tell? and Still Catholic After All These Fears. He has also released several recordings of his performances.
Some of the places Ed has appeared
The National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough, Tennessee * Tales of Graz Festival, Austria * Jakarta International Storytelling Festival, Indonesia * Glistening Waters Storytelling Festival, New Zealand * Cape Clear Storytelling Festival, Co. Cork, Ireland * Seacat Storytelling Festival, Omagh, Northern Ireland * Bay Area Storytelling Festival, California * Sierra Storytelling Festival, California * Azalea Storytelling Festival, LaGrange, Georgia * Southern Festival of Books * Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, Utah * Akron Storytelling Festival, Ohio * Illinois Storytelling Festival * Stone Soup Storytelling Festival, South Carolina * Flint Storytelling Festival, Michigan * Long Island Storytelling Festival, New York * Once Upon a Story, Philadelphia * Theater of the Open Eye, Manhattan * The Painted Bride, Philadelphia * The Philadelphia Folk Festival * The Hermitage, Nashville * The Philadelphia Museum of Art * Missouri Cattlemen's Association Dinner * University of Pennsylvania * St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia * Concordia University, Quebec * The University of Connecticut * The Philadelphia Mummers' Parade * The Academy of Music, Philadelphia * Walt Disney World Staff Seminar * Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California * Yale Divinity School * Duke University, North Carolina * Thursday is a Work of Art, Hartford, Connecticut
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