When Leslie Slape was a little girl, she sneaked into the bedroom her younger sisters shared and told them stories she made up on the spot.
On rainy days, she read and re-read fairy tales and myths.
When Leslie and her husband, Max, started their family in the late 1980s, she realized that
out of fairness to Max and the kids, she would have to stop spending most of her free time
directing or stage-managing plays. Needing a less time-consuming creative outlet, she found one
in her lifelong love of folklore and myth. She became a storyteller.
Leslie has told at numerous small and large venues around Washington and Oregon. In 2011 she was the opening performer at a concert by Celtic storyteller-harper Patrick Ball. She has also
performed alongside professional tellers Alton Chung, Will Hornyak, Tim Tingle, Kirk Waller,
Habiba Addo and Allison Cox.
Notable appearances include the Forest Storytelling Festival in Port Angeles, Wash.; Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival in Washington County, Ore.; Tapestry of Tales Storytelling Festival in Multnomah County, Ore.; Folklife Festival in Seattle;
International Festival in Longview, Wash.; Mount Hood Autumn Festival and the Winter Solstice Celebration at Oregon Museum of
Science and Industry in Portland.
In addition to a large repertoire of traditional folklore, Leslie writes original tales and songs, accompanying herself on the autoharp.
To honor her Russian-born grandfather, one of Leslie’s specialties is ancient Russian folklore, which she often performs in costume.
She teaches storytelling classes and workshops for all ages.
In 1994 she was honored with membership in the Order of the Laurel, a recognition of mastery of the storytelling art, in the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Also a writer, her original story “Tale-Teller” appears in “The Healing Heart: Families” edited by Allison Cox and David Albert. Her occasional storytelling column, “The Rocking Chair,” appears in The Daily News of Longview, Wash., which also carries her annual Christmas tale about a family of newspaper gremlins. She has won several journalism award for news and personalities reporting.
She returned to the theater as a playwright in 1998 and 2009, merging her love of storytelling and theater into physical theater productions based on folklore and myths from around the world.