Beverly Cottman | Theater & Literary

Arm over head Beverly Cottman.jpg
Auntie Beverly by Colleen 2015_edited.jpg
Arm over head Beverly Cottman.jpg
Auntie Beverly by Colleen 2015_edited.jpg

Beverly Cottman | Theater & Literary


Beverly Cottman, also known as Auntie Beverly Storyteller, believes in and values the inherent ability of every person to be creative and to experience joy in that creation. As a storytelling teaching artist, she shares her love for the oral tradition by presenting activities and experiences that are engaging, affirming, and supportive.

African proverb: “After I learn, I teach - as I teach, I learn.”

To introduce the oral tradition, Beverly performs a traditional or cultural story. During the telling, she uses voice dynamics, facial expression, gesture, movement and enthusiasm to demonstrate performance techniques. There is a short response discussion about what was seen and heard. The story elements of plot, characters, setting, conflict, resolution, and time frame are learned using written and physical prompts. Participants are then guided in the creation, development, and presentation of a story of their own - individually or as a small group.

Book This Artist

Beverly has 30 years’ experience as an educator.   She has presented workshops and residencies for participants at elementary school, high school, colleges, conventions, senior centers, and business meetings.  She is a member and workshop presenter with Black Storytellers Alliance, Story Arts of Minnesota, National Storytellers Network, and National Association of Black Storytellers.  She has completed 70 hours of training at the Lincoln Center Education Teaching Artist Development Lab.

Sample Programs: Customizable To Site’s Needs


Words to My Life’s Song

The life and work of author, illustrator, poet, visual artist, Ashley Bryan will serve as an introduction to creating story in several poetic forms.  Participants will explore haiku, quatrain, cinquain, free verse, and concrete forms creating story poems.  Performance and presentation skills will be developed and practiced with oral recitation and an illustrated mini chapbook.


Those Who Inspire Us To Greatness

The life and work of historical and contemporary figures like Ida B. Wells and John Lewis will serve as the inspiration for creating and developing a story that will engage, educate, and entertain.  Participants will be introduced to basic background research skills, practice synthesis and paraphrasing information, creating and developing a story, and making oral presentations of their work.

*Note: people studied may be determined and aligned with classroom topics.



Ordinary Objects Inspire Extraordinary Stories

Select an object from the ‘story prompt/idea box’ then let it become the inspiration for the creation of a story. A fantasy, a memory from long ago, a re-imagined folk tale, or an event that just occurred yesterday will be crafted into a story with the basic elements of character(s), plot, setting, maybe a moral or lesson.  Practice performance skills then present your creation.



Storytelling With Auntie Beverly

Auntie Beverly presents an enthusiastic and interactive storytelling program suitable and adapted for any age or setting.  She tells stories of the African Diaspora as well as cultural tales from around the world.  Audience members may be asked to sing along, provide vocalizations, or play the part of a character.  Programs may be aligned with whole school topics, grade level focus, or other topics of interest.