Playing the gemshorn at Whitby Abbey, December 2019.
has studied and practiced being a bard for most of his life, but he has to work like the rest of us. He is a high school English teacher and directs a youth music theater program in Massachusetts. Hellman spends his free time reading, blogging, practicing the lyre and developing programs for the continuance of ancient literature through performance, physical arts and song. Hellman discovered his love for mythology and folk tales and began performing before his teens. As an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, he began performing professionally in small theaters in New England (College Light Opera Company, The Hampton Playhouse) and moved to New York City when he graduated to pursue the dream. Hellman worked in regional theater and worked on a national children’s theater tour playing Robin Hood before spending a year in Greece, Turkey and elsewhere while performing on a cruise ship. Hellman then turned his attention to writing and worked as a journalist for three newspapers, over five years, for the Eagle Tribune Publishing Company, where he won four awards for local news coverage by the New England Press Association. While working the night shift as a local reporter, Hellman began substitute teaching during the day, earned a teacher licence and began a Masters degree program to become an English teacher, a profession he has practiced for more than fifteen years. Hellman created his undergraduate major, “Theater from a Cultural and Historic Perspective,” at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst through the university’s Bachelor Degree of Individual Concentration program. He received a Masters Degree of Teaching English at Salem State College. He has completed courses in Old English Literature, Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien and other subjects through Harvard University’s evening Extension Program. Hellman studied Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in London, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar program.