Pittsburgh-area storyteller will bring ‘Tales of Music and Musicians’ to Penn Area Library |

Pittsburgh-area storyteller will bring ‘Tales of Music and Musicians’ to Penn Area Library

Patrick Varine
Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal
Above, storyteller Alan Irvine.

If you look up the lyrics to an old song — and not “old” like the early ’90s, “old” like the early 1800s — you may find that the writer is credited as “Trad.”

It stands for “Traditional,” and generally refers to a piece of music which has been passed down through so many generations that the writer is not known.

Alan Irvine, however, may be able to shed some light on a few of those tunes when he stops at the Penn Area Library on July 23 to present “Tales of Music and Musicians.”

Irvine got his start in storytelling during his days as a Louisiana camp counselor, when he entertained a few campers before lights-out with an old ghost story he recalled.

In time, his repertoire grew to include folk tales and legends, Irish and Celtic tales, Pennsylvania history, tales of King Arthur and other heroes, Shakespeare and more.

Irvine now tells his tales at a wide range of venues including libraries, schools, colleges, and festivals. He was a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council for many years, has appeared at Renaissance festivals, Irish festivals and science-fiction conferences.

In addition to performing, Irvine also helped found the storytelling group StorySwap . He has produced numerous storytelling shows, and was the chair of the 2006 National Storytellers Conference, held in Pittsburgh. He has twice won the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival Liars contest (2013 and 2016).

He works with Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks, where he tells stories of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as hosting the “Bring Your Own Bard” reading series. He is the co-founder of Brawling Bard Theater, a troupe specializing in high-energy comedy and stage combat. Irvine writes and directs for the company.

The 6:30 p.m. program is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, visit the library at 2001 Municipal Court in Harrison City or call 724-744-4414, ext. 101.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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