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Presented by StorySwap


When & Where:

Friday & Saturday,
August 8 & 9, 2014
Winchester-Thurston School, North Hills Campus

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Featured Tellers of 2014


Andy Offutt Irwin Andy Offutt Irwin

Andy Offutt Irwin returns to the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival to share more of his hilarious and heart warming stories and songs. A nationally acclaimed storyteller and balladeer, Andy has delighted audiences across the country with his charming and enchanting personality. Let Andy draw you into his tales where you will surely want to stay.


Megan Hicks     Megan Hicks

Megan Hicks knew since she was a child that she would grow up to be a storyteller, and after listening to her tales you'll know how right she was. Megan has shared her whimsical and touching stories throughout three continents and will bring these tales to your delighted ears.


Gregory Gibson Kenney Gregory Gibson Kenney

Gregory Gibson Kenney is no stranger to sharing his historical stories to Pittsburghers. A native of Pittsburgh, Gregory's art is in his portrayal of famous figures such as Jackie Robinson, Louis Armstrong, and Bill Cosby. Gregory not only educates his audiences about different points in history, he brings them back in time.


Charlotte Blake Alston Charlotte Blake Alston

Charlotte Blake Alston's storytelling comes from African and African American cultures and traditions and is enriched by song and instruments. Charlotte has told her stories across the world and time bringing these tales to audiences of all ages and nationalities. Whether or not you have heard the stories that Charlotte tells, she is sure to bring them to a captivating and wondrous light.


Local Tellers

Barra the Bard has been a Celtic storyteller/musician for over 20 years, specializing in Scottish and Welsh tales. She performs solo, with the Harp Grove of Western PA, and as half of the duo ClarSeannachie. She won the Spoken Word category of the Ligonier Highland Games Harp

Jo Ann Dadisman considers herself an Appalachian storyteller specializing in the old stories through interactive presentations of tall tales, fables, songs, and stories about life in her beloved mountains. Her stories promote an understanding of the region and appreciation for this heritage. She is a career teacher who wove together the oral and written traditions of stories.

Joanna Demarest weaves fairy tales and personal tales together taking the listener on a journey through her life. After 2 years of performing and studying storytelling in New England, Joanna has returned to Western Pennsylvania. She has new programs, stories and workshops ready to share with old and new friends.

Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, a professional storyteller since 2002, owes her love of storytelling to her mother and maternal grandparents, who raised her into oral tradition with stories and folk songs. Lisa was a costumed interpreter/storyteller for the National Park Service, a featured regional teller at VA Storytelling Alliance's 2006 Gathering, and at the 2005 and 2006 National Folk Festivals in Richmond, VA.

Granny Sue Holstein performs across West Virginia and out of state, telling stories and singing Appalachian and British ballads. A published writer, Granny Sue is a frequent presenter of programs and workshops at conferences, festivals, schools and libraries. When not writing or telling stories, she enjoys gardening, canning and life on her small farm in Jackson County.

Alan Irvine is a long-time friend of the festival. His storytelling began as a camp counselor and has grown from there. He performs at numerous festivals, including the Toronto Festival of Storytelling, the Smoky Mountain Storytelling Festival, and the Three Rivers Storytelling Festival (where he was a featured performer in 2003 and 2011). Alan's latest CD is The Tain bo Cuailnge: The Cattle Raid of Cooley.

Elizabeth Irvine is 14 years old and attends CAPA 6-12 for theatre. She enjoys acting and performing in general. She lives with her parents and a very sweet Chesapeake retriever named Jingles. Her goal is to watch as many movies as possible.

Mike Kennelly was born next to his mother because she was so incredibly controlling. In his subsequent fight for freedom, he's been telling her stories ever since. In the next stage of development, Mike start learned how to tell stories to teachers and other authorities. It was just evolution to want to share experiences as a Storyteller with the local Boy Scouts as a leader and younger children as a religious education teacher. Now he hopes to expand his circle of influence as a storyteller and share stories with you.

Edmund LoPresti enjoys sharing tales of fools, sages, and wise fools. He has told and taught telling through StorySwap of Pittsburgh, the Society for Creative Anachronism, and the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh. Recently his telling has been focused on a target audience of Sophia and Clara.

Kathy Maron-Wood tells stories that are funny, scary, and silly . Those stories include a blend of string, paper-folding and drawing stories not to mention a few stories that include a song. She believes that storytelling is a great way to entertain the entire family.

Sean Miller is a Professional Entertainer and Author from Northwestern Pennsylvania. He began his career in the early 1990's. Specializing in tales from Pennsylvania Folk Lore and Folk History, his first book "Pennsylvania's Oil Heritage: Stories from the Headache Post" covers some of this body of Folk History. Find out more at www.greycloudstudios.com.

Kate Pavelle is a Czech native, who engaged in competitive poetry recitals in her native country. After many years telling stories for family and friends, she decided to share her very own story in public performance in English.

Scott Pavelle says he is a lawyer in his "real" life but we've got to wonder. He has been a regular here at the Festival for years (particularly on Ghost Story night) and is one of the central pillars of the local storytelling community. His main project recently has been a storytelling series for teenagers in the Family Links program. Ask him and you'll hear ALL about it!

Sydelle Pearl is an author, storyteller, and songwriter who relocated to Pittsburgh from Boston a few years ago. She often incorporates original songs that spring from the multicultural and original stories that she tells to preschool, elementary and family audiences. She can be reached via her website, www.storypearls.com.

The Savvy Cinderellas program was created by Joan Wolf Schenker as a way to prevent the significant drop in girls' self-esteem that begins in 4th grade and continues through adolescence. The program provides a fun, creative way for girls to use storytelling to develop their talents, skills, and abilities. Savvy Cinderella groups perform at area schools and libraries. Savvy Cinderellas performing at this year's Three Rivers Storytelling Festival are Becca Helfrich, Kara Jans and Sara Walker.

Mary Morgan Smith was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She grew up listening to the tall tales of her grandfather's youth in Pittsburgh in the late 19th century. She began telling stories professionally over 35 years ago as a library storyteller for Prince George's County (MD) Memorial Library System. Since then she has appeared at venues from Pittsburgh to California.

Judi Young Tarowsky a Latrobe native, has a BSJ from West Virginia University and a Graduate Certificate in Storytelling from the University of North Texas. She has been telling since 2006, and performs historical stories, original tall tales, Appalachian ghost stories and folk tales. She is vice president of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild.

Tom Tarowsky is an alumnus of both West Virginia University and Duquesne University. His "retirement job" is as museum educator at the Cockayne Farmstead, in Glen Dale, West Virginia. He is married to the former Judi Young. They met on a blind date while students at WVU. Their son, Joe, lives in Pittsburgh

Kristin Ward founded Moquette Volante in 2008, a theatrical middle eastern dance company dedicated to preserving the art of live storytelling as well as bringing Silk Road folklore to life through dance, music, and spoken word.

Stas' Ziolkowski' found that telling stories was the secret to keeping students engaged and enjoying his classes during his 40 years as a chemistry and math teacher. His storytelling talent has also enabled him to be successful in theater for the past 27 years as an actor, director, and writer.