Performers and Q&A Participants for the Three Rivers Film Festival

Musicians performing at Belfast screening (6:30 p.m. start)

L.E. McCullough, Ph.D. has been performing and teaching traditional Irish music on tinwhistle and flute since 1972, currently performs with the Irish-Appalachian ensemble Devilish Merry and serves on the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming board of directors. 

He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh for what, in 1978, was the first dissertation on Irish traditional music ever published. 

Formerly assistant director of the Indiana University School of Music and the administrative director of the Humanities Theatre Group at Indiana University-Purdue University,  McCullough composed filmscores for three PBS specials produced by WQED-TV and co-composed three Celtic Ballets for Dance Kaleidoscope. He has performed on the music tracks of six Ken Burns PBS television series and the Warner Brothers film Michael Collins.

McCullough has recorded on 52 albums and authored over 150 books and articles on Irish music, including  the two-volume What Whistle Would You Play at Your Mother’s Funeral?—L.E. McCullough’s Writings on Irish Traditional Music, 1974-2016.

Sean Patrick Regan, a third-generation piper, serves as the Pipe Band Director and Professor of Scottish Bagpiping and Drumming at Edinboro University. Consistently ranked among the top solo competitors in the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association, he ended 2020 in EUSPBA’s No. 3 spot. Before joining the ranks of professional competitors, Regan was an amateur National and World Solo Piping Champion.

Having used the bagpipe as his major instrument in earning a Bachelor of Arts with K-12 Music Eduction certification, he built a music department and Pipe Band as Director of Music at Massanutten Military Academy before returning to Western PA to pursue a Master of Music in Bagpipe Performance at Carnegie Mellon University, serve as Program Coordinator and Band Instructor for the Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming, and teach for Edinboro.

Regan has earned terminal certificates in Piping Performance, Theory, and Teaching from the Piping and Drumming Qualifications Board, Scotland, as well as the EUSPBA-accredited Graduate Certificate.

Cyril Q&A (post-film discussion moderated by Caroline Collins, associate director of Film Pittsburgh)

Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, called the “film inspiration” for the docudrama, has performed about 21,000 autopsies and consulted on twice that number, including very high profile cases highlighted in the film. Allegheny County Coroner for 20 years, he holds both medical and law degrees and remains actively involved as a medical-legal and forensic science consultant, author and lecturer locally, nationally and internationally.

Director Andrew Paul completed Cyril as his first feature. Founder and producing director of Kinetic Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, he co-founded the acclaimed Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, served as the company’s producing artistic director for 17 years and directed many productions in Las Vegas.

Writer Mark Clayton Southers, award-winning playwright, stage director, scenic designer, photographer and theatrical producer, is founder and producing Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. There, he has produced over 160 plays, including August Wilson’s complete 10-play Pittsburgh Century Cycle, and has written 20+ plays himself. His works have been in the National Black Theatre Festival and at Scotland’s prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Actor Sam Lothard has written, directed, and performed plays for over 10 years, creating some of his favorite roles with the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, including productions of works by August Wilson and Maya Angelou.

P.J. Gaynard, director of photography, is a Pittsburgh-based filmmaker, educator and principal of Goat Milk Fudge Productions. Ranked in the top 25 independent filmmakers by the book The Top 100 Indie Filmmakers in The World Part II, Gaynard also has served as director and producer, including the Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Project. His work has been displayed internationally in theaters and on-demand.

Now Return Us to Normal Q&A (post-film discussion moderated by Kathryn Spitz Cohan, executive director of Film Pittsburgh)

Assistant Professor of Media Arts at Robert Morris University Leslie J. Koren is an award-winning filmmaker and artist whose work has been exhibited at the Wexner Studio Film/Video Residency, UnionDocs, Hamptons Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, IFC’s Split Screens, Cleveland International Film Festival and distributed through Tribeca Film Institute’s Reframe Collection. Her residency and post-production fellowship from the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus helped to bring Now Return Us to Normal to life.

Koren has worked in film and television production at PBS and A&E Networks, and distributed a comedy web series on the festival circuit. Her recognitions include the Philadelphia Fellowship to the Flaherty Film Seminar and the Harry Friedberg Film Grant through the Philadelphia Psychoanalysis Foundation.

Following the film, Koren will be joined by her mother, Lindy Korn, in the Q&A session.