Belfast Events

The Tull Family Theater Offers Immersive Experiences alongside Belfast Screenings

Saturday, Nov. 27, 4:15 p.m.

Gerard O’Neil, author of Pittsburgh Irish: Erin on the Three Rivers, will share tales about the region’s earliest Presbyterian settlers from Ulster and the flood of Irish Catholic in the 1840s in his first presentation of the day. A Pittsburgh resident for over 20 years, O’Neil earned a Master of Arts degree in public history from Duquesne University, where he is an archivist. He specializes in obscure, esoteric and unusual historical and anthropological topics and worked at the La Roche University Writer’s Center. Additionally, he provides sound systems for cultural events in the Pittsburgh area. 

Saturday, Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m.

O’Neil’s tales will be interspersed with Irish Americana music provided by:

Gerard Dailey Rohlf, a composer of music and poetry, has been performing professionally since the age of 7. A member of the roots/heritage band NewLanders and the Celtic/Irish band Na Gaels, Rohlf has performed in rock ‘n roll, blues, and Irish and American roots groups from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Also at home with sacred and classical music, he currently serves as music director for St. Bede Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh. His award-winning poetry has been published in periodicals, anthologies and ezines. 

Past Events

Thursday, Nov. 11, 6:30-7:00 p.m. 
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.

Thursday, Nov. 11, 6:30-7:00 p.m. 
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.

Thursday, Nov. 11, 4:00-9:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 12, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 14, 6-8:30 p.m.
The Irish Design Center, established in 1978, will offer a pop-up shop with a small sampling of its  wide variety of knitwear, clothing, gifts and jewelry from all over Ireland and Scotland. A larger selection is available at the store, 303 South Craig St. in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, which takes pride in providing great customer care.

Friday, Nov. 19, 4 p.m.
Conversations about Northern Ireland with three distinguished experts:

Tony Novosel, Ph.D. Senior Lecturer Emeritus in History, University of Pittsburgh. The University recognized his influence on the ongoing peace process in communities and students in Northern Ireland and his “powerful positive impact on political factions, communities and students” in 2017 with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award. In 2013 he published Northern Ireland’s Lost Opportunity: The Frustrated Promise of Political Loyalism in which he interviewed key political leaders and ex-combatants within the Ulster Volunteer Force, the Red Hand Commando and the Progressive Unionist Party. Since 1996, Novosel has also assisted and counseled nearly 2,600 young people from Northern Ireland who have studied in the United States as part of Study USA and returned to help shape the future of Northern Ireland.

Dr. Erin Hinson, vice president of Abbey Research, holds a Ph.D. in Irish Studies from Queen’s University Belfast. Her doctoral research examined how Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando paramilitary prisoners used handicrafts as a part of their identity construction while incarcerated during the conflict in Northern Ireland. A researcher, educator and tea enthusiast, Hinson advocates for inclusion, equity and understanding through conversation.

Dr. Rachel Oppenheimer, University of Pittsburgh history department, researches radical dissent in the 20th century in Northern Ireland and the United States. She earned her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and has conducted a comparative study of the Black Panther prison protests and the Irish Republic Army’s protests and hunger strikes.

Saturday, Nov. 20, times TBA
Dancers from The Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance will perform on Saturday, Nov. 20, before the 12:30 show and between the 2:45 and 5 p.m. screenings. Plan to stay a little later after the film or to come a wee bit early to watch!

The Shovlin Academy of Irish Dance offers solo and figure dancing instruction to students ages 5 and up. Participation in the academy provides each student with the opportunity to grow physically and mentally in a supportive environment, while developing an appreciation for Irish music and dance.

A strong part of the Irish Dancing culture is performing. Even the younger beginners are eligible to compete. The academy encourages students to be proud of and share what they’ve learned with others at various local events—including this run of Belfast!

Please check back, as the Theater continues to add to events. Tickets for Belfast can be purchased by clicking here.