SHU celebrates Irish culture in performance

On April 17, Irish culture was put on display when The Celtic Theater Company paid a visit to Seton Hall University for a night of Irish music and storytelling.

The event was sponsored by Seton Hall’s Department of Catholic Studies in collaboration with Pirates of Irish Persuasion & Extraction (PIPE) and was held in the theater-in-the-round. The performance showcased a number of native Irish songs, narrative poems and stories.

Photo via Flickr/Dave Dugdale

Dr. James McGlone, a professor in Catholic Studies, orchestrated the event. He said that he hoped people got a better understanding of Irish culture and how much they love poetry and music. McGlone also said he hoped the attendees saw how religious the Irish are.

“We are culturally Catholic and family is such an important aspect in our lifestyle,” McGlone said.
The event kicked off with an array of Irish folk songs mixed with personal narratives from the performers as they delved into stories of past travels across Ireland.

“There is always good content here,” said Lynn Jackson, a Seton Hall alumna.

Jackson, who majored in Fine Arts and graduated in 2011, heard about the event on Facebook. She frequently comes back to the University to attend as many events as she can.

Jackson and most of those who attended said that they found the music to be the most entertaining part of the show.

The performance, which consisted of each performer taking turns either singing or telling a well-known Irish poem, got the crowd involved as well. When a certain song was played, those in the crowd who knew the words wouldn’t hesitate to join the performers in singing along. The performers, including Mark Fallon, made their best effort to entertain the audience during and after the show.

Fallon, who received his Master’s from Seton Hall in 2002, said he wanted to make the best of his performance.

“I hope everyone had fun,” Fallon said.

For Fallon, the night was about more than entertainment. He said he felt that there is a connection between Irish folk stories and common traits of humanity.

“It’s not just Irish stories but human stories,” he said. “I hope everyone here can see the Universal themes in each story that are accessible to them, regardless of their background.”

Fallon has been doing these shows alongside The Celtic Theater Company since 1977. He said he hopes to continue to spread the message of what the Irish have to offer humanity.

“I hope they learn from shows and events like this,” he said.

Even though SHU is diverse and has different lifestyles across campus, there are still many students who hope for more cultural showcases. McGlone said all multicultural events are important for university life.

“I wish there were more cultural events like this,” McGlone said. “It’s too bad we don’t do enough.”

Ronald Castaneda can be reached at ronald.castaneda@student.shu.edu.

Author: Ronald Castaneda

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