Órla McGovern

Sorcha Keane

Niceol Blue

with special thanks to Ray Quinn and Niceol Blue on the web team


We are delighted to bring you an array of wonderful tellers,
performers and artists from around the world for our first ever festival


Joe Bill is widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in America today.  He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theatre. He was the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago for 15 years and a Teacher & Guest Artist in Residence at The Second City Conservatory & Training Center for another 15 years. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90’s. He performs with numerous group sand partners, with folks like Mark Sutton (Bassprov), Jill Bernard (Scram!), Patti Stiles(Our Play) Heather Urquhart (Blues Hammer) and many more. He has played as a guest in Play Unscripted and Le Roundabout with ImproTheatre L.A., Grand Theft Impro at Impro Melbourne (Australia), The Scene at The PIT in New York City and UCB in L.A., with Let’s Have A Ball and ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCB Theater in New York & L.A. and with Kornfeld & Andrews at Magnet Theater in New York City. He has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals on every continent except Antarctica (but he’s working on that!)and at every major Improv Festival in The United States.

Joe will be leading The Story Chain on Saturday.


Niceol Blue is a storyteller in song, and in spoken and written word. A singer, songwriter, writer, improviser and storyteller, Niceol grew up in Pacific Northwest, an environment that shaped her performance styles. She has performed to audience acclaim all around the US and Ireland. Niceol is a published poet and writer, and her music has been described as “exceptional songs and powerful vocals”. Niceol is a founding member of Moth and Butterfly Storytelling, and fronts several bands and music projects in and around Galway. She is also a founding member of The Sky  Babies, Galway’s only professional improv troupe, for whom she helps shape environments through light and sound. Niceol is thrilled to be a part of the very first Moth and Butterfly Festival 2021, and will be working both behind the scenes, as well as telling in front of the camera.

You can catch Niceol telling at The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box


Hannah is a professional storyteller based in Essex in the UK who tells both traditional and modern tales to young and old alike. Driven by a passion to engage and inspire communities with oral storytelling, she draws on her acting background to take her audience on playful and poignant journeys into folk, fairy and wonder tales and myths and legends from around the world. She has been described as captivating, compelling, high-energy and fun. A storyteller of irresistible and charming tales, she runs Tiny Tales Storytellers for children, schools and families and is the resident storyteller for Southend Theatres. In 2016 she founded Spinning Yarns Theatre to bring storytelling to adult audiences through storytelling events and her regular Word Spun night.

Hannah will be telling at Stories For Children on Saturday Morning


Catherine Brophy is a writer, story-teller and broadcaster, she also facilitates workshops. Hey… she’s a Gemini… multi-tasking is their thing! She leads a blameless life in Ireland but travels whenever she can. She’s been rescued by a circus troupe in Serbia, had breakfast with a Zambian chief, ate camel stew in the Sahara, and was kicked by a horse on the Mexican plain. Yeah…she has a couple of stories to tell.

Catch Catherine telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box


Monique Burg was born in Perigord (Southwest France), where she currently lives. She spent some time in England where she trained as an actress. Monique works for the theatre, the radio, does public readings and dubs for films and cartoons in Occitan. She is also a storyteller with a repertoire of folktales from her culture and others as well as her own original material. She tells mainly in French and Occitan and occasionally in English. She performed at Belfast Seven Languages festival, Dublin Yarnspinners, Dublin Leprechaun Museum, Carrying the Songs’ project and at various story swaps such as: International Storytelling Festival at Ti Chulain Centre Co. Armagh, Cape Clear Storytelling Festival, Kilcullen Triple Spiral Storytellers, Cork Yarnspinners, and now with Moth & Butterfly in Galway.

Catch Monique telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box


British Indian storyteller Peter Chand is one of Europe’s most renowned storytellers and is constantly in demand for his tales of wisdom, love, and the supernatural. He has shared his tales across Britain and has also performed in Norway, France, Austria, Canada, and Singapore, amongst other countries. He is also a Trainer of repute, leading workshops with teachers, librarians, budding storytellers, and anyone trying to find their voice and gain confidence when performing in public. Peter is also part of the organising team of Festival at the Edge, which is the oldest storytelling festival in England, and is currently Storyteller in Residence at The Story Museum in Oxford.
“Peter transports the listener into his world with remarkable energy and great expression… I was spellbound” Kim Normanton Producer BBC Radio Four

Peter will be part of Tales of The Tale on Friday evening.


Maria spent 22 years in a Global Multinational environment, and became a Biodynamic Therapist (graduated from the Centre for Biodynamic and Integrative Psychotherapy, Galway 2007), graduating from the MA programme in Drama therapy Maynooth in 2010. During the Lockdown Maria has hosted ZOOM storytelling sessions with global input for Storytellers of Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day and World Storytelling Day. She was Bean an Tí for the Mermaid Arts Centre Bealtaine Festival. In 2018 and 2019 Maria featured as an emerging storyteller in the annual Cape Clear Storytelling festival. She won the Mick McCarthy All Ireland Storytelling competition in Finuge with her own original tales harvested from her work with the six part story and collecting local wisdoms through story. She was a featured teller at the annual Listowel Writers Week in 2017. In 2017 she won the Butter Road Storytelling Competition in Blarney with an original story about the Butter Roads.

Catch Maria telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box


Sorcha Keane is a freelance theatre and festival producer from Dublin. She has been Festival Director with Galway Theatre Festival since June 2018.  Sorcha has worked in the corporate sector as an administrator and travel and event manager. She also works with Galway County Council as a producer, and is delighted to be working with Moth and Butterfly on their first festival! An erstwhile academic,  Sorcha has an MA in Theatre & Drama from NUIG, focusing on historically neglected women playwrights. She has an interest in all things theatre and art, intersectional feminism and beekeeping!

As Festival producer, Sorcha will be keeping an eye on the tickets as well as an ear on the stories


Anna-Kaisa Kettunen is a Finnish theatre instructor and culture producer. She has been working with children and youngsters teaching theatre for over a decade, and produces the Irish Festival of Oulu in Northern Finland. Anna-Kaisa got into storytelling through working at the festival. She toured Oulu libraries and kindergartens with a storytelling performance for two years before starting her masters studies at Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

Anna-Kaisa will be part of Tales of The Tale on Friday evening.


Rebecca grew up with plenty of books and music and not a screen in sight. She completed a degree in English, Spanish and Theatre & Performance and worked as a dramaturgy assistant in a German theatre, education support worker, blogger, tutor, research assistant, helper to a landscape gardener and editor for community radio in Galway and Cologne. At the international crossroads of chance, she met Peruvian storyteller Wayqui who fortunately introduced her to the art form. Rebecca took part in his festival Todas las Palabras Todas and was his interpreter atvarious storytelling events in Germany. In Ireland, Rebecca volunteered at the Cape Clear Storytelling festival and is a crew member of Moth & Butterfly. She currently studies psychology.

Catch Rebecca telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box


Founder & Artistic Director of Moth & Butterfly, Órla Mc Govern is an award-winning Storyteller, performer and writer based in The West of Ireland. She performs, tells stories and leads workshops at venues small and large around the world. Her plays have been produced globally and she has written two books of stories ‘Dublin Folk Tales For Children’ & ‘Wild Waves & Wishing Wells’ (The History Press). She is a trustee of Galway collective Theatre 57 and a member of Connemara Artist group Interface Inagh. As well as theatre performance she acts for film and TV. Some credits include ‘Stay’, ‘Lily’, Sanctuary, and ‘North Circular Road’. She is a member of Ohana, the European Collective of Improvisors, and she loves to swim in the sea!
Find Órla on Facebook

You can catch Órla at Tales of The Tale, The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box
and The International Story Swap.


Jonathan Pitts is an award-winning international improv theatre artist and storyteller. He’s performed and/or taught in 25 countries and 81 cities. He’s the former Executive Director of Chicago Improv Productions; Co-Founder and Producer of Chicago Improv Festival; Founder and Producer of College Improv Tournament; Founder and Producer of Chicago Podcast Festival; Founder and Producer of Teen Comedy Fest. For 16 years he taught at Second City and is a contributing writer to Anne Libera’s book, “The Second City Improv Almanac”. Currently Jonathan performs and teaches on Zoom.

Catch Jonathan telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box, & teaching The Armando Workshop


Ray Quinn is an electronic engineer with an interest in theatre and arts. He has had work exhibited at Burning Man in Nevada, Electric Picnic, Body & Soul and All Together Now music festivals, along with installations at arts festivals  throughout Ireland. Ray’s collaborations included The Light Of Love, Nellie and the Yip Yip and The Black Phone Box. Ray is the captain of the Goodship M&B Website, and has been a regular audience teller at the monthly Moth & Butterfly event in Galway.

As Team Web captain, Ray is omnipresent


Jackie Roantree was born and bred in Dublin’s inner-city and lives in the west of Ireland over 30 years. She became involved with performance after a mis-spent youth in Dublin Youth Theatre and Marino VEC where she danced, performed and painted before heading to New York,  attending The Actors Studio, performing in theatre and community arts and nannying. After a brief spell in London she ended up in Galway where she ran away with a sailor and moved to Inis Mór where she raised her children.  She is currently living in Galway city doing a BA in contemporary art, to tie together the connections of visual art,  performance, storytelling and character improv (as well as yoga and teaching swimming!). Jackie has been a regular part of the Moth and Butterfly crew for 8 years, and is particularly interested in the personal stories elements.

Catch Jackie telling in The Moth & Butterfly Selection Box



John Row is a veteran of the festival scene for half a century, and has told stories on five continents as far north as Lapland and as far south as Indonesia and as far west as Texas and as far east as Brunei. He has managed the storytelling tents on the Kidz Field at Glastonbury Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival for over twenty years. Throughout the pandemic he has curated the website, Over the years he has visited hundreds of schools in over a dozen countries. His book of stories Out of the Hat is published by Caboodle Books.  ‘I saw those storybook faces again at Cropredy Festival… outside the children’s tent was a crowd of kids sitting rapt before John Row…’ The Independent.

John will be telling at Stories For Children on Saturday Morning


Liz Weir is an Irish storyteller with an international reputation. She was the first winner of the International Story Bridge Award from the National Storytelling Network, USA, which cited her “exemplary work promoting the art of storytelling”. She has told her stories to people of all ages on five continents. She has performed in pubs and prisons and hospital rooms. She worked on stages in the mighty Vanderbilt Hall of New York’s Grand Central Station and in the Royal Albert Hall. Liz has written two collections of stories for children Boom Chicka Boom and Here, There and Everywhere (O’Brien Press) and When Dad Was Away (Frances Lincoln Books), a picture book based on her work in prisons. Liz owns Ballyeamon Barn, a hostel and cultural centre located in the beautiful Glens of Antrim. She is the director of the Glens Storytelling Festival, and a committee member of the Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival. In 2019 Liz was  awarded an MBE for her services to the arts and education.

Liz will be part of Tales of The Tale on Friday evening.