Activist, Educator, Soldier
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Robert Branch portrays Octavius Valentine Catto, an educator, a soldier, and a spokesperson for civil rights during the 1860s. Skillfully weaving storytelling and historic interpretation, Robert creates a dynamic depiction of this civil rights leader.
Robert is a native Philadelphian who earned his Bachelor of Science degree for mechanical engineering from Swarthmore College. He won the Innovator award from the Electric Power Research Institute for his work in foundry sand reclamation. He later spent over ten years n South Africa working with disadvantaged children where he was named Volunteer of the Year. Upon his return to the US he decided to pursue a career as a performer. He works as a Historic Interpreter, storyteller and tour guide. Robert Branch portrayed Catto during Mayor Nutter's press conference to announce the city's contribution toward a project to erect a statue at City Hall in Catto's honor. Robert has also performed Catto to support diversity initiatives at PNC Bank, law firms, universities and schools. He also performs reenactments of Robert Smalls as well.
Paddy Has Gone for a Soldier
Songs and Stories of the Soldiers of the Irish Brigade.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Through stories and songs Mike Plunkett brings to life the experience of the Irish immigrants who became American patriots. His music is lively and engaging with songs ranging from old Irish ballads to Civil War era songs of both the North and the South. Mike's stories, drawn from his research into the daily lives of Irish American soldiers, reveal the personal experiences of a typical soldier. The story of their fight for freedom in the New World is stirring and dramatic. They lived their faith and served their new country, joining "Erin's Harp and the Starry Flag" forever. The Irish faced many obstacles to acceptance in the New World and their contributions in the War made a significant contribution to their ultimate assimilation.
Mike sings and plays guitar, mandolin, and octave mandolin.