Brawling Bard Theater


Brawling Bard : The Origin Story


In 2013, Alan Irvine and Tonya Lynn discovered that Pittsburgh was about to get its very own fringe festival. Alan and Tonya, with the help of Liz Irvine, quickly came up with a concept for a show that would combine their love of Shakespeare and comedy with Tonya’s stage combat expertise. They submitted a proposal. When it was accepted, Alan realized that someone would have to write this show, and that someone was him. And so “The Compleat Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Will Shakespear” was born. Featuring comic takes on Shakespeare’s works and a plethora of sword fights, fist fights, and other fights, the show won the Audience Choice award for the 2014 Pittsburgh Fringe. And we had so much fun doing, we decided to try again the next year. We have gone on to produce an original show each year for the Pittsburgh Fringe, winning the Spirit of the Fringe award (2015), Best Ensemble (2016), honorable mention for Best in Show (2018), and Audience Choice (2019). We have also performed at the Rochester Fringe (2016). 

Over the years, we have developing into an ongoing troupe of players incorporating actors, storytellers, side-show performers, and magicians. We all have our own artistic careers and endeavors, but periodically come together as Brawling Bard. Over the years we have developed a style of performing that emphasizes direct address to, and interaction with the audience, along with physical comedy and fight work.

Your generous donations help us cover the costs of bringing our show to you - especially in paying the performers. The more you donate, the more groceries they can buy!

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Our Current Project

2020 Pittsburgh Virtual Fringe: The Compleat Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Will Shakespear

When the 2020 Pittsburgh Fringe shifted to an online event due to The Great Shutdown, we realized the show we were rehearsing would not work online. So we took the opportunity to revisit our very first show, adapting it into a Zoom  webinar.  Come and join us:

 When: May 2, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)  
Topic: The Compleat Guide to Murder and Mayhem by Will Shakespear  

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.  

What's next for Brawling Bard?

We still hope to perform the show we had planned for this year, "The Scottish Play," perhaps at other fringes this fall, definitely for Pittsburgh next year.
In the meantime, we are thinking about an original show designed for Zoom and then trying out some audio drama. If you want to know about our next project, whatever it ends up being, sign up for our mailing list below.

Contact Us

Want to get on our mailing list so that you hear about our upcoming projects? Contact us now. (You can ask us a question, too.)

Brawling Bard Theater