Media Release

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Theatre Rusticle presents in association with Harbourfront Centre

APRIL 14, 1912
inspired by the true story of Harold Bride, Second Marconi Officer on HMS Titanic

August 16, 2007--Toronto's "Best Movement Based Theatre Company" (2006 NOW), Theatre Rusticle presents a poetically poignant tale in honour of the 95th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Set on an iceberg in our collective memories APRIL 14, 1912 weaves together three viewpoints on one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century combining eye witness accounts and their own inimitable physical style.

The "practically unsinkable" ship was setting a record run from Southampton to New York when it received a glancing blow from an iceberg. Marconi officers Harold Bride and Jack Phillips worked through the night sending everything from personal messages and ice warnings to distress calls via the wireless radio. The men worked as the water rose up to their ankles and even after they were released from their posts. Once they abandoned ship, Bride spent the night underneath and then on top of an upside down lifeboat. He was rescued, severely frostbitten and disfigured, and played an instrumental role in the inquiries into the accident. Jack Phillips succumbed to exposure on the very same raft. The ship split in two and sank off the coast of Halifax with a loss of life of 1500 people.

A sell-out at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 1998, APRIL 14, 1912 gathers us at 41 46'N, 50 24'W on an evening when three spirits, Bride, Phillips and the Ship herself, collide once again to tell their tales. Inextricably bound, they celebrate the grandeur and dreams of the Gilded Age, their lives and losses. Their stories remind us that the quest to advance technology cannot be at the expense of human life or with disregard for Nature.

APRIL 14, 1912 removes the shackles of history and explores one of the greatest tragedies of our age as a poetic memory ~ expressionistic, physically aggressive and emotionally resonant. April 14, 1912 unites core Rusticle performers, Dora Award nominees actor Patrick Conner (The Stronger Variations, Poochwater), actor/dancer Matthew Romantini (The Stronger Variations, The Gorey Story, Kokoro Dance Projects/Vancouver) and recent Harold Recipient dancer Lucy Rupert (The Stronger Variations, Speed of Our Vertigoes, Wild Blue). Lighting designer and Dora Nominee (The Stronger Variations) Michelle Ramsay, scenic designer and 2007 Pauline McGibbon Emerging Artist Award Winner, Lindsay Anne Black (Would the Real JT Leroy Please Stand Up & Tarragon Theatre) and Artistic Director Allyson McMackon (also of the acclaimed Trudeau Stories) round out the team. The magnitude of the sinking of the Titanic is something many of us cannot imagine. It has been exploited and parodied almost to the point of cliché. Harold Bride wore the evening in his frostbitten and mangled legs for the rest of his life. The Ship kept her secrets in her ripped body 6000 feet below the sea. Phillips lived on in the calls and rhythms floating and crashing through the Atlantic waves. Our bodies remember whether we are flesh and bone, spirit or wreckage. APRIL 14, 1912 celebrates and honours memory and asks us not to forget our folly, our courage or our belief.

APRIL 14, 1912
SEPTEMBER 21st - 29th, 2007 (9 performances only!!) Studio Theatre, York Quay Centre, 235 Queen's Quay West
Friday 21st, through Saturday, 29th at 8 pm  Sept. 23rd & Sept. 29th matinees at 3 pm Tickets $12 - $17  Harbourfront Centre Box Office (416) 973-4000
www.theatrerusticle.org  www.harbourfrontcentre.com
Featuring: Patrick Conner (Harold Bride), Matthew Romantini (Jack Phillips) & Lucy Rupert (The Ship). Stage Management by Fiona Jones * Scenic Design & Ship Costuming by Lindsay Anne Black
Lighting Design by Michelle Ramsay * Direction by Allyson McMackon

What The Press Says

" Superbly deconstructed...an expressionistic journey into the subconscious...Theatre Rusticle makes for very compelling theatre". Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail.

"McMackon knows how to give vibrant physical and textual life to a scene". Jon Kaplan, Plays International Vol.22.

"A brilliantly executed piece of theatre". Robert Cushman, The National Post.

"...intense and nuanced performances that resonate throughout the entire body". James Simons, eye weekly
“…a piercing intelligence…McMackon gives shape and form to the inexpressible”. Glenn Sumi, NOW

“ A stunning piece of theatre from Toronto…a firmly rooted but exotic gem”. Les Gutman, Curtain UP

For downloadable media photos and info, please visit www.theatrerusticle.org

Contact for Theatre Rusticle: Allyson McMackon allymcmackon@sympatico.ca (416) 538-6964
Contac for Harbourfront Centre: Bill Bobek wbobek@harbourfrontcentre.com (416) 973-4428



About the Company

Theatre Rusticle was formed in 1998 by theatre artist Allyson McMackon. We create original and daring work inspired by plays, poems, history and literature with an eye to the relationship between text and movement. We are committed to creating plays that are spare yet image drenched and embrace the language of text and the body. Like the rusticles we are named after, we eat away at the raw material of our sources and leave beautiful, haunting forms behind. Our raw material is text, the body, emotion and narrative. Our forms are the plays we create.

Our work is embodied, using a physical and visceral process (rooted in the work of Grotowski, Linda Putnam, clowning, authentic movement and dance) alongside rigorous distillation of text and action. We embrace the imagination, play, the deeply personal, the deeply anonymous and the inner lives of both performer and character. In our work, the process is not hidden inside the performance, but a transparent layer breathing life and density into it.

We are driven by a need to create theatre that is not limited to naturalism, but embraces something more expansive and collaborative. We believe in the wisdom of the body and diverse theatrical practices that allow us create work that is human, and asks artists and audiences alike how they define themselves and the world we live in. Our plays are challenging, dream-like, capricious and rich with meaning.

A child of fringe festivals, we performed our first work, Bride’s Albatross at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in 1998 and since then have created work ranging from the sinking of the Titanic and Pierre Trudeau to Virginia Woolf and Restoration Comedy. We were incorporated as a not for profit charitable organization in March 2005.

Theatre Rusticle has been honoured with Dora nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design ~ Michelle Ramsay for The Stronger Variations 2007 and Brooke Johnson for Outstanding Performance in Wish, 2006 in the Independent Theatre Category.
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