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Our Eliza Heads Home For The Iceberg Festival June 2013

For immediate release:
Our Eliza Heads Home For The Iceberg Festival June 2013
May 16th , 2013
St. John’s—Poverty Cove Theatre Company (PCTC) in Association with Arts and Culture Centre (ACC) is thrilled to announce the forthcoming spring tour of Megan Coles’ Our Eliza. Originally directed by renowned theatre veteran Lois Brown, the Our Eliza tour production has been remounted under the watchful eye of emerging director Shannon Hawes. The powerful original work tells the story of a rural Newfoundland community through a father daughter relationship and features the immensely talented Greg Malone, Renee Hackett and Steve Lush.
Our Eliza premiered its sold out run at the Barbara Barrett Theatre in St. John’s during February 2013. It then went on to sell out a second weekend of performances in the A.C. Hunter Library. Audience response to the play has been resoundingly enthusiastic with Gordon Jones of the Telegram calling Our Eliza “… deft and humourous in scripting and performance”.
Coles, originally from Savage Cove, says she is thrilled to be taking Our Eliza on tour and that it was the first play she wrote while at theatre school in Montreal
“I was very hesitant to declare myself a playwright at the time, especially in conversations with my family in rural Newfoundland. I was also feeling homesick. Writing the play was like going home for a couple hours
everyday and I was very grateful to visit even in this small way.”
The Our Eliza spring tour commences at the Stages Theatre Festival in Halifax May 29th-June 1st before embarking on a month long tour of the island commencing at the Iceberg Festival on the Northern Peninsula.
PCTC, co-founded by Megan Coles and Shannon Hawes, is an emerging theatre company interested in altering perceptions of what theatre is and where it happens. Hawes says she is delighted to be taking this story to the
place it was born out of.
“To be a part of presenting Megan’s work to the people and place that inspired Our Eliza is truly an honour. We
could not have done so without the encouragement and support of the ACC .”
Our Eliza is PCTC’s second production and first tour. Showtime 8pm. June 7th & 8th Sandy Cove Lions Club, June 9th Bird Cove Community Building, June 10th St. Anthony Elementary. Tickets $20. For information regarding
tickets and additional dates to be added visit Poverty Cove Theatre Company on Facebook, email us at povertycove@hotmail.com or call 709 456 2529.
Media Contact:
Shannon Hawes      Megan Coles
709 746 7574        709 743 0585
“[Our Eliza is]A true depiction of what life was like growing up in rural Newfoundland & Labrador not so long ago. It is masterfully crafted – capturing the audience from the first soundbite as it works its way through a powerful coming of age story.” Straits-White Bay North MHA Christopher Mitchelmore

We all have stories to tell…

We all have stories to tell. We share them with our friends, family and even the world through the social media. There is a time and space for this type of art form. I use my blog as a forum to share knowledge of culture, people, landscapes, business, heritage and history of the Great Northern Peninsula.  Our way of life has been viewed by nearly 180 countries world-wide and edging closer to 200,000 views. I may not have the talents of my grandfather Mitchelmore for storytelling, but I do my best to convey what is truly authentic to rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

This past weekend, my sister and I had a unique opportunity to be in the audience at the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre and were spectators to a performance scripted by a local playwright, Megan Coles.

Our Eliza is real – authentic. A true depiction of what life was like growing up in rural Newfoundland & Labrador not so long ago. It is masterfully crafted – capturing the audience from the first soundbite as it works its way through a powerful coming of age story. One exuding Newfoundland humour and wit, colourful language and actions that will keep you wanting more, long after the curtain closes. Our Eliza is the type of story that must be told beyond centre stage, it should be shared with Outport Newfoundland & Labrador – one of which we can all reflect upon as to who we truly are as a people – a society.                                                                                                 -Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA

St. John's-20130224-01483

When I picked up my tickets at the box office, I was asked my address. I responded, “Green Island Cove”. The person asked where that was and I said, “The Great Northern Peninsula”. She said, I will be in for a real treat with tonight’s showing and that it has been getting great reviews from those in attendance. This certainly raised my expectations, especially since Friday and Saturday night’s performances had sold out.

The very first soundbite set the stage of framing for the audience the hardship the moratorium would have on our way of life in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Actors Greg Malone (Author of “Don’t Tell The Newfoundlanders”), Joel Thomas Hynes and Renee Hackett turned the clock back more than twenty years and had us reminiscing only in the stories our parents and grandparents could had told us. Our Eliza, is the typical Newfoundland girl, who becomes a woman and the glue that kept many of us together especially when times got tough. The modest, yet powerful story that lasted about 1 hour and half was filled with humour, wit and antics in which I could easily relate. I do not want to give away the story-line  I want you to go experience it for yourself.

These talents have engaged in putting our culture, our life experiences into performance, which brings together many art forms. We can all learn something about our roots and the role in which space plays in it. I took a Newfoundland Society & Culture, in which I learned much about community order and our every day space. It was pleasing to hear writer and co-producer Megan Coles, and co-producer Shannon Hawes, founders of The Poverty Cove Theatre Company open the show highlighting the minimalism utilized in staging, as well as the desire to be able to tell this story in non-conventional spaces. On March 2 & 3, the performance has found a home in the Library of the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre. You can purchase tickets at www.artsandculturecentre.com.

Thank you Megan Coles for sharing with us your creative talents and all those involved with the current production. You have made Our Eliza, a part of all of us. I only hope this story gets told throughout rural Newfoundland & Labrador where it can be at home, especially the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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