Rising Tide Theatre, Trinity Bay

10 Jan 2011

Dark humour is the silver lining of Newfoundland and Labrador’s colonial history. Those early European settlers were the original survivors. Pirates, unpredictable weather, buccaneers disguised as governors, hard labour, wars, privation - all easy targets for the wits and wags who laughed and struggled onward through the fog of mercantile exploitation and inept colonial administration. Laughing in the face of danger may seem unseemly, but when the alternative is tears, you might as well laugh. And that’s been our motto ever since.

That tradition lives on in the narrow lanes of Trinity, Trinity Bay, where each summer actors with Rising Tide Theatre take history to the people with the New Founde Lande Trinity Pageant, the anchor event of the Seasons in the Bight Festival. It’s really a walking tour of the historic village, but it’s also a trip through time, with skits depicting various eras performed on a wharf, in a meeting house, on the beach, and in a church, among other locales. Tag along for an hour and meet some of the colourful characters from our history, and join in the grande finale - the singing of the Ode to Newfoundland in St. Paul’s Church.

The pageant is performed several times a week from mid-June to mid-October. If you arrive on an off-day, there are indoor performances of the current season’s crop of plays at the new theatre. Many of these works have sprung from the hearts and minds of local playwrights. There are also dinner theatre productions, plays for kids, and maybe a premiere of a new work.

But the biggest star of all is the town. Only 300 people live here, but they have more than their fair share of excellently preserved and restored traditional architecture,en historic sites, outstanding scenery and that indescribable feel of being in the centre of something magical. The surrounding area, Trinity Bight, has been the pretty backdrop for the feature film The Shipping News and the TV miniseries Random Passage.

For more information: www.risingtidetheatre.com