A MEMORY OF HEROISM
A FUTURE OF PEACE

Easter Rising presents a day-by-day account of one of Ireland's greatest historical events as told, for the first time, by Patrick Pearse himself.

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Now available in AUDIO BOOK format for a new listening adventure.

The CD of this seminal event is suitable for both home and educational environments. This two CD set contains all three acts of the premiere stage production while maintaining the artistic integrity and emotional power of the original. Easter Rising ranks among the great dramas of the twentieth century and we are pleased to make it available to every student of Irish history and every lover of theatre throughout the world.

To buy the audio book, contact Brian Gordon Sinclair:

Box 337
Alliston, Ontario
Canada L9R 1V6
Tel: 705-435-4814
Fax: 705-435-1755

e-mail Brian

BACKGROUND

The death of a parent is a seminal event in each and every life. With the passing of my Irish-born mother came the loving recollection of a strong woman who raised me in a cold water flat, cleaned houses for a living, cared for a war wounded husband, and coped with the frustrations of an all male family. Inherent in her was the will to survive and an indomitable fighting spirit, a spirit that is common to the Irish people. At this time, a desire to know more about this spirit and to explore my roots was kindled.

This desire became enflamed by the discovery of an incredible historical event...the Irish revolution of 1916. The events of the Rising combined to form one of the great dramas of the 20th century. Amazingly, no one, until now, had ever written a play detailing this adventure, much less presenting it from the viewpoint of Patrick H. Pearse.....poet, lawyer, visionary, educationalist, and rebel.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The 1916 Irish Easter uprising was the first successful revolution in 20th century Europe. A courageous band of revolutionaries, though scorned by most of their fellow Irishmen, were convinced that through their defeat and deaths they would arouse the Irish people to a victorious fight for independence. Incredibly, they were right, and out of the Easter Rising came a resurgence of the Irish nationalism which led ultimately to Irish Independence......the Irish Free State in 1922 and the Republic of Ireland in 1948.

The General Post Office in Dublin, headquarters for the Easter Rising

RESEARCH

Six weeks in Ireland allowed me to walk in the literal footsteps of the heroes of 1916 and to come into contact with the most helpful group of people I have ever encountered......Pat Cooke and Turlough Breathnach at the Pearse Museum, Niamh O'Sullivan at the Kilmainham Jail Museum, and Michael Kenny at the National Museum of Ireland. Costume sketches were prepared by artist/historian F. Glenn Thompson and a multitude of original documents and books were assembled. This material was digested and revised over a period of 18 months resulting in a final script, ready for rehearsal in preparation for the Easter anniversary of the Rising.

REHEARSAL PROCESS

As each scene was methodically workshopped with moment-to-moment precision, Mary Logan and her team of Stratford Festival costumers created a precise replica of the Thompson drawing using materials and weaponry purchased in Canada, England, and Ireland. At the same time, Stratford sound engineer Paul Benedict created a superb soundtrack that included poetry by both P.H. Pearse and W.B. Yeats as well as a wide selection of authentic Irish rebel music.

Simultaneously, over 150 period photos and documents, many provided by RTE, were turned into slides. Projectors, dissolve units, special lens for rear projection, portable mylar screens, and a full CD sound system was purchased. One week prior to the April 24 anniversary of the Rising, all elements were in place. All that remained was a series of successful dress rehearsals prior to the moment when Easter Rising met its first audience.

THE PERFORMANCE

Easter Rising is a one-actor show presented by a Guthrie Award-winning actor at the peak of his powers. As the play reached into the hearts and souls of its audience, people actually relived this exciting moment of Irish history. When the performance was over, audience members felt and understood the true purpose of the play......to appreciate the heroism but to be horrified at the bloodshed of war and to join in the author's intention of moving towards a future of peace.

Audience reaction was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Comments included the following statements: "Sinclair becomes the character... he exudes passion... Sinclair's dramatic delivery has incredible impact... like no other play presented on stage in the area... the audience is transported to the heart of Dublin and the uprising... Sinclair's final soliloquy moved the audience to tears... Sinclair manages to present this incredible and tragic story without depressing the audience. There is something uplifting about the hope and sacrifice of Pearse... You must take the show to Toronto... to Ottawa... to Belfast... to Dublin."

Read letters of support from the Governor-General of Canada, Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Member of Parliament for London-Fanshawe