Award-Winning PUSH Physical Theatre Premieres "Flight 1549" PUSH: "like regular theatre...only more painful"

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Rochester, NY's award-winning PUSH Physical Theatre returns to the prestigious Geva Theatre Center in May with the World Premiere of "Flight 1549," inspired by that miraculous landing in the Hudson River and accompanied by its cockpit audio tape.

A pilot friend explained that it's a skill, called

Rochester's award-winning PUSH Physical Theatre returns to the prestigious Geva Theatre Center in May with the World Premiere of "Flight 1549," inspired by that miraculous landing in the Hudson River and accompanied by its cockpit audio tape.

"When I heard the audio tape, like everyone else, I was struck by how incredibly calm the pilot (Capt. Chesley Sullenberger) was," says PUSH Artistic Director Darren Stevenson. "A pilot friend explained that it's a skill, called "deliberate calm," which pilots practice for emergency situations, and that - to him - it felt like slowing down time. Since manipulating time and space is basically what PUSH does, I was immediately inspired to create this piece."

In "Flight 1549," PUSH Physical Theatre's five members alternately become the birds, the plane, the river, the passengers and more in this riveting "reenactment."

PUSH's program, entitled "Time Remix," will feature another World Premiere: "Time," which explores athletes' perception of time during competition, as well as a sneak peek at "PUSH's Dracula: The Shape of Evil," a major work in progress. The gravity-defying company returns to Geva's Nextstage May 29 - June 7, 2009 for 11 performances, following its sold-out run in February of 2008. Those Rochester Theatrefest performances featured the World Premiere of "-abled," an exploration of addiction using medical equipment such as crutches and walkers.

"By far, their performances...were the highlight of the entire (Theatrefest) season - so much so that I invited them back," says Geva Theatre Center Artistic Director Mark Cuddy. "They are a treasure."

Last month, PUSH Physical Theatre received the "Community of Color" Black History Month Anton Germano Dance Award, honoring advocates for an inclusive and diverse community who continue to effect positive change. The award was a result of Stevenson's performance on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1, 2008) of "The Soldier," in which he evolves from a young boy playing baseball into a soldier at war.

PUSH Physical Theatre has been called a "a cross between fine art sculpture and the hit movie, The Matrix," but its co-founders currently (and with tongue firmly in cheek) characterize it as: "like regular theatre...but more painful."

Founded in Rochester, NY in 2000 by husband-and-wife team, Darren and Heather Stevenson, PUSH represents the couple's desire to "push" the boundaries of conventional theatre. Its physical feats can be awe-inspiring (hence the "painful" attribute), but the cherry on top of this acrobatic sundae is PUSH's ability to grab hold of audiences' emotions through masterful storytelling.

In addition to a busy school performance and residency schedule (through Young Audiences, Rochester) as well as event and concert appearances, the company has toured the U.S. and England and been profiled on PBS and NPR.

PUSH Physical Theatre is also offering a one or two-week Summer Intensive for actors, dancers, mimes and movers (ages 18 and over) in Rochester, NY, July 6 - 18, 2009. Please visit http://www.pushtheatre.org for more information and registration.

Media, please note: High-resolution photographs and other press materials are available at http://www.pushtheatre.org. Additional photos and broadcast-quality video may be provided, or interviews and photo/footage opportunities arranged, upon request.

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