Students from Park University's Department of History will present a dramatic theater production to celebrate the 96th anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914. Readings of "Letters from the Front: The Christmas Truce of 1914" will be presented Thursday, Dec. 2, through Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Jenkin and Barbara David Theatre in Alumni Hall, located on the University's Parkville Campus. The production will be presented at 7 p.m. each night. Tickets, which can be purchased at the door, are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children under 18.
History majors will read from the British and German letters associated with the Christmas Truce of 1914. The production is directed and produced by Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history and chair of the University’s Department of Culture and Society.
As cast members read letters, there will be a corresponding photo in the background representing an aspect of each letter. The German solider letters are spoken in German with an English translation slide. If a soldier mentions a particular musical selection which may have been performed in 1914, a short clip of that song will play. At the conclusion of the production, the audience will be invited to join cast members to sing "Silent Night," which was sung on the battlefield by both armies.
"The humanity of war and the conundrum of the human existence were best represented 96 years ago this Christmas upon the 'No Man's Land' along the battlefront of Flanders during the Great War," Westcott said. "Our dramatic reading of actual British and German soldiers' letters reflects our own time of war and the all important means of communication between warrior and home front. During this season of Christmas, we hope to furnish a historical glimpse of the human spirit of 'Peace on Earth.'"
For more information about the event, contact Westcott at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 584-6364.