New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the 50th Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

Kean Stage and Liberty Hall Museum Present A World War I Christmas Story

originally published: 12/05/2017

Kean Stage and Liberty Hall Museum Present A World War I Christmas Story

(UNION, NJ) -- Kean Stage and Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University are honored to present a stirring musical adaptation of an actual event that took place during World War I. All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 will be performed at 7:00pm on Sunday, December 10, and 10:30am on Monday, December 11, at Wilkins Theatre in Union.

In November 1914, Winston Churchill pondered, "What would happen, I wonder, if the armies suddenly and simultaneously went on strike?"

His idea became reality on Christmas Day 1914, when thousands of Allied and German soldiers laid down their arms to celebrate the holiday together. Out of the violence came a silence, then a song, when a German soldier stepped into No Man’s Land singingStille Nacht. The men traded carols, shared food and drink, played soccer and buried each others' dead. They exchanged gifts of tobacco, rum and chocolates; even photographs of loved ones. This extraordinary night of camaraderie, music and peace took place during the first year of the war, and was never repeated. Upon orders, both sides resumed fighting the next day, returning to a war that would last four more years.

Steve Cochran, manager of Kean Stage, said, "It’s the perfect show to celebrate the upcoming 100-year anniversary of Armistice Day, the day World War I came to an end."

This historic event is recreated in All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, written by playwright Peter Rothstein, founding artistic director of the Minnesota-based Theater Latté Da.

“I studied World War I in high school and college, but I don’t remember reading about the Christmas truce in any of my textbooks,” Rothstein said. “The propaganda machine of war is powerful, and news of soldiers fraternizing across enemy lines would put a human face on the Germans and readily undermine public support for the war.”

Rothstein spent two years researching the event, going so far as to travel to war museums and libraries in Belgium and London to collect their accounts of the truce. The show’s text is taken from a wide range of sources including soldiers’ letters and diary entries, official war documents, poetry, gravestone inscriptions, and even an old radio broadcast.

“The heroes of this story are the lowest of the ranks — the young, the hungry, the cold and the optimistic — those who acted with great courage to put down their guns, overcoming a fear that placed a gun in their hands in the first place,” said Rothstein. “Their story puts a human face on war, and that’s the story I hope to tell.”

The music ranges from trench songs to patriotic and sentimental tunes, as well as Christmas music from the participating countries. There are currently 10 singer/actors in the show.

“I think the most stirring part of the theatrical event is that the story is told entirely in their own words and their own songs,” said Rothstein. “I wrote the short epilogue but other than that the entire story is told by the men of World War I.”

The show premiered in a live radio broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio and has since been seen around the world. Some of the most powerful responses have been from veterans who were able to experience the show from their VA hospital.

“Here are the words and the songs of these remarkable men,” said Rothstein. “Completing the story, putting a human face on war — well, that’s up to you. To the thousands of men who changed history, thank you. May we do your story justice.”

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 will take place at 7:00pm on Sunday, December 10, and 10:30am on Monday, December 11, at Wilkins Theatre, located on Kean's Union campus at 1000 Morris Ave. Tickets are $25 to $35 and are available by calling the box office at 908-737-7469 or visiting www.keanstage.com. Ticket holders are invited to a pre-show holiday reception in the theater lobby on Sunday, December 10 from 5:30pm to 6:45p.m.


 







The Lord Stirling Theater Company Presents "Treasure Island"
(BASKING RIDGE, NJ) -- The Lord Stirling Theater Company will present Treasure Island in the English Barn Theater at the Farmstead Arts Center October 5-7 and October 12-14. Adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy for You) from the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island follows the adventures of a boy named Jim Hawkins who comes into possession of a treasure map.
Premiere Stages to Present World Premiere of Liberty Live Commission "Black Tom Island"
(UNION, NJ) -- Premiere Stages at Kean University will present Martin Casella’s Black Tom Island from October 11-21 at Liberty Hall Museum (1003 Morris Avenue, Union, N.J.). Originally commissioned over a two-year cycle through Premiere’s Liberty Live Commission, Black Tom Island will feature actors Damian Buzzerio, Mason Hensley, Jenna Krasowski and Bart Shatto. Producing artistic director John J. Wooten directs.
American Poetry Theater Presents "Gun Love"
(LONG BRANCH, NJ) -- The American Poetry Theater presents Gun Love from October 5-7.  The play, written by cast and community members, runs about one hour and is a collection of monologues and a skit dealing with gun violence in America.  
Seuls en Scene 2018 Runs This Week At Lewis Center For The Arts
(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Department of French and Italian, and L’Avant-Scène will present the seventh annual Seuls en ScèneFrench Theater Festival, which will take place from September 21 to 29 at venues across the University’s campus. Most performances will be in French with English subtitles; all are free and open to the public.
Smugbug Productions presents The Eleventh Hour! at The Raritan River Festival
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The Eleventh Hour!'s Chris Pasi with composer David Seamon for a night of acoustic renditions of songs from the rock musical comedy at the Raritan River Festival at Boyd Park in New Brunswick, NJ on Sunday, September 30 at 1:00pm. 


Two River Theater Presents The World Premiere of "Pamela's First Musical"
If anyone ever doubts that New Jersey is home to great theatre, just point them to the world premiere of “Pamela’s First Musical” at Two River Theater. The cast and creative behind this show by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang includes a combined total of more than 25 Tony Award nominations and seven wins. It’s a cast that would look impressive at any theatre – Broadway  or otherwise. According to one of the stars, the opportunity to work with the 10-time Tony Award nominee director/choreographer Graciela Daniele and to be part of a new musical was too good to pass up.
The Jersey Devil on stage: An interview with playwright Brandon Monokian
Up-and-coming New Jersey native Brandon Monokian has worked as an actor, writer, director, producer, and popcorn sample distributor. He wrote and starred in the film Happy Yummy Chicken and co-founded the production company Love Drunk Life with Katie Frazer. Together they have produced plays, films, books, and, to support their creative work financially, a product line: lovedrunklife.com. Monokian received national attention through Revolutionary Readings (his TEDx talk at Princeton Library), which was used to fight the banning of the book Revolutionary Voices from two New Jersey libraries. 
An Interview With Nicole Pandolfo
Nicole Pandolfo is a talented playwright from New Jersey whose work has been produced on four continents along with readings and productions throughout the Garden State. Her play, Brick City, is currently being presented at Premiere Stages at Kean University now through September 23rd. The play was commissioned and developed via the NJPAC Stage Exchange program. Premiere's production features Rafael Benoit, Jacqueline Correa, Madison Ferris and Chris Grant under the direction of Jessi D. Hill.
Ritz Opens Season With "Incorruptible"
Fun seems to be the operative word for “Incorruptible,” the production that opens the fall season at  the Ritz Theatre Company on Thursday, September 13.
"Bright Star" at Surflight Theatre
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Broadway musical “Bright Star” has come to Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven. The comedian and the songwriter created the show after collaborating on a Grammy-winning bluegrass album called “Love Has Come For You.” “Bright Star” is set in the American South in the 1920s and ’40s, and it’s on a similar musical wavelength. We recently spoke with Surflight’s Artistic Director Steve Steiner, actor Adrianne Hick and director Elizabeth Lucas about bringing “Bright Star” to Long Beach Island.






Event calendar
Thursday, Sep 20, 2018


MUSIC

ELI YOUNG BAND WITH CODY BRYAN @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

CELTIC THUNDER X @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm

Lost 80's Live @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Citizen Cope @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

ICON 2018: ELIMINATION ROUND 2 @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

Linda Eder @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Auditions for Seussical at CDC Theatre @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 7:00pm

Playhouse 22's Third-Thursday Play Reading Series @ Playhouse 22, East Brunswick - 7:30pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Opening Reception @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 6:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 8:00pm


FILM

New Jersey Film Festival @ Ruth Adams Building #001, New Brunswick - 6:00pm


KIDS

Crybaby Matinee: The Triplets of Belleville @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events










 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.