Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Christmas Truce of 1914 tells the tale of those who lived it

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., tickets start at $27.50, uccspresents.org. - DAN NORMAN
  • Dan Norman
  • All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, 7 p.m., Ent Center for the Arts, 5225 N. Nevada Ave., tickets start at $27.50, uccspresents.org.
Many soldiers thought World War I, which started in July 1914, would be over by Christmas, but fighting continued throughout the months, and many of these soldiers had to spend their holiday on a battlefield. But on the evening of Dec. 24, and throughout the next day, many troops on both sides initiated a Christmas cease-fire — without the permission of their superiors. Stories abound of Allied and German soldiers playing soccer together, sharing sweets and cigarettes or helping bury each other’s dead. This remarkable and impromptu truce — never again repeated during the war — has served as a reminder that some aspects of humanity will always unite us, such as the indomitable urge to find beauty in terrible times.
Playwright Peter Rothstein immortalized this event in his 2007 musical, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, which made its off-Broadway debut this year. Using pieces of letters, autobiographies and radio broadcasts interwoven with Christmas songs and trench tunes, All Is Calm presents the tale in the words of the people who lived it. “For decades, the truce was considered a romantic fable, fiction,” Rothstein told Playbill in July, “and I wanted to give legitimate voice to this remarkable moment that had somehow been denied its rightful place in history. I cannot express how gratifying it has been to share the story of these heroic men, in their own words, across the country and around the globe.” Rothstein’s theater company, Theater Latté Da, will be bringing this production to the Ent Center for the Arts Wednesday night only.

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