The Friday 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 2 p.m. performances include post-show "Talk Backs" with Peter Rothstein and members of the company. All audience members at these shows are invited to stay and participate.
Quickly becoming a new holiday tradition, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, recalls the remarkable, spontaneous World War I truce between Allied Forces and German soldiers in No Man's Land on Christmas 1914. This moving ode to peace was created by Theater Latté Da’s artistic director Peter Rothstein and features Cantus, one of America’s finest vocal ensembles, with musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. All Is Calm is a collaboration among Cantus, Theater Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust.
All Is Calm tells the story of this extraordinary event with words and songs from the Allied and German soldiers who laid down their arms in No Man’s Land to celebrate Christmas. In some places the truce lasted just for a night, in others until New Year's Day, but during those fleeting moments in a war that lasted four years, enemy troops traded carols, food and drink, played soccer matches and helped bury each other’s dead. This dramatic re-telling contains quotes from 30 World War I figures brought to life by actors John Catron, David Roberts and Alan Sorenson. The tapestry of sound ranges from patriotic tunes and trench songs to medieval Scottish ballads and holiday carols from England, Wales, France and Germany. The music is performed by the artists of Cantus, who also open the production with a set of Christmas carols arranged by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for his own battalion.
Rothstein, who developed All Is Calm for five years, said "I wanted to tell the story in their words, so I created the drama primarily through found text including letters, official war documents, autobiographies, World War I poetry, grave stone inscriptions and even an old radio broadcast. I was able to spend time along the Western Front and conduct extensive research in Brussels, Ieper, Paris and London. It was incredibly powerful to stand on the very spot and have access to the primary sources. For decades, the Christmas truce was considered a romantic fable, however there is no doubt thousands of men took part in this extraordinary event."
Said musical arranger Erick Lichte, "All Is Calm allows Cantus to sing Christmas carols that everyone knows and loves, but when set in the context of trench warfare, take on a new poignancy. Music was an important part of life in the trenches and was one of the primary factors that instigated the truce. The soldiers would hold impromptu concerts and exchange songs across No Man’s Land. And one brave German soldier put down his gun and stepped in the field singing 'Stille Nacht'."
All Is Calm is broadcast live each year on Classical Minnesota Public Radio and heard across the globe. It has also been broadcast internationally through American Public Media and the European Broadcast Union. The program won the Gold World Medal at the 2010 New York Festivals.
All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Presented by Cantus, Theatre Latté Da and Hennepin Theatre Trust
Student / Educator Rush will be available for all performances of All IS Calm
Now playing through December 22, 2012
$28.00 to $35.50