Relating to the Second World War

Waiting for the Parade offers more than just a re-enactment of history

Ashley Wadhwani, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Marta, played by Anita Wittenberg, sings a musical number with the rest of the cast during dress rehearsal. Image courtesy Western Canada Theatre

Marta, played by Anita Wittenberg, sings a musical number with the rest of the cast during dress rehearsal. Image courtesy Western Canada Theatre

Western Canada Theatre brings Waiting for the Parade, a play-meets-musical about the women on the home front in Calgary during the Second World War, to Kamloops from March 27 to April 5 at the Sagebrush Theatre.

For Ashlie Corcoran, artistic director for Thousand Islands Playhouse and director of Waiting for the Parade, this particular show may be set during a historic time period but includes timeless social issues that are still relatable today.

“What’s so exciting about this play is that it doesn’t feel like history – it feels like problems that we face now. The context is historical, but the interpersonal problems make a lot of sense to me,” Corcoran said.

Waiting for the Parade shares the history lesson we have all heard before: men leaving to serve in the war give women the opportunity to leave the confines of their homes and enter the workforce, changing the social roles of women from that point onward. However, the difference that sets this play from others is the perspective it takes.

“I think TRU students share the same experience as me, where I hear about the war through my grandparent’s experience of the war. So you are hearing about it from people a few generations older than you, trying to imagine what it was like when they were younger people experiencing all of that,” Corcoran said.

Rather than continuing to hear that the story from that perspective, Corcoran said that the play takes on the perspective of younger people.

“It feels alive and more tangible, and it feels less like history and more like real life,” Corcoran said.

During the press event held on March 19, Corcoran said that even more musical numbers have been incorporated into this particular production of the play. The cast of five presented a musical number singing about the male attention they have been receiving from men that are not their husbands.

Judging by their performance, the cast shares a well-developed chemistry as well as a great sounding, strong harmony. With the characters reflecting the old and young wives that were left behind, it makes sense that this play has something for everyone.

“Whether you were born in 1910, 1980 or 1990, these are real true human emotions that we can understand and sympathize with,” Corcoran said.