Batavia Arts Council to Premiere A MIDNIGHT CLEAR: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914, 12/18-20

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The Batavia Arts Council presents the premiere of Donna Latham's play A MIDNIGHT CLEAR: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914.

Are people capable of peace? In this historical World War I drama, war scatters a group of dear friends. Action swings between the trenches and London's home front. Percy, promised he would be home for Christmas, battles in No Man's Land. He grapples with his religious beliefs and moral compass in the face of war's new rules. With her loved ones entrenched in a war of attrition, Eugenie is entrenched in the home front. She defies Grandmama to take a nursing position in the hospital, determined to do her bit to help the war effort, hone her skills in medicine, and maintain hope.

In the most horrific of places, the historic Christmas Truce of 1914 sweeps across the Western Front. With an agreement forged from the trenches, weary soldiers take a leap of faith to halt brutal battles. Enemies wage a fleeting peace. British and German soldiers unite to celebrate Christmas. They bury their dead, share goodies from home, swap trinkets, and join voices in song.

"I believe this poignant moment of humanity resonates," playwright Latham said. "We daily confront complex issues of world peace. Of war's futility and horrors. We question our own beliefs and convictions and debate our course of action."

Latham's plays have been produced coast to coast and across the pond. A proud member of the Dramatist Guild, she was a regional finalist for the Kennedy Center David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, recipient of the National Theatre for Young Audiences Playwriting Award, and semi-finalist for the Playwrights First Award.

Actors Lisa Dawn Foertsch (Eugenie) and Anthony Mele (Corporal Percival Cavanaugh) play the lead roles. The cast features the talents of: August Anderson (German Officer), Chris Contreras (Bruno), Tom Davidson (Second German Soldier), Patrick Deering (Noah the Arcmeister), Mark Dettman (British Officer, Wounded Soldier), Matt Heine (First German Soldier), Michael Hudetz (Private Graham Asher), R. Scott Purdy, (Corporal Smith) Jennifer Richardson (Nurse Wiggins) Katelyn Rondinaro (Lillabeth), Matthew Rosario (Cornelius), Leigh Tracy (Recruiter), Amaria VonDran (Cagney), and Vicki White (Grandmama Cumberbatch).

The Batavia Arts Council produces the production, with Julane Sullivan directing. Kathleen Dooley is the musical director, and Bruce Worthel is the fight director. Joe Pietrie is the technical director, while Katherine Hart is the stage manager.

Performances will be staged at historic Shannon Hall, East Side Community Center in Batavia, IL, at 14 North Van Buren, corner of Wilson Street. Performance times: Friday, December 18, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 19, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 20, 6:00 p.m. Tickets for A MIDNIGHT CLEAR: THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 are $10.00 and may be purchased online at

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