News Column

World War I Scenes to Be Performed at Veterans Museum

June 20, 2014

By Kyle Spurr, The Chronicle, Centralia, Wash.

June 20--The events that led up to World War I a century ago will be performed by actors from the Evergreen Playhouse during a production Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

About 20 actors will produce a series of vignettes, or short scenes, to commemorate the events that caused World War I.

Veterans Memorial Museum Director Chip Duncan said the performance at 2 p.m. Saturday is the only presentation he has seen around the state that honors the start of the first global war.

Duncan said the local actors will portray the assassination of Princess Sissi and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Balkan Conflict, the Austrian Court, events in England, Germany, France and Russia.

"There are no World War I veterans alive. It rolls back to what we do for the Civil War. We do reenactments and performances," Duncan said.

In a partnership with the local playhouse, the Veterans Museum began writing the script for the scenes in January. The actors started rehearsing about three weeks ago.

The playhouse and museum, which previously partnered together for a murder mystery dinner last Christmas, provided the costumes for the World War I play.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict.

Since the United States did not enter the war until 1917, Duncan said, many people are not aware of what sparked the Great War.

"Unless you studied the history, you will not know what caused it or what started it," Duncan said.

"It happened 100 years ago. There is a generation that is gone now. If we don't bring it to the forefront, it could be forgotten."

WWI was the first war to use technology such as ships, airplanes, telephones and artillery that included machine guns and poison gas.

"Things like that allowed it to be a global conflict," Duncan said. "It was the most brutal war we have ever seen since."


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Source: Chronicle, The (Centralia, WA)

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