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Stories And Songs Of The War Years High School Troupe To Bring Production to England After Yarmouth Run November 4, 2003 Article in The Vanguard (Yarmouth NS) By Tina Comeau Since last spring, 440 Productions - a non-profit stage and video production high school group - has been in rehearsals, gearing up for this year’s production of “Time to Remember - Songs and Stories of the War Years” But with plans to take the show on the road to southern England in the spring, it’s also been a time to prepare, a time to plan and most importantly a time to fund raise. Because of the plans to travel to England, as well as some possible touring among various Legion branches in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the cost of running the 2003-04 season is estimated to be in the range of $75,000. Fund-raising is under way. The group has approached around 75 companies - some local, others located elsewhere in Canada - seeking donations. It has also approached the municipal level of government. Legion branches in Nova Scotia have also been contacted. The group is also performing Time to Remember at Th’YARC. Four shows are planned in November. The dates are Nov. 14, 15, 21 and 22. Gearing up for this season has been both exciting and labour-intensive, according to Yarmouth high school teacher and 440 director George Egan. “After last year’s show (people) said this needs to move on, you need to take this out of here and on the road,” Egan says, “Then I began to hear about some other things that were being done in the Atlantic provinces and we would stack up to that without any question.” During the past 11 years 440 Productions - which gets its name from the coding for the high school course English 440 - has produced numerous musicals, choral presentations, stage productions and full-length movies. Twenty of 28 shows written and produced have been based on wartime history. This year’s production includes both current and former students in the program. The stories they perform are based in reality. They germinate from real stories and events as told by veterans, war brides and other ordinary people who lived through the war years. With veteran’s numbers continuing to decline, the importance of these stories living on, particularly among the youth, becomes even greater. The Telegraphist Air Gunners Association in England has invited 440 Productions to perform at its annual dinner on May 15. On May 16 the group will also attend an annual memorial service honoring those who died in World War II. “The Telegraphist Air Gunners Association are part of the navy and 50 percent of them were trained in Yarmouth at East Camp during World War II,” Egan says. “They came from England, Australia, New Zealand mostly, 17, 18 and 19 year-olds.” While in southern England next May, the five-day agenda of 440 Productions lends itself to the opportunity for other shows for other groups, as well as an educational tour for the students. And the students hope to bring something back that will enhance the war video movies it produces. “Every war movie has a scene of the White Cliffs of Dover in England in it”, Egan explains: “We use scenery over in Chegoggin. Well by heavens now we’re going to film on location.” The group also hopes to meet, or even perform for, Dame Vera Lynn, who lives in southern England. She is a popular British singer best remembered for her WWII recordings. Many of her songs are performed by the students in their wartime productions. Egan says Dame Vera Lynn supports various charities and 440 Productions is willing to perform shows to raise money for any of these organisations. But for now the priority is to raise money for itself. The upcoming Time to Remember performances at Th’YARC will be 7:30 p.m. on each of the four nights. There is no reserve seating. Tickets are selling for $12 and can be purchased at the high school, Th’YARC, and at the door.
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Stories And Songs Of The War Years High School Troupe To Bring Production to England After Yarmouth Run November 4, 2003
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