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Stories And Songs Of The War Years - Students Enjoying Their Roles November 4, 2003 Article in The Vanguard (Yarmouth NS) By Tina Comeau The young people who have spent many months gearing up for the stage production “Time to Remember Songs and Stories of the War Years” aren’t apt to forget the experience. Aside from the fact the show put on by 440 Productions a student stage and video production group from the Yarmouth high school – will soon be performed at Th’YARC, the group is excitedly anticipating taking the show to England next spring. It’s an opportunity that I would never have if I hadn’t been in 440”, says student Sarah Rogers, who points out this is much more than a sightseeing trip. “We’re going for a reason”, she says. “We’re going over to perform which makes it even more appealing. The show is filled with all kinds of great music and it’s a tribute to the veterans that fought in the war and they are really important part of our heritage.” Rogers, who portrays a young Canadian girl during World War II, says she’s learned a lot about wartime history and Yarmouth’s involvement in World War II through her involvement in 440 Productions. The group is in the process of fund-raising for its trip overseas, where, among other things, it will perform for the Telegraphist Air Gunners Association in England. During World War II members of this organization trained at East Camp in Yarmouth. Gary Gaudet, who portrays an airman and returns to 440 Productions as a former graduate of the Yarmouth high school, says with fewer veterans every year, remembering their sacrifices is very important. Gaudet thinks the show will be appealing to audiences for many reasons. There is a bit of everything in it. There is great wartime comedy that even people in the war would appreciate. There is romance, there is action, there is really good dialogue about some of the hardships that they went through,” Gaudet says. There are a lot of happy songs in it too that people would like if they were veterans because if you lived through that, the sad memories come easy enough I’m sure,” he adds. “If you were in London and you were getting bombed of if you were here and had to live on food stamps, or whatever it was, the happy songs are probably what kept them going.” Grade 12 student Chris Johnson, who portrays the sailor and the Telegraphist Air Gunner in Time to Remember, only recently joined the cast of the show. He says so far the experience has been an enjoyable one and points out many stories being told are ones that were actually experienced by veterans themselves. Rehearsals have been under-way since April and the locations have varied, although most rehearsals take place in the living room of teacher and 440 Productions director George Egan. High school secretary Beth Dalton, who has been involved with 440 since its inception in 1992, leads the group through voice and breathing exercises. Then Egan steps in and guides the performers through time by encouraging them to actually place themselves in the wartime moments they are bringing to the stage. Grade 12 student Adam Burrell, whose character is a Canadian soldier, describes the impact of being involved in 440 Productions. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” he says. “ Last year was one of the best I’ve ever had and this year will probably top it.”
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Stories And Songs Of The War Years - Students Enjoying Their Roles November 4, 2003
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