Doris Wagner (left) and Desiree Greaves rehearse a scene from Waiting for the Parade, a Canadian play depicting the lives of women on the home front set in Calgary as they contribute to the war effort while lamenting loss and the wasting of lives.

Doris Wagner (left) and Desiree Greaves rehearse a scene from Waiting for the Parade, a Canadian play depicting the lives of women on the home front set in Calgary as they contribute to the war effort while lamenting loss and the wasting of lives.

Play tells stories of the home front

Before writing, Waiting for the Parade, John Murrell interviewed women in Calgary about their experiences at home in Canada during WWII

Before writing, Waiting for the Parade, John Murrell interviewed women in Calgary about their experiences at home in Canada during WWII. His play is culled from these reminiscences.

WWll engendered substantial and lasting change among women at this time, and Waiting for the Parade tells the story of women during this period.

Set in Calgary, as the able-bodied men went off to war, the running of the home front was mostly left to the wives, mothers, girlfriends and sisters.

The Red Triangle Hostesses, was a volunteer group that opened a centre in a Calgary train station where soldiers could drop in to dance, relax or pick up, “care packages.” The five women in, Waiting for the Parade, mirror the diversity of the community as they roll bandages, assemble fruit baskets, arrange send-off parties for new recruits, and welcome-home parties for the returning wounded.

Meet determinedly enthusiastic Janet bullying the group through an emergency air raid readiness drill. Witness her suspicion and hatred of Marta – a German immigrant and Canadian Citizen all of her adult life – who is suddenly stigmatized for her accent and heritage.

We accompany these characters on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. Catherine hosts a party fuelled with “War Widows’ Weakness.” Margaret worries about her sons who have chosen totally different but equally dangerous paths and Eve, a schoolteacher, obsesses about her matinee idol Lesley Howard and weeps for the awful waste of young lives as her senior students sign up to fight.

The play is directed by local director, Margaret Keane. Cast members include: Darlene Bentley, Denise Comeau Darnell, Desiree Greaves, Doris Wagner, and Christina Peterson.

The shows run 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-15 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 16 at the Rivercity Stage, 1080 Hemlock Street, Campbell River. All tickets are $20 and are available at: Impressions Custom Framing, the Campbell River Laundromat, and the Campbell River Women’s Centre. All proceeds go to fund the many programs of the Vancouver Island North Women’s Resource Society which operates the Women’s Centre, the Advocacy Centre, Senior Peer Counselling and Homelessness Outreach programs. For further information call 250-287-3044 or email:info@crwomen.ca

Campbell River Mirror

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