Billy Bishop Goes To War:
Letter from the Artistic Director
This letter appears in the playbills of Billy Bishop Goes To War and is written by the Old Creamery Theatre's Artistic Director, Sean McCall.
To find out more information about Billy Bishop Goes To War, click HERE.
Welcome to Billy Bishop Goes to War.
We’re off to war – an entire year of it here in the Studio, and this show is a perfect way to begin our journey.
Billy Bishop was a play that had been in the back of my mind since I saw the St. Louis Rep do a production in their studio theatre during my college days at Webster Conservatory. I hadn’t seen or read it again since then, but when I sat down with a copy last spring, I LOVED it. And it was a musical – sort of - which was something we had yet to bring to this space since it was inaugurated 5 years ago. I was excited.
I was even more excited when Vaughn Irving said “yes.” I knew he was the perfect actor to bring this play to life. After all, he only has to play dozens of characters in a show that lasts about two hours - and to sing occasionally while doing it. That’s not so much to ask, right? And when Vaughn’s long-time friend, actor/musician Andrew Crowe, was available to join us and round out the cast, I knew this production would be amazing.
If you’re like me, you probably had never heard of Billy Bishop before this play. As a Canadian hero whose daring deeds occurred approximately a century ago, he’s not exactly at the forefront of our American consciousness. But I promise you it doesn’t matter if you knew of him before or not. You will now- and I think you’ll be glad you do.
I think you’ll be surprised at how funny this play is - and how moving. I think it gives those of us who’ve never faced the horrors of war firsthand, a glimpse into what it must be like. And I hope it pays honor to all the brave men and women who have faced those horrors to the debt of their countrymen.
At its core, this is a play about a boy who becomes a man, who finds his destiny, and becomes a hero. It’s what happens when an ordinary person faces extraordinary circumstances. And it’s about war - and how it affects lives.
I hope you’ll take the full journey with us this year at the Studio. For some, it will be an education about a different era and for some it will be a reminder of the life they’ve lived. Either way each play this season will look at war from a different perspective and will entertain and give insight as only live theatre can. I sincerely hope you enjoy this first step on that journey.
Last but certainly not least, I want to dedicate our work here this season to the brave men and women everywhere who are willing to risk their lives for our freedoms. This season is for them.
As always, thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.