That includes today’s younger veterans and anyone they may come in contact with.
Doyle, the play’s co-writer, said the audience reflects on the First World War through the eyes of a veteran as he recalls his own experiences in the trenches, but also what has happened to him since returning home. The veteran finally comes to the realization that he has driven his family away.
While “Memories of the Great War” was written separately by Doyle and Don Gale, when they compared notes they soon came to realize the similarities between the plays they had written. Both focused on why some soldiers don’t want to talk about what they’d seen overseas, while others do.
The conflicting thoughts and emotions that go through the minds of the fighting men, which are so different from the ideas of war promoted by governments and recruiting efforts, is part of what the production explores.
Music and songs were written by Gale and Alonzo Rumbolt. Rumbolt plays the role of Hans in the play and also performs vocals and guitar.
Doyle, who acts as older Jim, said John Finn who plays younger Jim; Stephen Wheeler as Allan and Mark Mills as Tom, are all local actors. Michael Fenwick is the technician. Poetry for the play was written by Raymond Parrott, Charlie Mercer and Rebecca Power.
Doyle said people should come to see the play — which is produced by 2nd Stage Productions in association with the Stephenville Cultural Destination Committee — because there is a “lesson to be learned.”
“That lesson is to respect the veteran who comes home, no matter what struggles that person is enduring, and to try to understand what he or she is going through,” he said.
Doyle feels it’s fitting to be doing this play since 2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. He said it’s also fitting the event is taking place in the Royal Canadian Legion in Stephenville.
“Memories of the Great War” is showing Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and is a project in appreciation and remembrance of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment
It’s one of a number of events taking place to promote Stephenville as a cultural destination leading up to the 50th Anniversary of the closing of the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base in 2016.