ARANSAS PASS, Texas — A special Christmas production hits the stage Friday night at the Rialto Theatre in Aransas Pass, but it's not your typical Christmas story.
"All is Calm" takes you back to World War I, and to what is now known as "The Christmas Truce of 1914."
Soldiers singing doesn't seem like a typical Christmas story, said Rialto manager, Suzy Walker.
"It's emotional, it's feel good and it's Christmas spirit."
The actors are reenacting an event during World War I between Britain and Germany. Five months into the violent battle, something miraculous took place, said actor Daniel Immekus.
"During Christmas Eve, the troops spontaneously had this truce," he said. "It wasn't anything that was authorized by the officers or certainly the General's staff, it just spontaneously happened." It's it's known as the Christmas Truce of 1914. Both sides stopped fighting, crossed trenches and exchanged seasonal greetings and souvenirs.
Russ Walker who manages the theatre is also acting in the play. "Two different aspects of people to come together and say, hang on, we're going to do something good. We're going to lay down our arms, we're going to lay down out differences, whatever they may be and get along." They sang Christmas Carols and even played games of football. The truce served as proof, however brief, that even in war, the soldiers' essential humanity endured when all was calm.
2020 has been a year where all has not been calm because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a heated election season, just as all was not calm the night before the truce of 1914. Perhaps in this play there is a message we can all take home with us according to Russ Walker.
"Whatever side politically you are on, whatever side medically you are on, where ever you are in your walk of life, you're still a human being and that's important. I think that's the message of this show," Walker said.
"All is Calm" runs for the next two weekends at the Rialto Theatre in Aransas Pass. Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and the next two Sundays at 2 p.m.