ALL IS CALM: The Christmas Truce of 1914

December 1-11, 2022 at The Playhouse at Overture

Thursdays & Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm.
Two Matinees:  Saturday 12/3 at 2 pm.  Sunday 12/11 at 2 pm. 

Directed by Brian Cowing and Music Directed by Randal Swiggum

“A beautiful musical recounting of a World War I cease-fire of gifts, poetry, and melody." – The New York Times

ALL IS CALM, takes place on the Western Front, Christmas, 1914. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace. A remarkable true story, told in the words and songs of the men who lived it. Tickets (starting at $20) will go on sale in October 2022 and will be available at Overture Center Box Office in person, online, or by phone at (608) 258-4141.

Written and conceived by Peter Rothstein, graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Theatre & Drama and Co-founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Latté Da, this highly original work features a cappella choral arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. The show premiered at Theatre Latté in Minneapolis, MN in 2007, toured North America with Cantus Vocal Ensemble for several years, and ran off Broadway November-December 2018, earning a 2019 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.  More on that here.

Support for this production provided by the Pleasant Rowland Foundation, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Fund for Theater, a component fund of the Madison Community Foundation. Additional support provided by PBS Wisconsin, Wisconsin Public Radio, Distillery Design, and Park Printing Solutions.


Parking & Merriment

During the holiday season, there are lots of fantastic arts events at the Overture Center, and that can make parking and ticketing a challenge for theater patrons.  We encourage you to come downtown early, pick up your tickets from WILL CALL (open two hours before each show), and then grab a bite to eat or enjoy a pre-show beverage.  Avoid the crush and plan a little extra time for parking and picking up will-call tickets.

Overture Center Policy: All who enter the building must wear a face mask and show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.  Learn more.

With a little extra care, you'll arrive at the theater with time to spare, and ready to enjoy our production of ALL IS CALM: The Christmas Truce of 1914.


Press

“This show combines exquisite music with a deeper message about what makes us human, and what makes Christmas so powerful,” adds Swiggum. “And the fact that it’s a true story, told through the voices of the men who were there, means…well, no one will forget this show.”

from "Temporary Peace" | Preview article in The Isthmus | Gwendolyn Rice

“For a long time I thought that it would make such a great piece of music theater if I could find the right way to tell it,” said Rothstein, who got a masters degree in directing from UW-Madison in 1992, and six years later co-founded his own theater company in Minneapolis called Theater Latté Da, where he still serves as artistic director.

from "WWI Truce at center of theatrical work" | Wisconsin State Journal | Samara Kalk Derby

“While the staging, storytelling and the subject matter for the piece are all extraordinary, perhaps the greatest accomplishment for All is Calm is the cohesion of the ensemble, exhibited in close vocal harmonies in one song after another."

from "Four Seasons' 'All is Calm' is very bright indeed" | Review by Gwendolyn Rice


Cast Members

Cast Members of the 2021 and 2022 Productions

Trevor J. Bass (Baritone) is very happy to be returning to the FST stage. Past FST credits include All is Calm in December 2019 and 2021, Matt in The Fantasticks and Caleb in The Spitfire Grill.  He’s also been seen onstage at Middleton Players Theatre.  Favorite roles there include Leo in Parade,Tateh in Ragtime, and the Cat in the Hat in Seussical.  Trevor would like to thank his family for their ongoing support, most notably his lovely wife, Mari, for taking care of Alice while dad goes to rehearsal.  Enjoy the show!

Michael Brunner (Tenor) is thrilled to be appearing again with Four Seasons Theatre! He was previously seen on the FST stage in All is Calm in December 2019 and 2021, A Little Night Music (Carl Magnus), and South Pacific (The Professor).  He also enjoys being a part of FST’s outreach team singing programs throughout the year at retirement communities and libraries across Dane County.

Michael Chiaverini (Baritone) is thrilled to return to Four Seasons Theatre to reprise his role in this wonderful, inspiring show! A 2021 graduate of Middleton High School, Michael is a first year student at UW-Madison, where he is studying Voice Performance with Paul Rowe. Recent favorite roles from MHS Theatre include Prince Topher (Cinderella), Will Bloom (Big Fish), Richard Hannay (The 39 Steps), and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He sincerely thanks his family, friends, teachers, and the All Is Calm cast and crew for their support and encouragement.

Keith Christianson (Bass), a sometime veteran of Madison area theater, is thrilled beyond measure to return to All is Calm (2019, 2021). Previous credits include Young Frankenstein (Victor), Trial by Jury (The Judge), Singing in the Shower (for the heck of it), and Funny Voices at Bedtime (for Aurora, age 6).

Elijah Edwards (Bass), a senior at James Madison Memorial High School, is proud to be part of this production of All is Calm, after appearing in the 2019 and 2021 editions.  Elijah appeared in Four Seasons’ productions of All is Calm in December 2019, The Little Mermaid, and 1776, and played Young Will in the Theatre LILA/Four Seasons’ production of Big Fish.  He enjoys running cross country, playing the trombone, reading, and writing.  Elijah would like to thank Four Seasons for the opportunity and his family for their continued support.

Dan Jajewski (Tenor) is excited to be performing with FST again!  Most recently with FST, Dan performed in All is Calm in December 2019 and 2021 and played Scuttle in their production of The Little Mermaid in 2019. Other credits include: Parade (J.N. Starnes, U/S Leo Frank), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), Sweeney Todd (Anthony), Falsettos (Mendel), Ragtime (Younger Brother), Shrek the Musical (Shrek), and RENT (Mark).  Dan would like to thank his wife Kate and his mother Pam for always supporting him.  Keep the arts alive!

David Olson (Bass) is ecstatic to be onstage again with Four Seasons Theatre and the stellar lads of the All is Calm cast after joining for the 2021 production. Past roles include Reverend Moore in Footloose, Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, and as music director for shows including AnnieYou’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Mary Poppins.  David is a teacher and serves as the director of Voices, a summer choir in Madison for young adults. David’s Christmas wish is for peace to reign in the hearts of all, this Christmas and always.

Tyler Stone (Tenor) is excited to return to Four Seasons Theatre for third second production of All Is Calm. Previous productions include Madison Opera’s La Traviata (Ensemble), StageQ Productions’ Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (Beethoven), Middleton Players Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble), and St. Bernard’s Players’ Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon/Jesus US). He would like to thank his family and friends for their continual support and patience.

Doug Swenson (Tenor) is glad to be performing once again with Four Seasons Theatre. His credits with FST include the kick-off season (2005) of Ragtime (Houdini), Candide (Candide), A Grand Night for Singing (Tenor), Side-by-Side by Sondheim (Tenor), Miss Saigon (Tenor), My Fair Lady (Henry Higgins), She Loves Me (Georg), Spamalot (King Arthur), All is Calm (2021), and possibly others!

Sam Taylor (Baritone) is thrilled to be returning to Four Seasons Theatre for this unique project and was an original cast member in the December 2019 production and remount in December 2021. Other FST projects include playing Prince Herbert (et al.) in Spamalot and producing “Listening with Leckrone,” an upcoming music history podcast featuring Professor Mike Leckrone. Previous theatrical credits include: Matilda the Musical (Rudolpho/Ensemble), Pippin (Pippin), and Urinetown (Bobby Strong). He also can be found playing piano and bass in pit orchestras in the area. Sam is incredibly grateful for his family, friends, and the long line of mentors and teachers for their support and care.

Zak Wolff (Tenor) is honored to work with Four Seasons Theatre and joined the cast of All is Calm for the 2021 remount. He graduated from UW-Madison in 2020, followed by a year of post-graduate studies in Chinese Linguistics at Nanjing University. His previous credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Father), The Wedding Singer (Robbie Hart), and A Killer Party (Jeremy Jordan). He would like to thank his family and friends for their words of encouragement and continual support.

--------

This production was first produced in December 2019. We want to acknowledge the contributions of two of the original cast members who part of the creation of this show and unable to join us in December 2021.

Tim Emery (Tenor) graduated from UW-Madison in 2018 with a degree in Music Education and previously taught 6-12 grade choral director for the Columbus School District. Recent productions he was involved with include The Kurt Weill Cabaret with University Opera and Man of La Mancha with Four Seasons Theatre. Tim has recently relocated and is now launching a new career with Eight Eleven Group as a technical recruiter for IT positions at Fortune 500 companies in the Twin Cities area.

Ben Galvin (Bass) graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2021 with degrees in vocal performance and creative writing. His interest in music began in high school while playing roles in The Sound of Music and Hello, Dolly!  He was part of the cast of Four Seasons Theatre’s All Is Calm in December 2019 and The Little Mermaid this past summer.  Roles with University Opera include Seneca in Monteverdi’s Poppea and Snug in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Resources

ALL IS CALM: The Christmas Truce of 1914 was created by Theatre Latte Da in Minneapolis, MN. Learn about that production and access their extensive study guide.

Listen to the NPR feature "A Century Ago, When the Guns Fell Silent On Christmas" and learn more about the Christmas Truce of 1914.