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Local theater troupe to salute WWII women pilots

By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer

Gathered at a rehearsal for the Westborough Players’ Club production of “Decision Height” are cast members (back, l to r) Laura Often, Karen Rockwood Bishop, Olivia O’Toole, Sarah Worrest, Jocelyne Durrenberger, (center, l to r) Lauren Walsh, Candice Oxnard, Liz Chirico and (front) Madeleine Arnold. Not pictured are Sandy Clancy and Hillary Waite. (Photo/submitted)

Westborough – In observance of Veterans Day, the Westborough Players’ Club (WPC) will present “Decision Height,” an award-winning, two-act play with music about a group of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) who flew aircraft during World War II (WWII).

Performances will be staged at the Willows at Westborough, 1 Lyman St., on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. Active military service members and veterans of any era are offered discounted tickets for Veterans Day weekend performances. WASP veterans can attend either weekend free of charge.

The cast and production crew members are from several communities including Grafton, Hudson, Marlborough and Northborough. They feel privileged to share this story about women in wartime noted Liz Chirico, a cast member who is handling publicity.

“All of us are incredibly proud and honored to represent these women and give them recognition,” she said. “They were very important to the war effort.”

WPC is producing “Decision Height” by arrangement with publisher Samuel French, Inc., whose synopsis states that the play “offers a look into an under-recognized subset of American heroes and revises history into herstory. … As the war rages, the women form a sisterhood that cannot be broken.”

The story chronicles aviation training of six women pilots. Some of the actresses portray multiple supporting roles. Joining Chirico in the cast are Madeleine Arnold, Karen Rockwood Bishop, Sandy Clancy, Jocelyne Durrenberger, Laura Often, Olivia O’Toole, Candice Oxnard, Hillary Waite, Lauren Walsh and Sarah Worrest. Directing the play is Tabatha Carsus. While rehearsing they’re becoming more aware of the WASP program.

“In the course of the play, the women go through a training process to learn how to fly planes themselves,” Chirico explained. “They’re having to be self-reliant and at the same time rely on and draw strength from each other as they go through the horrors of war. Women naturally gravitate to each other, especially in that time period when they were far less competitive than men. They saw each other as allies who would help them through the WASP training process.”

Chirico believes that audiences will also become better aware of the WASP program’s contributions.

“We know that women worked on the home front while men went away, but not a lot of people know that women served in the armed forces and even less probably know that women were pilots during WWII,” she said. “Women of that time period were every bit as strong as their male counterparts. Even though this show has historical references and is set in the 1940s, the lessons these women are learning about themselves and each other is still very relevant today.”

Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors. Discounted tickets for active military service members and veterans are $10 during Veterans Day weekend. Order tickets in advance by calling the box office at 508-392-5080 or online at westboroughplayers.com. Tickets will also be available at the door. Follow updates on Facebook at facebook.com/WestboroughPlayers.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=94978

Posted by on Oct 17 2017. Filed under Events, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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