WWI Story Comes to Life on the Stage

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National World War I Museum is hoping to keep history alive with its latest play.

The two-person true story is called “Billy Bishop Goes to War”.  It tells the story of famous WWI fighter pilot Billy Bishop.  The museum partnered with the University of Missouri – Kansas City to bring history to life.

“The whole mission of the museum is to make the stories of WWI relevant to people,” said Denise Redina, a spokesperson for the museum.  “People learn in lots of different ways.  People learn by reading books, or watching movies.  Theater is a great way because you feel that personal connection to the actor.”

Billy Bishop was a country boy from the plains of Canada who never really amounted to much at home. After a dismal turn at the Royal Military College in Kingston, he is given a second chance, and taken on as an officer in the cavalry. After an extended illness and a riding injury, he finally sails for England and the front in June of 1915. The misery of the conditions on the ground, and the futility of the antiquated cavalry in a modern war of machine guns and planes, leads Billy to pursue a transfer to the equally dangerous but exciting (and less muddy) Royal Flying Corps. He starts out as an observer, but an injury threatens to pull him out of the war altogether. However, the unexpected mentorship of Lady St. Helier results in Billy’s eventual reinstatement – as a pilot. After a rocky start, he gets the hang of flying and starts to go on missions above German-held territory. Will his new-found luck hold?

His story comes to life at the Kansas City National WWI Museum Feb. 16 through Feb. 26.

Single tickets are available for $34.00; Regular Run Senior (60+) $30.00. Additional ticket discounts are available for museum members.

Tickets are available online at http://www.kcactors.org or the Central Ticket Office.  Call 816.235.6222 for more information.

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