The upcoming special event at the Victorian Players theater in Youngstown is reeling in some serious attention.
"Dog Days" depicts the story of Salem native, Albert Wickline. As a soldier in World War II, Albert piloted a B-17 called the Blackjack. On what is now known as Black Thursday, Albert's plane was shot down, and he and his fellow soldiers were forced to jump.
A French family soon found him, and they were determined to keep him safe in German held territory. The family was a part of the French resistance, and they acted in many ways to keep the Nazis from advancing in the war. Albert stayed with them for 13 months, all while not knowing where the rest of his crew was, and at times, having to pretend to be French to evade the Nazis' capture. Finally, the invasion began and Albert Wickline was soon rescued and sent back home to Salem, Ohio.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle
Davin Stilson, Camille Smith and Maximus the German Shepherd star in “Dog Days” which runs through August 5 Victorian Players Theater.
Wickline's incredible true story of survival is beautifully depicted in J. E. Ballantyne's "Dog Days." The show is actually based on a video account of the 13 months by Wickline himself. The bonds that are created in the most unlikely of circumstances can never be broken, and the sacrifices that people are willing to make for others, even when their own lives are at stake, are sure to tug at your heartstrings.
The play features Liberty's Davin Stilson as Albert Wickline, and the family includes Bill Shorr as Louie, Audrey Allen as Marie, Camille Smith as Denise, and Brian Root as Marcel. The cast also includes Ryan Newell, Gary Deckant, Josh Fleming, Chris Chaibi, Josh Lankford, Thomas Lee Ewen, and Vinnie Dragos, among others. The show also features an incredible animal. A search and rescue dog named Maximus is hitting the stage as the family's very own German Shepherd.
A few special opportunities are occurring specifically for the run of the show. All veterans and current military personnel will be admitted to the show for the special price of $5.00 with their military ID. Another cause that the Victorian Players would like to help are current military dogs. These dogs are treated as equipment, so that when soldiers come back home, the dogs are left in the war zone. There is currently a petition running to change this law, so that dogs can be considered military personnel, and be brought back home with the soldiers. There will be a petition at the back of the theater to support this change. All signatures are greatly appreciated.
At the end of the show each night, there will be a down-stage dialogue. This is a question and answer session between the audience and the cast, so bring your questions with you to the show, and the actors will be happy to answer them. Also, a different military organization will be honored each night at the show.
The show opened July 20 at the Victorian Players in Youngstown. Before the show on opening night, there was a wine and cheese reception for all audience members. The show runs through Aug. 5, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and Seniors. Call 330-746-5455 to make a reservation. Be sure to make your reservations because seats are filling up fast and this is a show that you do not want to miss!