Christmas celebration halted WWI, receives 100th anniversary tribute in premiere at NKU

For immediate release…
Tuesday – Nov. 4, 2014

Exactly one century ago, in the frozen trenches of the Belgian countryside, opposing British and German soldiers laid down their rifles and celebrated Christmas together in one of history’s most fascinating stories of wartime humanity.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 receives a rare dramatic interpretation in the world premiere production of SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS, playing December 12-21 at Northern Kentucky University’s Corbett Theatre. Produced by Actors & Playwrights Collaborative with New Edgecliff Theatre, SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS is written by Philip Paradis and directed by Robert Allen, featuring a cast of some of Greater Cincinnati’s top young theatrical talent. Tickets are $18 - $22 and may be purchased at or by calling (888) 421-7311. 

Inspired by the historical Christmas Truce, SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS is an epic tale of war and peace set in Belgium in late December of 1914, dramatizing the Great War’s effects on front-line soldiers as well as on their families at home. This play with song presents the personal stories of disenchanted, battle-weary British and German soldiers who throw down their rifles, leave the mud of the trenches, and join hands in one of history’s most astonishing Christmas celebrations.

SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS is directed by Robert Allen, an award-winning actor and director of numerous plays, stage readings, radio recreations, industrial films, and commercials. A teacher at Northern Kentucky University and the Preparatory Department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Allen said he feels that SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS imparts a vital message that has not lost significance over the past century.

“This piece tells a story of universal significance,” said Allen. “It's a timely parable of war and peace dramatizing the choices we all face. SOLDIER'S shows the impact of World War I on the lives of front-line soldiers and their families on the home-front. With plenty of heart, humor, and gravitas, it's a wonderful alternative holiday play for modern audiences – a new Christmas classic.”


Playwright Philip Paradis has taken his time perfecting the script of SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS, researching and cultivating it over nine years with readings at Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative, the Clifton Performance Theatre, and most recently at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (2014). The play was selected a finalist in the Kentucky Theatre Association Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Contest, one of the latest in a series of writing accolades for Fort Thomas resident Paradis. His play Sunny Side was selected for the Kentucky New Play Series and was staged at the 2014 Kentucky State Fair. Paradis also received an Audience Choice Award for his writing from Point Loma Actors Studio in San Diego, and the premiere of his play Footprints of the Polar Bear took top honors in New Edgecliff Theatre's Cincinnati Director's Competition.

Cincinnati Remembers World War I is a year-long community arts celebration of the Great War’s centenary and sponsored by Cincinnati Opera. A part of the Imperial War Museum’s (U.K.) global series of events honoring the centenary of the First World War, the festival has included performances and exhibitions by the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Museum Center and Playhouse in the Park, among many others. For more information about Cincinnati Remembers World War I, please visit

SOLDIER’S CHRISTMAS will include six performances:

  • Friday, December 12, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 13, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 14, 3 p.m.
  • Friday, December 19, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 20, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 21, 3 p.m.

All performances take place in the Corbett Theatre in the Fine Arts Center at Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights.

Tickets are general admission:
$22 Adults
$20 Seniors
$18 Students

For groups of eight or more, call for discount details (513) 241-5154.

Ticketing fees will apply.

Actors & Playwrights Collaborative is a group of local actors, directors, and playwrights dedicated to the development of new scripts and to the production of new stage works. For more information, visit

The mission of New Edgecliff Theatre is to serve the Greater Cincinnati area by presenting in an intimate setting theatre pieces designed to engage the human and thoughtful in all of us. We focus on contemporary work by lesser-known, new, or infrequently produced artists that deserve attention. Our vision is to establish a unique connection between performer and audience, where social and political questions are fearlessly posed. NET reaches out to a broad cross-demographic audience with dynamic presentations. We stress intimate performing spaces and minimalist sets in our effort to provide the most immediate and unfettered artistic experience. For more information, visit

Philip Paradis
(playwright) has enjoyed productions of 15 of his one-act plays in Los Angeles, San Diego, Cincinnati, Newport, Ky., and Newport, RI. His awards include a Kentucky New Play Series Award (2014) and a Point Loma Actors Theatre Audience Choice Award (2013). Phil's Footprints of the Polar Bear, directed by Arnie Shayne, won the 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition. Soldier's Christmas was a finalist in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s Roots of the Bluegrass New Play Competition in 2011. Mr. Paradis is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. He is a former university professor who served for many years on the faculties of Northern Kentucky University, Western Carolina University, Iowa State University, and Oklahoma State University. Mr. Paradis lives in Fort Thomas and has worked as a substitute teacher for several years in Northern Kentucky public schools. He is the author of three poetry collections: Tornado Alley, From Gobbler's Knob, and Something of Ourselves. Over 150 of his poems have appeared in various magazines and quarterlies, including College English, Poetry, The American Scholar, and Kansas Quarterly.

Prior to Christmas 1914, after five months of war, there were some peace initiatives. The Open Christmas Letter was a public plea for peace addressed "To the Women of Germany and Austria," and signed by 101 British women suffragists. Pope Benedict XV on December 7 asked the heads of state for an official truce, but his proposal was rebuffed. Subsequently on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, along the Western Front, a series of unofficial truces occurred in "no-man's-land." German and British soldiers exchanged seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches. Many war-weary soldiers from both sides ventured into no-man's-land, where they exchanged tobacco, food and souvenirs. Several meetings involved joint burial ceremonies or carol-singing. Some troops from both sides even played impromptu soccer matches.

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