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Ladies Of The CNR Hits The Stage


A theatre production in Stratford is bringing the stories of the historic CNR repair shops to life.

STRATFORD - A theatre production in Stratford is paying tribute women working on the Canadian National Railway in the WWII era.  Theatre goers will be surprised to hear of the stories of Stratford women working in non traditional jobs on the railway when men went to war.

Artistic producer and co-creator of the show, Kelly McIntosh explains what inspired the production.

"Our original impulse with ladies of the CNR, really came from a curiosity about a photograph that we found of 40 plus women in the 1940's; all in work clothes, in a group and the photo was titled Ladies of the CNR.  As a lot of people know, in Stratford Ontario, The Canadian National Railway hosted the largest locomotive repair facility for steam locomotion from the late 1800s to the 1960's."

Before the Stratford Festival, the town was built on steam and locomotive trains with it's local women at the forefront of it's success.  The theatre production celebrates that success with stories from local woman who described their contributions to the industry and the war effort as part of the research for the show.  

McIntosh adds that the rare history in the show provides the audience with real life accounts of the time.  

"We learned even more about the realities of what was happening for women during WWII, what it was like to step into a new role where women had been barred from previously and to really find out authentically what that was like."

Ladies of the CNR sold out it's first show this Friday September 29th, however tickets are still available for two shows on Saturday September 30th in the Stratford City Hall Auditorium.

Ticket and show information can be found on the Stratford Perth Museum website.  

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