Beckwith Theatre Returns to the Mainstage with “Make It Home”

Beckwith Theatre Returns to the Mainstage with “Make It Home”


The Beckwith Theatre Company Teams Up with Local Award-Winning Playwright in First Mainstage Production since Pandemic


After closing for 18 long months, The Beckwith Theatre in Dowagiac, Michigan, is ready to reopen with their first mainstage production, “Make It Home,” on July 30. The play, written and directed by Larry Nielsen, runs for two weekends, and is a poignant retelling of real-life stories of World War II by the soldiers in battle and the women waiting for them at home.


The play follows the lives of five combat veterans and two home-front women from the start of the United States’ entry into WWII, and throughout the war and their prospects of making it home. The audience will meet Nelly, Eddie, Sam, Bobby, and Mark fighting on the frontlines in the Pacific and European battles. They’ll also meet a woman named Sally who experienced the war as it was fought by her husband and brothers, and Evelyn, a 10-year-old girl who grew up as the war was fought by her father and brother. Their stories are enhanced with the projection of war-time photos, sound effects, and music throughout the production.


Director Nielsen said his father, who served as an Army Machine Gun Sergeant in the Pacific, was the primary inspiration for writing the play. “We always knew my dad had seen combat, savage combat, but he never opened up about it until his later years. We were shocked and amazed at what he went through,” said Nielsen. “He and the men he served with were heroes,” he added.


Nielsen researched the war accounts of roughly 50 combat veterans, as well as a number of home-front women and children. In the play, these real-life accounts are woven together in a powerful and moving experience. Nielsen said his father’s accounts are also included throughout the stories of the characters in the play.


“I hope play-goers learn and appreciate what their grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and brothers, uncles and aunts experienced in serving at a time of great world need,” said Nielsen. “I hope they feel a greater appreciation and sense of honor for those who served in WWII,” he said. “These are important stories that should not be forgotten.”

Tickets for “Make It Home” can be reserved by calling the theatre at (269)782-7653. Performance dates are July 30 & 31 at 7:30 p.m., August 1 at 2:00 p.m., August 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m., and August 8 at 2:00 p.m. This production is sponsored by Indian Lake Hills Golf Course and Imperial Furniture. To learn about the other upcoming productions at the Beckwith Theatre, please visit their newly redesigned website at The Beckwith Theatre is located at 100 New York Ave, Dowagiac, MI 49047.

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