Although theatrical representations of the past have been examined by theatre and performance studies scholars, public historians have preferred to focus on historical re-enactments in living history sites, museums, or on film and television. This article argues that theatre is a compelling site for representing and understanding the past through a case study of one of the most performed plays in recent Canadian repertoire, Vern Theissen's Vimy. Drawing on a survey of audience members and the author's experiences as an academic historian working with a national theatre company, it proposes ways in which further study and practice can illuminate our understanding of the public and its pasts.
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