Longwood High School is proud to present “Yip, Yip, Yaphank” on Friday, November 9 at 7:00 pm, and Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
The production includes God Bless America and Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning and will focus on Berlin’s time as a soldier at Camp Upton, now the Brookhaven National Laboratory located within the boundaries of the Longwood School District.
Through the district’s outstanding arts education opportunities, students explored the local history behind the production written by one of America’s most prolific composers, Irving Berlin. Additionally, students will honor local veterans by celebrating the show’s centennial and Armistice Day, as well as the approximate date the show closed on Broadway after leaving Camp Upton.
“I’ve known for many years that God Bless America was written in Yaphank, but I did not know the story that was behind it,” stated Longwood Central School District’s Director of Fine Arts Dr. John J. Gallagher.
In 1917, Irving Berlin came to Camp Upton, now the Brookhaven National Laboratory, as an enlisted member of the U.S. Army. In 1918, he wrote the musical revue that included the songs above, among others.
“A team of teachers joined me at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC for a research project during the summer of 2017. There, we obtained sheet music, some orchestrations and other personal documents from Berlin himself,” Gallagher said. “Our local historians had donated authentic photos, letters from soldiers that have been incorporated into the production. This project will reach across the curricula and affect students on every grade level throughout the school community.”
Among the invited special guests are staff members from the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, which owns the Irving Berlin collection, leaders of local civic organizations, leaders on the town, county, and state levels, and our local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.