“1913: The Great Dayton Flood” explores a piece of Dayton’s history
The prestige of Wright State’s Theatre program is recognized across the nation, and this January and February, the program will bring “1913: The Great Dayton Flood” into the spotlight.
Written by Stuart McDowell, the Chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Motion Pictures, and Wright State alumnus Tim Nevits, this production not only displays the outstanding talent of the department, it tells the story of a significant local catastrophe.
The play is based on the late Allan Eckert’s acclaimed book about the Dayton flood of 1913, “A Time of Terror: The Great Dayton Flood.” Additionally, the production includes stories from flood survivors and a theatre company that was performing at the Victoria Theatre at the time.
The play opened in 1996 and by 1997, it had won numerous regional and national awards, including many from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival where the cast also performed. The cast performed at the Victoria Theatre, where survivors were invited to attend the showing, an event in which many saw themselves and their stories played on stage.
Now, the production is being reintroduced in commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the Dayton flood disaster.
“It’s Dayton’s defining moment,” McDowell said. Forty students are making this production a possibility, both onstage and backstage, bringing 40 scenes and 20 survivors’ stories to the audience.
“This has been one of the most thrilling – and rewarding – rehearsals I have ever had with this astonishing cast,” McDowell said. “We’ve been to libraries and archives, to flood sites, and even to the graveyard where many of the victims and survivors of the flood are buried. Seldom do you get to put on a play that’s based on regional history – upon an event that redefined Dayton, forever. It’s a production that Wright State should be proud of.”
Performances will be Jan. 24, 30, 31 and Feb. 7at 7 p.m., Jan. 25 and 26 and Feb. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. Students may also purchase tickets through the ‘Student Rush,’ in which any available tickets may be purchased 10 minutes before the show for $5. For more information, contact the Box Office at (937) 775-2500.