Titanic Presented by The Bel Air High School Drama Company April 12, 13 and 14

March 28, 2012|Courtesy of the Bel Air Drama Company

The Bel Air Drama Company will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster by presenting "Titanic, the Musical" on the weekend of April 12, 13 and 14. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. the 12th and 13th with a 1 p.m. matinee on the 14th. Saturday night's presentation will begin at 8:15 p.m. and timed so that in the performance, the ship strikes the iceberg at 9:40 p.m. (11:40 ship-time) – the exact time of the collision 100 years prior. All tickets are $10 in advance (see any member of the cast or crew for advanced sales). Tickets are $12 at the door.

In addition, the Bel Air Drama Company will be hosting a Titanic dinner event on Saturday night prior to the show. The dinner will include menu items from the final meal aboard the ship, and will be catered by Sterling Caterers of Jarrettsville. Cast members will be in attendance in character (including passengers, officers and the captain). Combination tickets for dinner and the show will be $35. Combination tickets will only be sold in advance (see any member of the cast or crew for advanced sales).

Don't miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the centennial weekend of Titanic disaster.

Peter Stone, author of "Titanic, the Musical," offers the following comments on the significance of the story of the sinking of the great ship:

The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains a quintessential disaster of the 20th century.

A total of 1,517 men, women and children lost their lives (only 711 survived).

That the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world, considered "unsinkable," should have been lost during its maiden voyage was so incredible that, had it not happened, no author would have dared to contrive it.

But the catastrophe had social ramifications that went far beyond that night's events. For the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the 19th century, bigger, faster and stronger did not prove automatically to be better.

Suddenly the very essence of "progress" had to be questioned; might the advancement of technology not always be progress?

Nor was this the only question arising from the disaster. The accommodations of the ship, divided into first, second and third classes, mirrored almost exactly the class structure (upper, middle and lower) of the English-speaking world. But when the wide discrepancy between the number of survivors from each of the ship's classes was revealed, all but two of the women in first class were saved while 155 women and children from second and third (mostly third) drowned, there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values. It is not an exaggeration to say the 19th century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.

The musical play "Titanic" examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is the story of that ship — of her officers, crew and passengers, to be sure — but she will not, as has happened so many times before, serve as merely the background against which fictional, melodramatic narratives are recounted.

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