By Andrew White, Andre Pluess & Ben Sussman

Directed by Amanda Denhart

Originally produced at Loookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago, IL.

June 6, 2012 through August 26, 2012

About the Premiere Production

July 24, 1915. Moored on the Chicago River, The Eastland excursion ship begins boarding and thousands of Western Electric employees and their families climb the ramp, excited for their annual company outing. Overflowing with passengers about to depart, the boat leans to port – and doesn’t lean back. Within minutes, cries fill the air, families are torn apart and unexpected heroes emerge to rescue dozens of Chicagoans from a watery end.

Artistic Statement

Told through a musical narrative, this play seeks to revive the ghosts of those who drowned in this Chicago disaster of 1915, and asks questions about which events linger in our memory and which become lost to history. It weaves three characters' stories into a tapestry of memory and longing, with the strains of American folk music driving the events of that day to their inevitable finish. It is a quintessential Chicago story told in quintessential Lookingglass fashion, and will be a dynamic and powerful production for audiences of all ages. - Andy White, Artistic Director

Grant Statement

The Edgerton Foundation’s generous grant will enable Lookingglass Theatre Company to support an extended rehearsal period with the cast, director, and full creative team in residence. As the rehearsal process is a crucial element of the development of world premiere work, the Edgerton Foundation’s support of Eastland will allow the creative team to more fully realize this relatively unknown story. - Rachel Kraft, Executive Director

Director: Amanda Denhart

Music by Artistic Associate Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman


Opening Statement: Drama tells of 'forgotten disaster'

Chicago Lawyer

August 1, 2012

Subsequent Productions:

L.A. Theatre Works in Venice, CA January 30, 2014 - February 2, 2014