Marcus High School launches “Titanic” dinner theatre

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Marcus High School students Logan Collins, Rachel Matthews and Annie Beth Clark star in “The Last Lifeboat.”

The Marcus High School Theatre Department is raising the curtain on a premiere event; a dinner theatre production on the evenings of Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., plus 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.

The evening productions will feature a catered dinner for $25, while the matinees will serve an afternoon tea for $20 during the performance. Regular tickets without food service are available for $10. Tickets are currently available on the Marcus theatre website: marcushstheatre.com .

All audience members are encouraged to arrive 30-minutes prior to the performance times.

“The Last Lifeboat,” authored by Luke Yankee, is the story of the Titanic that has never been told.

The two-hour drama, including a 20-minute intermission, explores not only the tragedy itself, but the  sensationalized trials and aftermath of “the night that changed the world forever.”

Everyone is familiar with the story of how the ship sank on its maiden trip after hitting an iceberg and the tragic loss of life by passengers and crew members. Not many are aware that the builder and owner of the RMS Titanic was on-board … and survived.

J. Bruce Ismay was an upper-crust Englishman who always did what was expected of him. He went to the best schools, married the right society girl (even though he was in love with someone else) and vowed to his unfeeling father on his deathbed that he would take over the family shipping business, the White Star Line, and build the most opulent ship the world had ever seen: the RMS Titanic.

Ismay saved as many people as he could and finally, with no women and children in sight, he stepped into the last lifeboat … and was branded a coward and a traitor forever. The world needed a scapegoat for the sinking of the Titanic and Ismay became the perfect target.

Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst condemned Ismay nationwide, before the rescue ship Carpathia  even landed in New York.

Hearst’s cause was aided by William Alden Smith– a ruthless senator with presidential aspirations– who led a “witch-hunt” investigation into this high-profile disaster. Although there was no solid evidence against Ismay, Senator Smith managed to drag the hearings on for months.

More than 3,000 passengers brought lawsuits against the White Star Line for loss of life and property, which only fueled Ismay’s intense survivor’s guilt. When he was forced to resign from the White Star Line, he spent the rest of his days as a recluse at his estate in Ireland, haunted by the ghosts of that fateful night to the point of near insanity.

Leading the large cast are Logan Collins as J. Bruce Ismay; Rachel Matthews as Vivian; and, Annie Beth Clark as Florence.

Crew members include Morgan Piper as stage manager; Harry Miner, Landon Love and Christopher Walstad on set; Cassidy Heise as head of props; costume head Bri Johnson; lights by Adrew Gange; and, sound by Christopher Berger.

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