Leitheatre’s 2003 Production

 newspaper drama  5-8M, 0-3F

setting: New York newspaper office   

period: 1912  American dialect

Running time: 45min

Characters: Carr van Andra (editor);  Pops Connor (older journalist);  CJ (reporter);  Jake (cub reporter);  Adolph Ochs (newspaper proprietor);  Svenson (naval architect);  Copy Boy (gopher); Franklin (shipping line president)   

A major news feature always catches the public eye, but sometimes the story behind the news can be interesting as well. In the early years of the twentieth century, when wireless was in its infancy and communication could still be uncertain, a newspaper might have to build up its account from mere fragments with a mixture of skill and guesswork. When the first news of the “unsinkable” Titanic’s collision with an iceberg reached New York, there was just time to get it into the morning editions – but with very little information. This play is inspired by the true account of how Carr van Anda, legendary Editor of the New York Times, alone took the bold step of declaring that the ship had actually sunk, despite denials from the White Star line. For an anxious day, until the tragedy was finally confirmed, it seemed as if he might have been almost too bold ….

“How far does a newspaper go to gain the upper hand in bringing the news to the people? Decisions are made and only time will tell whether the gamble pays off.”      Scene Magazine, December 2002

For another “mystery of the Titanic” click here
Winner, Scott Salver for Best Play, 2003

Click here to get a downloadable PDF extract from the full script. For full reading copies or details of performing rights, contact me for details. Please note that permission must always be obtained beforehand.

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