It’s been 100 years since one of the biggest natural disasters that forever changed Dayton. This year, the community will mark this milestone through art in many forms, ranging from special exhibitions to stage productions. This week, Wright State University shares the story of the flood on stage.
“The 1913 flood was the defining moment in the history of Dayton,” says Stuart McDowell, chairman and artistic director of the Department of Theater, Dance and Motion Pictures at Wright State University. “Every citizen was touched by the flood waters and the fire that followed, and even if they weren’t flooded, they were still impacted by what happened. All of the businesses and industries were downtown and many of the theaters were destroyed. The Victoria was flooded and shut down for a year.”
McDowell is marking the 100th anniversary of the historic event with the revival and re-staging of his award-winning play “1913: The Great Dayton Flood,” which opens at Wright State on Thursday, Jan. 24. The play, which earned a number of awards from the American College Theatre Festival, features recorded narration by Martin Sheen, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
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