Play the Songs
Through an ingenious doubling scheme created by original Broadway cast member Don Stephenson, Titanic Ensemble Version requires a cast of just 20 to tell the gripping story of the ocean liner’s maiden voyage and tragic demise. The orchestration created by Ian Weinberger requires six players.
The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the twentieth century. A total of 1,517 souls — men, women and children — lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world — called, in fact, the “unsinkable” ship — should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually 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 1st, 2nd and 3rd 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 1st Class were saved while 155 women and children from 2nd and 3rd (mostly 3rd) drowned — there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values.
It is not an exaggeration to state that 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 factual 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. The central character of our TITANIC is the Titanic herself.
— Peter Stone
Photos: Annabel Vere Photography from the 2013 production at Southwark Playhouse, London, England
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
TITANIC begins (“Prologue”) as Thomas Andrews, the architect of the great ship, pores over the blueprints of his design (“In Every Age”). The curtain then rises to reveal the Ocean Dock in Southampton, England, where people are gathering to wonder at and to board the ship on sailing day: first a stoker (“How Did They Build Titanic?”), then additional crewmen (“There She Is”), officers and stevedores (“Loading Inventory”), the owner, the architect and the captain (“The Largest Moving Object”), the Third and Second Class passengers (“I Must Get On That Ship”), and finally the First Class passengers (“The 1st Class Roster”). Now fully boarded, the ship pulls out as the company sings a prayerful farewell (“Godspeed Titanic”).
One by one, the dreams and aspirations of key characters are presented: Barrett, the stoker who wanted to get away from the coal mines (“Barrett’s Song”); Murdoch, the ship’s officer contemplating the responsibility of command (“To Be a Captain”); Kate McGowan and the Third Class passengers who yearn for a better life in America (“Lady’s Maid”); Chief Steward Etches and the millionaires he serves who exult in the wonders of their world (“What a Remarkable Age This Is!”).
Barrett finds his way to the Telegraph Room, where he dictates a proposal of marriage to his sweetheart back home (“The Proposal”) in a telegram transmitted by Harold Bride, a young telegraph operator smitten with the possibilities of the new radio technology (“The Night Was Alive”).
The next day, April 14, after Sunday morning church service, the First Class attends the shipboard band’s spirited out-of-doors dance concert (“Hymn/Doing the Latest Rag”), an exclusive event crashed by Second Class passenger Alice Beane, a hardware store owner’s wife who wants more out of life (“I Have Danced”). That evening, as Fleet the lookout scans the horizon (“No Moon”) and bandsman Hartley regales the First Class Smoking Room with a new song (“Autumn”), the ship sails inexorably towards her collision, which ends Act One.
Act Two opens as the suddenly awakened First and Second Class passengers are assembled in the Grand Salon (“Dressed In Your Pajamas In The Grand Salon”) for life-belt instruction by Chief Steward Etches, before being sent up to the Boat Deck to board the lifeboats. In the Telegraph Room, Captain Smith, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Ismay, the owner, argue over who is responsible for the disaster (“The Blame”) while Mr. Bride tirelessly sends out the S.O.S. Up on the Boat Deck, the male passengers are separated from their families (“To the Lifeboats”), and all express hopes of being reunited (“We’ll Meet Tomorrow”) as the final boat is lowered. Isidor Straus (the owner of Macy’s) and his wife Ida remain behind together, as she refuses to leave his side after 40 years of marriage (“Still”) and Mr. Etches utters a prayer (“To Be a Captain – Reprise”). In the abandoned Smoking Room, Thomas Andrews desperately redesigns his ship to correct its fatal flaws until the futility of his actions leads him to predict, in horrifying detail, the end of Titanic just as she begins her now-inevitable descent (“Mr. Andrews’ Vision”).
In an Epilogue, the survivors picked up by the Carpathia numbly retell what had once been Mr. Andrews’ dream (“In Every Age – Reprise”). The living are joined by their lost loved ones in a tableau recapturing the optimistic spirit of the Ocean Dock on sailing day (“Finale”).
The Musical (50%)
Story and Book by Music and Lyrics by
Peter Stone (50%) Maury Yeston (50%)
Orchestrations by Ian Weinberger (25%)
Produced on Broadway by Dodger Theatricals, Richard S. Pechter
and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (25%)
No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to Peter Stone and Maury Yeston except for the title of the play and the star(s) above the title. In the programs the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
Trap Drum Set: Snare Drum, Bass Drum High-Hat, Cymbal, Splash Cymbal
Triangles (3), Tam-Tam, Crash Cymbals, Anvils (2), Bell Tree, Wood Block, Cowbells (2), Temple Blocks
Glockenspiel, Timpani (2), Xylophone, Crotales
1 Keyboard [2 Vols.] (Playing from a Full Score).
Registrations for Piano, Harp, String Pad, Xylophone, Harpsichord, Vibes, Pizz. Strings, Glock. & Celesta.
1 Piano-Conductor’s Score (2 Volumes)
1 Prompt Book for Director
20 Prompt Books for Cast
20 Chorus-Vocal Books for Cast
Thomas Andrews, Designer and Builder
Barrett, Stoker / as Guggenheim, 1st Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.)
Bride, Telegrapher /as John Thayer, 1st Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (2nd Man in L.M.) / as Band Leader Wallace Hartley
Fleet, Lookout / as George Widener, 1st Class Passenger / as Carlson / as Stoker / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.) / as DaMico (L.R.)
Captain E. J. Smith
J. Bruce Ismay, Owner
Charles Clarke / as Steward (Launching) / as 2nd Class Passenger /as 1st Class Passenger (L.R.)
Edgar Beane / as Officer Boxhall / as 2nd Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.)
Isidor Strauss, 1st Class Passenger / as Officer Hitchens / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.)
Jim Farrell, 3rd Class Passenger / as Steward (Launching) / as Mr. Bell / as Latimer / as 1st Class Passenger (L.R.)
Henry Etches, Senior 1st Class Steward / as Officer Pitman
First Officer Murdoch/ Bass Player
Officer Lightoller / as J. J. Astor, 1st Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.)
Bellboy / as Waiter twice (1st and 3rd Class) / as Stoker
Alice Beane, 2nd Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (L.M.)
Caroline Neville, 2nd Class Passenger / as Stewardess / as Mme. Aubert
Kate McGowan, 3rd Class Passenger / as Stewardess / as Charlotte Drake Cardoza, 1st Class Passenger
Kate Murphey, 3rd Class Passenger / as Stewardess / as Mrs. Widener, 1st Class Passenger / as DaMico (L.R.)
Kate Mullins / as Stewardess / as Madeleine Astor, 1st Class Passenger
Ida Strauss, 1st Class Passenger / as 3rd Class Passenger (R.A.)
R.A. = Remarkable Age
L.M. = Lady’s Maid
L.R. = Doing The Latest Rag
The full version of TITANIC opened on Broadway, March 29, 1997 and played for 804 performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
The Ensemble Version of the show had its American premier at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, NY, in 2012 and its European premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse in 2013.
5 Tony Awards for Musical, Book, Original Musical Score, Orchestrations and Scenic Designer
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Set Design (tie) and Lighting Design (tie)
The Drama Desk Award for Orchestration
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