Wanted: Student Actors for Historic Play

The “Syracuse Journal” from July 1918 tells the story of the tragedy at Split Rock. OCC students have written a play about the disaster which will come to the stage this spring. The newspaper and other artifacts related to Split Rock are on display at the Town of Onondaga Historical Society Museum in Onondaga Town Hall at 5020 Ball Road. The Museum is open Monday through Friday from 1-3 p.m.

Student actors are needed for a play commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the deadly Split Rock explosion. Auditions will be held Monday, February 26 at 11:15 a.m. in Mawhinney Hall, room 114.

The play is titled “Split Rock: Stories from the 1918 Explosion.” It was written by OCC students as part of an Honors class focused on the tragedy. During World War I, a limestone quarry off Split Rock Road in the Town of Onondaga had been turned into a munitions factory. TNT was being manufactured there when a fire started. Workers battled the blaze until they ran out of water. The raging fire resulted in an explosion which killed 55 workers and injured 50.

“Split Rock: Stories from the 1918 Explosion” will be directed by Scott Peal, Education Coordinator for the Onondaga Historical Association. Peal will be on campus for the auditions. Roles which need to be filled include:

  • Jenny and Luther – a munitions plant patrolman and his wife
  • Ernest – an African American munitions plant worker
  • Sam – a munitions plant worker
  • Clara – a young mother about to give birth

Students seeking more information or who are interested in auditioning are asked to contact Professor Laurel Saiz at saizl@sunyocc.edu. The play will include brief musical sections. If you have any special musical talents, please let Professor Saiz know.

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