The Last Lifeboat
by Luke Yankee
April 17, 18, 24, 26 May 1, 2
Evening performances: 8:00pm
Sunday Matinee performance: 3pm
Directed by: William Edward White
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 staunch, unfeeling father on his deathbed that he would take over the family shipping business and build the biggest, most opulent ship the world had ever seen: the RMS Titanic. What an accomplishment! We all know the story of how the ship sank…or do we? Ismay saved as many people as he could on that fateful night, 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. He had a powerful enemy in the United States—newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. 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. THE LAST LIFEBOAT is the story of the Titanic that has never been told. This epic tale explores not only the tragedy itself, but the sensationalized trials and aftermath of the night that changed the world forever.