At This Hour
A documentary theatre lecture about the causes of the Halifax Explosion. At This Hour was created by Zuppa in association with The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, The Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and Signs of the Maritimes Deaf Theatre Troupe.
On December 6, 1917, in the narrows of Halifax Harbour, the Belgian Relief vessel IMO collided with an overloaded French munitions ship, Mont Blanc. The resulting massive explosion wreaked havoc on both sides of the harbour and left approximately 2000 people dead. One in every fifty Haligonians suffered sight loss as a result of the explosion – it was the largest mass blinding in Canadian history. Within hours of the disaster Ottawa ordered a full investigation and the Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry began the following week.
Using verbatim text from the transcripts of the inquiry into the explosion, At This Hour is constructed like an open seminar and the performers are documentarians. A hearing cast and a Deaf cast perform the show simultaneously.
Mary Fay Coady*
Directed by Ben Stone*
ASL Dramaturgy and Coaching - Catherine MacKinnon
Sound Design - Brian Riley
Sound Operator - Maja Packer
Costume Design - Leesa Hamilton
Surtitles Design - Anna Shepard
Teleprompter - Christian Ludwig Hansen
Lighting Design - Benoit Gravel
Lighting and Projections Assistant - Brenda Duran
Space Design - Katherine Jenkins-Ryan
Marketing Director - Sophie Schade
Graphic Designer - Colleen MacIsaac
History Consultant - Janet Maybee
Co-creator, Original Cast Member - Koumbie
Co-creator - Stewart Legere
Administrator and Research Associate - Anika Riopel
Interpreter Coordinator - Carolyn Carter
Deaf Community Consultant - Linda Campbell
Mi’kmaw Linguistic Consultant - Bernie Francis
Mi’kmaw Historical Consultant - Daniel Paul
Mi’kmaw Consultant and Performer of ‘Entry Song’ - Richard Simon Taylor
Inclusion, Access and Disability Justice Consultant - Kat Germain
ASL Interpreters: Rhonda Kaassamani, Justin Read, Tammy Smith, Susan Cargill, Amanda Noiles, Karen Staples, Beth Reid, Pam Scott, Emily Power, Carri-Ann Blunden, David Hughes (student)
A note on the sound design: Some of the sound cues used in At This Hour come from the recordings of Eric Davidson. Eric was two and a half at the time of the Explosion and one of the people blinded as a result. As an adult, he became a local celebrity known as The Blind Mechanic. Eric was a lover of sounds and would collect them with his trusty tape recorder. His recordings were generously provided by his daughter Marilyn.
Sponsors: Shakespeare by the Sea, Paramount Management, Apartments 444rent.com, Weldon McInnis Barristers & Solicitors, Halifax Harbour Tours Halifaxharbourtours.ca, Nova Scotia Cultural Society of the Deaf, Atlantic News, Andy Fillmore Halifax MP, TEAM Work Cooperative, The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, The Craig Foundation, Develop Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Gaming Support 4 Culture, The Municipality of Halifax, The Canadian Council for the Arts, Nova Scotia Communities, Culture, Tourism & Heritage, The Black Family Foundation
*The participation of Mary Fay Coady, Sharleen Kalayil, Elizabeth Morris, Lesley Smith and Ben Stone is arranged by the permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy