Characters: Narrator, Aboriginal Mi’kmaq member, Captain of Mont-Blanc; Aime Le Medec, French sailors of the Mont-Blanc, Captain of the Imo; Haakon From, sailors of the Imo, Mont-Blanc; Pilot Francis Mackey, Captain Francis Rudolf, Imo; Pilot William Hayes, Edward Renner, Imo Helmsman; John Johansen, harbour workers, general store-owner; Constant Upham, train dispatcher; Vincent Coleman, businessman, woman, civilian, police, firefighter, soldier.
Date: December 5-6, 1917. December 6, 1918.
Aboriginal Mi’kmaq member: Traditional clothing
Captains of the ships: Captain’s Uniform
Sailors on the ships: Sailor uniform
Harbour workers: Regular clothing; can look worn out
Citizens: Regular clothing
Students and teachers: School uniform
Vincent Coleman: Railway dispatcher uniform
Police: Police uniform
Firefighter: Firefighter jacket
Soldier: Helmet, vest, boots, soldier outfit.
Settings: SS Mont-Blanc, SS Imo, Richmond town, Tuft’s Cove, Campbell Road, School, House, Fort Needham Bell Tower.
Narrator: (Enters stage.) Today, we will be commemorating the Halifax Explosion, which happened on the month of December 1917. We will honour the dead, the injured, and the people who suffer from this event. (Exit stage.)
Narrator: December 5th, 1917, afternoon.
Captain From: I have received an order to depart today.
Pilot Hayes: The coal tender is late, we will have to delay it for tomorrow.
Captain From: I have a bad feeling about this.
Pilot Hayes: (Looks through binoculars and sees the submarine net being closed) We don’t have a choice.
Captain From: (Nods in agreement) We will have to sail tomorrow.
Narrator: (At SS Mont-Blanc) December 6th, 1917, morning.
Pilot Mackey: (Turns to the Captain) We are ordered to leave, sir.
Captain Medec: Alright. (Turns to crew) We will be leaving, crew, prepare the ship!
SS Imo Workers: Pull the anchor. (Pilot and Captain begin to sail.)
Edward Renner: (At tramp steamer. He moves the boat into Pier 9.)
Captain From: The steamer should change his course. (Blasts the steam horn twice)
Edward Renner: The change in course shouldn’t be necessary. (Blasts the steam horn twice)
(Notices the Mont-Blanc in the distance. Get a microphone and tries to communicate to SS Imo)
Pilot Mackey: (Turns the ship into the Dartmouth channel) Captain, did you hear that?
Captain From: No. Pilot, turn to the Stella Maris, it will tug us towards the shore.
Pilot Mackey: Understood, sir… The tugboat oversteered us! We’re going into the Narrows, sir.
Captain From: Helmsman, reverse the engine. We need to stay in the Dartmouth channel.
Helmsman Johansen: (Controls the ship) Roger that.
Captain Medec: There is another ship onboard! (Blows the steam horn)
Captain From: I should stay on my own course. (Blows the steam horn twice)
Captain Medec: We’re going to collide! Why is the other ship not listening? (Blows the steam horn twice, faster than last time. Controls the ship with frustration)
Captain From: (Nervously) Pilot, slow down! If both of us steer clear, there shouldn’t be a problem. (Blows the steam horn twice)
Captain Medec: (Blows the steam horn twice. Attempts to steer and stop the ship)
Captain From: Full reverse! Mayday! We are going to crash!
(Make a loud bang. Then grinding noise, and sparks crackling. Hear fire ignite.)
(Loud pops of barrels exploding. Sailors and workers are running around and panicking)
Captain Medec: (Thinks out loud to the audience) What should I do? Extinguish the fire? Steer the ship? Scuttle the ship? No, we don’t have time! (Yell) Abandon ship!
Captain From: Crew! Don’t panic! Back off the ship!
Narrator: At the shore, harbour workers and citizens of Richmond gather around, awed at the sight of huge fire and the loud noises.
Civilians: Wow! (Explosion sounds) Ohh.
Businessman: (Turn and stares outside of the business building window) Oh my gosh… That looks dangerous.
Students: (Run to the windows to look) Whoa! It’s on fire!
Teacher: (Goes towards the windows too) Okay class, go back to your seat! Don’t worry about it.
Crew of Captain Medec: Pass the lifeboats! (Releases lifeboats and rowed to shore) Go!
(As they go on shore) Laissez s’il vous plaît!
Civilians: (Confused look. Ignores them)
(Captain Medec, Mackey, and they crew run into Tuft’s Cove)
Constant Upham: (Hears the loud noises and screams, runs to the phone and calls for emergency services)
Vincent Coleman: (At the train station) Goes to the microphone and says “Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbour making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Goodbye boys.”
Narrator: (Continue the noises of burning, exploding) A few minutes later… (ships explode) Countless pieces of debris of all sizes flew from the sky and fell, injuring or killing anyone nearby.
Everyone near the explosion: (Turn down the volume of the explosion sound until silent. Everyone slowly falls down) (This is the important moment for the audience. It should be completely silent.)
(Focus on the Captains and the crew at Tuft’s Cove)
(Sound of a huge water wave)
Helmsman Johansen: (Wakes up in the water near the shore, runs to safety)
Civilians and workers: (Those that are alive attempt to get up to safety.)
City of Richmond. Shows civilians that are injured being helped by others (wrapping their wounds, etc)
Police, firefighters, and military services: (Rushing down the road in vehicles, some by foot)
Focus on one civilian helping around civilian. (The injured civilian is being carried to the hospital) (Everything should be quiet and not moving, the focus is on those two people) (Hold this for several seconds)
Narrator: (Enters scene) Today is December 6, 1918. It is one year after the Halifax Explosion. We are here at the Fort Needham Bell Tower, the commemorate those who have been affected by such a tragedy. Please stand for the playing of O’Canada and remain standing for a moment of silence. (All actors and actresses enter the scene quietly) (Play the National anthem O’Canada).