Tara Levy – A True History of the Johnstown Flood

June 17, 2010 in Cindy Bandle Young Critics by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics


The Johnstown Flood pf 1889 was a dire flood that killed many Americans and ruined lands of the northeast. Through the use of sound effects and dramatic visuals, the play depicts life in America during this era.

To indicate that the flood has hit, there is darkness and loud crying and yelling. In the audience, you can smell and feel the water. Thus, the setting becomes more authentic. The stage is transformed into a run-down town that is muddy and filled with human corpses. Consequently, the audience can empathize with the actors in the flood.

In addition to illustrating the horrific effects of the Johnstown Flood, the play also demonstrates a different style of acting. There are plays set within the main play. In these plays, the actors perform based on the style of 19th century.  The style is much more exaggerated than the acting that is performed today and it some might find the performance humorous or even bizarre.

Overall A True History of the Johnstown Flood successfully executed major elements of the Johnstown Flood of 1899. References from the era were frequently made throughout the play. A True History of the Johnstown Flood was an enjoyable history lesson.