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73 Seconds



When the Challenger exploded in 1986, there was endless talk about the event itself, but not much about the stories buried in those 73 seconds between lift off and tragedy. Directed by Michael Phillips, 73 Seconds is an immersive play about the poetry of history, humanity, and grief—specifically in the tale of the ’86 Challenger explosion. Projected by Nathaniel Dunaway and Sarah Cotter, the entire show feels like a series of flashbulb memories told through the anecdotes of ordinary Americans, as well as the lives of the astronauts themselves. At many points, the way that Dunaway and Cotter annunciated the stories sounded a lot like a series of beautiful spoken word poetry, which really accentuated the most emotional heights of the show. Audiences are presented with a completely unadorned black stage and only two actors in equally unadorned costumes carrying the stories. For the most part, it worked for the context of the somber tone. But at times its lack of set and visuals dragged the pacing down. The stories of the astronauts often blended into each other in a sea of other voices, stories, and families. Thirty years after the Challenger tragedy, the timelessness of the grief is still impactful. Reviewed by Michelle Guthrie.


Gig City


Total Score
3.5/ 5

Reader Rating
6 total ratings



Dates / Times:
  • 8:00 pm - 2017/08/17
  • 6:00 pm - 2017/08/18
  • 3:45 pm - 2017/08/19
  • 6:30 pm - 2017/08/19
  • 4:00 pm - 2017/08/20
  • 4:30 pm - 2017/08/21
  • 9:00 pm - 2017/08/21
  • 6:00 pm - 2017/08/22
  • 6:00 pm - 2017/08/23
  • 3:00 pm - 2017/08/24
  • 4:15 pm - 2017/08/25
  • 8:00 pm - 2017/08/27

Posted 2017/08/18 by



One Review

    Vicky Smith

    I love history that is about the people. Their characters, what made them tick. Rather than just the events.

    This storytelling does just this, in an interesting, engaging and informative way.

    I hope they take on 9/11 next year.

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