Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck!

Roustabout: The Great Circus Train Wreck! is a play that brings to light the Hagenbeck-Wallace train wreck that occurred in 1918. This crash left eighty-six of the circus members dead, and another 127 injured. As dramaturge for Hope College’s production of Roustabout, I explored how the circus culture in the 20th century influenced the Hagenbeck-Wallace train wreck and its aftermath. I looked at the performers, the animals, the advertisements, and the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus itself to find answers.