The Honors Advanced Theatre Class of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School will present a preview presentation of an original docudrama devised by the class this semester during fifth period Friday, April 22, 2016, at 12:40 p.m.

The docudrama examines a true, little-known chapter of California and U.S. history about the munitions explosion in 1944 that rocked the small Bay Area town of Port Chicago, located in north Contra Costa County where the Sacramento River meets San Francisco Bay.

The Port Chicago explosion killed 321, injured scores and spurred a series of events that would lead to the United States’ unprecedented forced eviction, evacuation and demolition of an entire town in 1968.

This event still resonates in the lives of the survivors of the town and their offspring. 

Using actual transcripts of survivors’ testimonies, news reports and over 100 images of the event and its original speakers, most of whom are now deceased, the Honors Advanced class has assembled a 50 minute docudrama that serves as a spoken-word memorial to this nearly forgotten but critical event in U.S. military history.

The April 22 screening serves as a preview to the docudrama’s premiere performance at the explosion site, now a National Park and memorial, June 4, 2016. 

Seating at the limited-capacity screening may be reserved by calling 805.688.6487 x2361 or emailing Jacque Wagstaffe at

Jacque Wagstaffe represents Santa Ynez Valley Union High School’s Honors Advanced Theatre Class.