State museum to host performance about the sinking of the Princess Sophia Saturday

The Alaska State Museum will host a reader’s theater performance of “The Real Story of the Sinking of the Princess Sophia,” on Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. The event is free and admission to the museum is free during this event.

The play, written by local author Mary Lou Spartz, is a work of fiction based on the true story of the sinking of the steamship Princess Sophia in October 1918. The ship hit Vanderbilt reef in Lynn Canal near Juneau and later sank with the loss of all 354 aboard. It was the worst maritime accident in the history of British Columbia and Alaska.

Eight local actors will read the parts of the play, and Spartz will serve as the narrator, filling in stage directions so the audience can better envision how the play would look during a full performance with theatrical staging. Spartz is also spearheading a group to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking in 2018.

Saturday’s event is free and admission to the museum is free during this event.

The Princess Sophia will also be the focus of this week’s Evening at Egan lecture, “The Sinking of the Princess Sophia: a Canadian-American Disaster,” led by Canadian historian and author William Morrison. His presentation begins at 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 18, at the Egan Lecture Hall, and is part of the Juneau World Affairs Council’s three-day forum, “Al-Can Summit: A Road Map.” For more, visit

To read an article about the sinking of the Princess Sophia, visit



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