R.M.S. Titanic will sail once more. She'll be departing this time not from Southampton, England, as she did in 1912, but from First Baptist Church of Thomson.
Titanic: Voyage to Eternity will be presented in the Fellowship Hall of the church on Saturday, April 14, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the community. Tickets will be on sale in the church office until noon on Monday, April 9. The cost is $12 per person.
Senior adults will have their own special edition of the presentation during Young at Heart on Tuesday, April 10, beginning at 10 a.m. This is a change from the usual starting time of 11 a.m. Reservations may be made by calling the church office (706-595-4252) by noon on Friday, April 6. The cost is $6 per person.
The dramatic presentation, which is narrated by local Titanic enthusiast Kathie Mogish, uses almost 200 projected images and a variety of evocative sounds to tell the story of the tragically brief life of the legendary ship.
The April 14 sailing will begin with hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6 p.m. A highlight of the evening will be a six-course meal similar to the final dinner served to Titanic's First Class passengers. A collection of Titanic related memorabilia will also be on display. The display features two small items from Titanic's final resting place. The collection will also be on display during the Young at Heart program.
Both presentations will be made as part of a fund-raiser for the FBC Youth Music and Missions Tour. A portion of each Saturday ticket will be donated to the M & M Tour. Guests that evening will also have the option to leave gratuities for their servers. Guests at the Young at Heart event may add one dollar, if they wish, to the cost of their meal to help support the Youth.
Voyage to Eternity was last presented at Thomson High School in April 2001. The two-part program was an annual event for Miss Mogish, a THS English teacher, who presented it as a graduation "gift" to her students.
"It was something that grew out of a single comment I made," said Miss Mogish. "I remember saying that Titanic's story is a perfect example of irony. Before I could explain irony, though, I had to tell them about the ship. They'd never heard of it."
One question led to another and Miss Mogish found herself bringing into class the next day books about Titanic and pictures of the famous liner. Over the next several years, Miss Mogish began developing a narration to go along with the pictures. The presentation seemed to take on the proverbial life of its own, she said.
Eventually, slides became a part of the presentation.
"I guess you might say that was the low-tech version of my Titanic program," said Miss Mogish. "By the 1990's the program had evolved into a two-part presentation with the images on computer. The sounds were added a few years later."
One of the elements many of Miss Mogish's former students remember is that they each had an identity as one of the First Class passengers actually on Titanic. At the end of the presentation, they discovered whether they lived or died.
"That was always great fun," she said. "I would sometimes give particular identities to certain students because of their own personalities. I don't know if they ever knew that."
Miss Mogish commented that even today, students she taught 20 or more years ago will tell her that they still remember who they were on board Titanic.
Miss Mogish cautions guests not to expect a program of only an hour or so.
"We'll sail and sink just as we did that last year at THS, except that it will all be on one day rather than two," commented Miss Mogish. "So in both cases, especially the Saturday evening performance, expect a fairly long program. But don't let that keep you from coming. It really won't be much longer than an evening spent going to dinner and a movie in Augusta."
For further information about Titanic: Voyage to Eternity, contact Kathie Mogish at First Baptist Church of Thomson at 706-595-4252.