In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis Storytelling & ELA


In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Type: Performance|Remote
Art Form: Storytelling & ELA|History, Math, Science
Grade Level: 5-12
Scheduling Request

On July 30, 1945, the U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, an hallucinations.

By the time rescue arrived, all but 316 men had died. The captain's subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered: How did the navy fail to realize the Indianapolis was missing? And how did these 316 men manage to survive against all odds?  This was the worst disaster in U.S. Naval history.

Tougias will take the audience into this disaster and survival story using slides and his exceptional story-telling skills!

Program available in person, or live online.

Length: 45-55 min
Audience Limit: 300
Curriculum Connection: Storytelling, Writing Process, English Language Arts, Publication, US History, Character Education

For scheduling in person, venue must schedule a minimum of 2 performances/day


Single Performance: $500
Additional Performances: $400
Travel: $75 per day
Pricing may vary for weekends/out-of-school time
Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts

Remote (Live Online): 

School sets up link for remote meeting and makes the artist a co-host. Screen share must be enabled. Artist may need to sign on 20-30 minutes prior to the meeting to check sound levels. A representative from the school must be on the call to facilitate Q+A and mute students as needed. Please introduce the performer as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts artist.



Minimum of 2/day for in person performances. 


  • 1 reserved parking space
  • Water for 1 person

Performance Space:

  • Multimedia projector for Michael to hook his computer (PC) up to
  • Projection screen
  • Large table to display artifacts and books
  • Electrical outlet
  • Extension cord
  • Microphone if over 75 students (if possible).
  • Performance space must be spacious enough for the above items to fit at the front of the room with space for artist to walk around during presentation.

Arrival time before first performance: 30 minutes

Strike time: 30 minutes

Time needed between performances: 5 minutes.

Teachers are asked to model appropriate audience behavior for students.

Please introduce the performer as an Arts for Learning Massachusetts artist.

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