CWU News

Nisqually Earthquake Explored in One Day in Cascadia

The Nisqually earthquake, also known as the Ash Wednesday earthquake, hit western Washington at 10:54 a.m. on February 28, 2001. One of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington State history, it measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasted approximately 45 seconds

Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble is bringing the stories of the Nisqually earthquake to life in One Day in Cascadia: The Nisqually Earthquake Stories. The one-time performance will be held on November 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union and Recreation Center Theatre. The event is free and open to the public and a discussion will follow the performance. Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in residence hall lots and in specifically designated spaces.

Directed by Jay Ball, professor and graduate coordinator, Theatre and Performance Studies, One Day in Cascadia is a staged reading of a script that incorporates interviews, research materials and stories from the media during that time.

“Natural disasters provide a lot of material for drama,” said Ball, who partnered with scientists from CWU’s Cascadia Hazards Institute (CHI) to develop the script. “One of my discoveries was that the emotional responses to the earthquake were all over the place, from euphoria to despair.”

Ball added that it was a great interdisciplinary experience, developing a work that was based on both the arts and the sciences.

One Day in Cascadia: The Nisqually Earthquake Stories is sponsored by the Cascadia Hazards Institute, which advances and supports interdisciplinary research and education about Cascadia hazards to improve the safety of the public and business resilience in the Pacific Northwest.

For more information, contact the Theatre Arts Department at 509-963-1750, or

Photo by Washington Military Department Emergency Management Division
Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,