Madison, WI bleacher collapse, Jul 1908


Madison, Wis., July 29. - The bleachers erected for the open air Shakespearean performance by the Ben Greet players collapsed just after the play began yesterday, precipitating 300 people mostly girl students, at the university summer school, ten feet to the ground.

Two women suffered sprained ankles and others received minor bruises. One of them was taken to Chadbourne hall and another to her home in a carriage after being attended by doctors in the audience.

The play, "Midsummer Night's Dream," was being presented back of Main hall in a natural ampitheater. Most of the audience was seated on the grass, but the bleachers were used by those paying a low price of admission.

The play had just begun when the crash came, and for a time it seemed as though a panic would result. The spectators rushed to the assistance of the men and women piled on the ground among the shattered timbers, but it was soon found that no one was seriously hurt. Mr. Greet called upon the audience to remain cool, and at his request the orchestra struck up several national airs.

In a few moments the excitement was over and the two women most seriously hurt were taken home. The play was resumed after a delay of half an hour.

The Eau Claire Leader, Eau Claire, WI, 30 Jul 1908
Young Woman Injured.

Madison - Miss Grace Usher of South Wayne, one of the victims of the collapse of the bleachers at the Ben Greet performance was taken to the City hospital, where an operation was performed.

The Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point, WI, 8 Aug 1908