For Jebadiah Stanfill, watching the play written about a deadly and devastating oil boom disaster was emotional, but it was also personal. When the scene came with the explosion, the screams, Stanfill had to leave the theater for a moment.
In September, the Center for Investigative Reporting’s StoryWorks took the story of their investigation into North Dakota’s Bakken oil boom onto the stage in North Dakota. CIR’s StoryWorks blends investigative journalism with theater produced in the impacted communities. Stanfill, a source in the story, saw the play’s first performance in Grand Forks.
To this day, the explosion – pieced together from interviews, court documents and federal and local reports – remains the worst accident in the expansive Bakken oil fields since the boom began in 2006.