Article Lead Image

Indiana high school production of ‘American Pie’ turns tragic after stage collapse

Around two dozen students were onstage when the stage collapsed.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 24, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 12:02 am CDT

A student performance of the musical American Pie in Westfield, Ind., ended unexpectedly when a section of of the stage collapsed beneath the cast during the show’s finale.

Around two dozen students gathered to the front of the stage while they performed “Don’t Stop Believing” before it broke, sending them into the orchestra pit. Sara Camden, the mother of the guitarist featured on-stage, captured the shocking collapse on video and the immediate rush by parents to help. For some, it echoed the 2011 stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed seven and injured more than 40 more.

According to Westfield schools superintendent Mark Keen, the part of the stage that collapsed has a removable floor that covers the orchestra pit.

Students and parents quickly went to help the cast members as paramedics and officials arrived at the scene. More than a dozen students were taken to nearby hospitals to treat their injuries.

One student was initially listed as being in critical condition and has since improved. Westfield Mayor Andy Cook told reporters that the students he visited were in good spirits. Most of the students treated at one of the hospitals were released by Friday morning.

Westfield High School is opening today but will provide counseling for anyone who might need it. Police are investigating what exactly caused the stage to collapse.

“We’ll look at the cause of what happened here and certainly take every precaution to see that it doesn’t happen again,” Mayor Cook said.

Screengrab via Twitter

Share this article
*First Published: Apr 24, 2015, 9:55 am CDT