Sunday, September 10, 2006

Theater and 9/11

On the eve of one of the scariest and most terrifying event, I've pulled together a roundup of Theater related bits on September 11th. It's my little tribute, I guess. It was an event that effected me profoundly - I still can't watch the documentaries and movies. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to - they make me cry.

A Theater Group Offers Hope at Ground Zero
"For arts organizations, progress at the World Trade Center site has so far resembled a Beckett play: waiting and disappointment, followed by more waiting and disappointment. Opposition from victims’ relatives and political fighting have meant that none of the dreamed-of cultural projects has broken ground. And now that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has been disbanded, arts groups are more worried than ever that the planned performing arts center and $7 million worth of federal arts grants will remain on paper.

So the official reopening on Sept. 22 of 3-Legged Dog’s performance space in the area known as the Liberty Zone is a bit like the opening of a general store in a frontier town: some concrete evidence of progress." read more from the NYTimes

A Philadelphia Theater, Set in Its Free-Form Ways
"PHILADELPHIA — People hurry down a staircase, as a fireman rushes up. Clearly something bad has happened, but the office workers, waiters and bike messengers fleeing the scene know only that they must get out. One man drops a laptop as he descends and wastes a valuable moment of escape time to open the computer and make sure it’s still working. Anyone might have the same reaction while trying to maintain order and control in a moment that allows for neither. It’s one of those brief, absurd and yet utterly human actions.

“Love Unpunished,” a production of the Pig Iron Theater Company in Philadelphia, takes place completely in a stairwell of a doomed office tower.

The whole setting is obviously, and intentionally, reminiscent of the World Trade Center, but it was invented as a work of fiction. " read more from the NYTimes

Sept. 11-Themed Portraits, with Company's Canova, Presented Sept. 9
"A staged reading of Jonathan Bell's Portraits will be held Sept. 9 at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT, to benefit both the Library and Tuesday's Children, which aids children who lost a parent on 9/11.

The 7:30 PM reading will feature the talents of Diana Canova, Colleen Zenk Pinter, Mark Pinter, Charles Keating, Kathryn Hays, Tom Wiggin and Sharone Sayegh. The 90-minute performance will be followed by a talk-back session with the actors and then a reception." read more from

And Crown Thy Good, an Actor-Writer's Response to 9/11
"Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (CityRep) will kick off its fifth season Sept. 9 with a special engagement that remembers the terror attacks of 9/11.

"Nearly five years after the attack, the events of September 11, 2001 still touch every American life," according to CityRep. "Like many others, Mark Oristano wanted to find a deeper meaning in the horror of the attack on the World Trade Center, which occurred only a few blocks from the hospital where he was born. A trip to Ground Zero in October 2001 set in motion a series of events which led him to uncover the story of the life, and the death, of firefighter Paul Gill, one of the 343 FDNY heroes who perished on 9/11. After taking a photograph of Paul's missing person flyer, one among thousands in lower Manhattan, a chance meeting a day later with a friend of Paul's who was flying home from New York, and Paul's memorial service, proved the starting points for this moving, spiritual exploration of September 11th and its aftermath." " read more from

Tom Wopat to Reprise Role in 9/11 Drama The Guys in New York City
"The Flea Theater will present Anne Nelson's 9/11 drama The Guys for a limited run, with Tom Wopat reprising the role of a fire captain who must eulogize the men he lost in the tragedy.
Thomas Kail (the upcoming In the Heights) directs the staging Sept. 11-23.

Wopat will be joined by Grace Gonglewski as the journalist who helps the captain write the eulogies. Matinee and some evening performances will feature Tim Cummings and Irene Walsh, in roles they played during the original run five years ago.

The Guys, based on Nelson's real experiences, is a dialogue between a fire captain — who has lost most of his men in the Sept. 11 attack — and an editor who helps him write the eulogies as she struggles herself to come to terms with the event. Both find out, as quoted from the script, "We have no idea what wonders lie hidden in the people around us." " read more from

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