"Performing Tribute" Keeps Stories Of 9/11 Alive
With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 less than a month away, some survivors are turning to the theater to remember those lost in the tragedy. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.
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September 11th was a Tuesday that changed the country and the world forever. Now, almost 10 years later, a group of New Yorkers directly affected by 9/11 are using the power of theater to educate and heal.
The piece is called "Performing Tribute" and it weaves the stories of five New Yorkers together as the early morning hours of 9/11 unfold.
Theater artist Donna Kaz is at the helm of the docu-style drama. She says that she was inspired to create the piece after volunteering as a tour guide for the WTC Tribute Center back in 2005.
"As I was doing these tours I started to meet others who were doing the tours and sharing their stories and all these stories inspired me. I thought so many people should be hearing these stories," Kaz said.
The play had its world premiere in 2007 at the TriBeca Arts Center. Since its inception the piece has been performed all around the tri-state area.
Widow Ann Van Hine is in the current company of "Performing Tribute." Her husband Bruce was one of the 343 firefighters who died in the line of duty on September 11th. Ann says she finds that bringing her family's story into the spotlight is a form of therapy for her and her fatherless daughters.
"He was doing his job that day, a job that he loved," Van Hine said. "And so my daughters and I, though we had a personal loss during the midst of a national tragedy, he died in the line of duty. And with that as a firefighter, that's always a possibility. But you can't imagine being thrown into what 9/11 is. But that's how we get through it."
The play, last performed at Harlem Stage uptown, proved to be very emotional for both the players and the audience. Sister Fran Gorsuch took in the recent presentation of "Performing Tribute" and says that it's an eye opening experience.
"I've had some very mixed feelings about the 9/11 memorial and the costs and all of that. And something about tonight put it in place for me. Nothing we can do as a country is enough or too much for the people who lost loved ones during 9/11," Gorsuch said.
"Performing Tribute" is set to play four more performances in and around New York City through September 17th.
For more information on the 9/11 work, visit www.performingtribute.com.