The same two questions were posed to several of the artists participating in the evening, which benefits Operation Gratitude:
1. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
2. What do you think a Los Angeles audience will be surprised/shocked by the most when they see the play?
Actor Steven Bauer
I was in Marina del Rey, and I had to shoot a "Scarface" documentary that day...and the world stopped. I heard about it on the radio in the car on my way to my gig.
I think the first hand of accounts of the survivors will shock people who have put the event at the back of their memories.
Actor Stelio Savante
Just a few blocks north of the World Trade Centers, NY was home. I was walking into a deli to get a breakfast sandwich, and I heard this cacophonous explosion/bang and then a few seconds later it was on TV in the deli. And, a few minutes later there were millions of people running uptown through the streets of New York. Something I will never forget, and that’s why I continued to produce this play.
The intimacy of how the human spirit overcomes tragedy through different voices, cultures and mindsets. These are very personal portrayals that have not been heard elsewhere, and instead of the characters sharing their reactions with each other, they’ll be sharing them with the audience.
Actor Diane Venora
I was acting in Harold Pinters's The Room and Celebration at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco directed by Carey Perloff with Peter Reigert.
I have no idea what would surprise anyone except that I think we have forgotten how deeply we as a nation came together regardless of race, gender, religion, politics. We remembered what it means to love each other. Helping each other. Documentary footage attests to this. We breathed toward one another, really looked in the eyes of our neighbors, cried together and respected each other's humanity. We must never forget... Never.
Director Rudolf Buitendach
I had just woken up after a flight from New York back to London and was trying to reach the people based in lower Manhattan I went to see the day before. I couldn't get hold of them, then turned on the TV.
Hopefully that we are all the same under the skin and that it sometimes takes a tragedy like this for us to retain our humanity.
Playwright Sarah Tuft
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was asleep in my bed less than a mile away from the Towers. It had poured the night before - the kind of rain that makes New Yorkers duck into cafés no matter how late it'll make them - and I’d been out with friends celebrating some artistic triumph. The next morning, I woke up and began groggily making coffee when I noticed my answering machine (remember those?) blinking. I hit “play” and heard a message that made me stop in my tracks. That voicemail, from my mother, begins "110 Stories.” It’s our entry point – life as we knew it before 9/11. 110 Stories gives Los Angelinos an experience they couldn’t have had from 2,700 miles away - not for lack of empathy, but rather because our response to trauma is so complex and this generation so new to it, it defies the imagination. But I don’t think “surprise” or “shock” is the play’s primary takeaway. 110 Stories gives its audience a visceral sense of the event – as if they went through it themselves. Our culture doesn’t have a structure for understanding pain, just for avoiding it.
Tickets are priced between $25-$55 and may be purchased through ItsMySeat.com at http://itsmyseat.com/110stories and through The Nate Holden Performing Arts Center/Ebony Rep at http://www.ebonyrep.org/on_stage_now.html.