THE STAGE PLAY
110 STORIES weaves together first-person accounts of September 11th into a play that captures how 9/11 felt to those who lived it. Based on interviews that playwright Sarah Tuft conducted as a 9/11 volunteer, the play takes us back to when 9/11 was unimaginable, capturing the shock and horror of the day, as well as the grief, compassion and resilience of New York in its aftermath. 110 STORIES is neither sensationalized nor politicized. Instead, it restores the humanity to this event, sharing it as a series of moments we can all relate to.
110 STORIES shares the untold stories of September 11th, not just those of the police and firefighters paraded on the evening news, but also those of a pet-owner, waitress, web app developer, K9 handler, nurse, ironworker, photojournalist, even a homeless man who saved lives that day too. Their raw, freaked out and sometimes, humorous responses give us a 9/11 we’ve never seen.
A mother wonders if all the papers in the air might be a ticker tape parade. “Was there a Yankees game? I'm not much up on sports.” A doctor feels guilty about the incongruous deluge of donated luxury food at the recovery site, "You feel like you should be suffering too, rather than eating chicken parmigiana.” A chiropractor, giving massages to ironworkers, reports, “One guy asked me, ‘Will this make me gay?’ I said, ‘Only if you take your dick out while you walk over!’” Even Firefighter Don Casey, who emerges as the play’s reluctant protagonist, isn’t a larger-than-life “hero” in bunker gear. He’s an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances. We’re with him as he realizes this is no ordinary fire, “It looks like a desk at first. But as it's coming closer, you can see arms and legs…” His journey from trauma to recovery echoes 110 STORIES’ central theme.
110 STORIES also includes information withheld from the official version of 9/11. A nurse overhears EPA workers fudge air quality readings. First responders aren’t given adequate medical treatment despite respiratory problems. And the Fire Department delayed companies a crucial fourteen minutes to save overtime money. The City’s shortcomings are made further evident as we intercut between eight characters describing, in gripping detail, some kind of explosion. Only later do we learn, when they do, that it was the North Tower collapsing. Not even the recovery personnel knew what was going on.
A love letter to New York, the play captures the feel of the City in the wake of September 11th and preserves the real 9/11 we should never forget... how when confronted with the reality of death, we remember the importance of life.