Imagine being asked by an FDNY fire captain to help with writing eulogies for eight men lost in the twin towers on 9/11. That’s just what happened, by some very odd twists of fate, to Anne Nelson — whose work about those experiences launched an unexpected career as a playwright.
Nelson’s “The Guys” is one of many plays looking at life on and after 9/11. Karen Malpede’s “Another Life” tackles a father/daughter difference of opinion about 9/11. David Rimmer’s “New York” follows 15 individuals who see the same psychiatrist in the aftermath of 9/11.
Rehana Lew Mirza’s “Barriers” examines prejudice both by and against Muslims. Steve Fetter’s “A Blue Sky Like No Other” is a one-man show about the playwright’s own experiences on 9/11.
Peter-Adrian Cohen’s “In the Name of God” follows six people who experience crises of faith in the aftermath of 9/11.
Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s “Invasion” tackles issues of identity, language and race in light of prejudice against Arabic men. Richard Nelson’s “Sweet and Sad” listens in as the liberal Apple family chats about loss, memory and remembrance around the dining room table on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Smoke and Mirrors Collaborative created “Point of Departure,” which considers the obstacles facing post-9/11 passengers at an airport as they try to reach their respective destinations. And an ensemble of cast members in their tweens to early 20s developed ‘Ten Years Later,” which explores what it means to come of age in a post-9/11 era.
There are several others, plus plenty of films — most of which won’t be coming to Valley movie theaters anytime soon, though you’ll be able to buy some of them for your personal film collections (the fancy name for those stacks of DVDs you’re hoarding).
“New York Says Thank You” examines The New York Thank You Foundation, which engages citizens in “giving back” through disaster relief efforts in other parts of the country. www.newyorksaysthankyou.org.
It’s being broadcast by Fox affiliate KUTP Sat, Sept 10 (7pm) and shown in select theaters nationwide. Arizona didn’t make the movie theater cut, be we can watch it streaming live from Action America and AOL starting that same night.
“Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football and the American Dream” follows four football players at a public high school in Michigan where most of the students are Muslim Americans and preparations for a big game take place during Ramadan.
It’s being shown at select AMC theaters around the country, but Arizona didn’t make that list either. So much for attempts to garner street cred with all that “sixth largest city in the country” fodder.
Folks in Arizona who want to experience a bit of 9/11-related filmmaking in a community setting have just a single option this weekend — the screening of “Rebirth” presented by the University of Arizona at the Loft Cinema in Tucson. www.loftcinema.com.
“Rebirth” follows the lives of five people, including a teenage boy and a firefighter, whose lives were significantly changed by the events of 9/11. www.projectrebirth.org/film.
The film, and additional footage taken by its creators, will eventually be housed at the 9/11 museum in New York City. www.911memorial.org.
If you miss the Tucson screening, watch for it on Showtime Sun, Sept 11 — perhaps inviting friends or family over for your own sofa screening. www.sho.com.
Those of you who worry that this weekend has become nothing more than a giant media fest will appreciate the work of Linda Holmes, who set out to compile a handy viewing guide of 9/11 television specials only to think better of it early in the game.
Here’s a link to her “befuddled note,” which my husband James shared with me recently. I’m starting to wish I had written it myself some dozen or so paragraphs ago: www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/09/07/140245859/a-rather-befuddled-note-from-me-to-you-about-september-11-specials?ft=1&f=93568166.
Note: “Stage Mom” will resume coverage of Arizona arts and culture on Monday with “Recipe for Revenge” — a review of Southwest Shakespeare Company’s “Titus Andronicus.”
Coming up: Memorials honoring lives lost in Pennsylvania, New York and Washington, D.C.