Xavier Theatre commemorates 9/11

By: Tyler Wade ~Guest Writer~

Photos courtesy of facebook.com | Aaron Robinson (left) plays fire chief Nick and Catherine Sholtis (right) portrays writer Joan in a reading of Anne Nelson’s The Guys directed by Ellie Conniff.

The Guys by Anne Nelson is a powerful reading focusing on 9/11 and the repercussions of the attack.

The reading, directed by first-year Ellie Conniff, follows Joan (played by first-year Catherine Sholtis), a writer/editor who receives a unique request from the local fire chief, Nick (played by first-year Aaron Robinson).

While the reading wasn’t very long, I left feeling the gravity of the event. It left me with something to reflect on, as the impact on those who knew someone who passed that day was displayed in full force.

Nick had lost eight workers in the attacks on the Twin Towers, and he was asked to give a small eulogy at each of their memorial services. While difficult for Joan to hear, it must have been that much more difficult to tell.

Joan asked Nick about the eight men to gain insight so she could write out something for him to say. In the beginning, Joan had a sorrowful attitude but not one that matched the magnitude of the situation.

Her attitude soon changed, however, and the interactions continued to show the devotion to the part as Sholtis and Robinson melded to make a single person telling a story.

Nick recounted, one by one, the men he had lost and who they were to him. Joan put Nick’s words into a eulogy, trying to assemble them in an order that would be both respectful and truthful to the family and friends of those eight.

Each time they would finish one person, Joan realized who these people were and what they meant to others.

It began to affect her as she struggled through the stories. This opened her eyes to realize that the true damages of the event were not the buildings but the people who were hurt.

The story told by the characters and performers brought a new light on the event and a story which demanded attention through the emotional power of the performers and the script of the reading.