This September marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. It is Montclair State University alumna playwright Midge Guerrera’s hope that the productions of her play E-Mail: 9/12 being staged this fall by theater companies in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia will act as a catalyst for a community dialogue that can help audiences deal with their feelings and recognize how their communities and worlds have changed since 2001. The work is being produced by Project Rushmore Theatre Company (NYC), Black Box Theatre of Asbury Park, Union County Performing Arts Center with the Alliance Repertory Theater, Somerset Valley Players and the AND Company Theatre (Philadelphia).
E-Mail: 9/12 takes place on September 12, 2001 – the day after the 9/11 tragedy. It is based on the playwright’s experiences that day beginning with seeing the first tower hit from a train window and then much later reaching out electronically to her friends and family. Guerrera sent an e-mail out to those she cared about and “was surprised that so many folks were online and responded almost instantly.”
“I saved the e-mails,” said Guerrera, “and a year later revisited them and thought the keyboard connection really did bring my world closer and make me feel safer. Those initial e-mails became the premise for the play.”
E-Mail: 9/12 provides a picture that probes into the hearts of the people that were there, had someone there and those of us who will always be able to tell you where we were when the first plane hit the North Tower at 8:46 AM. The play, first produced for one woman in 2004, has been revised and undergone additional development through the Passage Theatre Playwrights Lab.
Guerrera worked with Cynthia Quick MSW on developing questions that theaters may use to facilitate post-performance discussions. To further personalize each production, Guerrera created holes in the script meant to be filled with the remembrances of local audiences. The theater companies are reaching out to their home bases and asking people to submit their own “e-mail” monologue.
A specialist in developing venue specific and historic plays, Guerrera has also written and directed such works as: Ruth St. Denis: The Dance Continues (commissioned by Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission); Turnabout (commissioned by Millstone Historic Society); Transitions (commissioned by the Somerset County Bi-Centennial Commission); Crane Chronicles, (commissioned by the Stephen Crane House); and the Stephen Crane: The Middle Years (commissioned by the Stephen Crane House for production in the author’s home).
Guerrera received both her BA and MA from Montclair State University in Speech and Theatre. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
For information about specific performances contact the following theater companies:
Union County Performing Arts Center and Alliance Repertory Theatre
Date: September 9th, 10th, and 11th
Time: September 9th at 8:00 p.m., 10th at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m., 11th at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Location: UCPAC, 1601 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ 07065, (732) 449 - 8226
Date: September 24th
Time: 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $25 - For tickets, call (609) 891-7555
Location: Christ Church Meeting House Theatre, 20 North American St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Date: September 9th, 10th, and 11th
Time: September 9th at 8:00 p.m., 10th at 8:00 p.m., 11th at 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $20 - For tickets, click here
Location: Asbury Park VFW Hall 1333, 701 Lake Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Date: September 12th
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 For tickets, call (212) 927-6403
Performances will be held at La Guardia High School, Black Box Theater, 100 Amsterdam Ave. at 65th St., New York, NY
Date: September 10
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: SVP, 689 Amwell Road (RT 514), Hillsborough, NJ 08844 - Donations accepted
For information call Linda Giordano at (908) 359 - 3881