Lake Norman & Mooresville

Davidson Players commemorate terror attacks with show

For the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Davidson Players wanted to help the community pay tribute to those who died, as well as honor local emergency services, said executive director Matt Merrell.

The organization will accomplish that this week with several performances of "The Guys," by Anne Nelson.

The play centers on an unlikely pair - a fire captain named Nick and an editor named Joan he asks to help write eulogies for his fallen comrades after the attacks. During their time together, they form a friendship.

"This play highlights the importance of art in helping people deal with grief and traumatic events," said Merrell. "People will commemorate that anniversary in many different ways - parades, memorials, tributes. We're allowing them one more avenue to commemorate it: through the arts."

Tickets are $10, and a portion of the proceeds will support training programs at the Davidson Volunteer Fire Department.

Firefighters and first responders will be admitted for free.

"The Guys," is based on the real-life experience of Anne Nelson, a New-York based editor.

Within three months of the Sept. 11 attacks, the play debuted with actors Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray as the leads

"It's very poignant," said Merrell. "This play was shown in Manhattan - just blocks from Ground Zero. The back story itself is really compelling and interesting."

Davidson Players performed a reading of the play in 2003 in which two actors sat in chairs and essentially read the script. This month's performance will be the first time props and effects are used as well, said Merrell.

Still, Merrell said special effects and technical aspects during the show will be minimal.

"The Guys" will be more of a character piece with the entire performance taking place around a kitchen table, he said.

"The fire chief is working through the emotions of losing his men and she realizes that she's working through all these issues as well," said Merrell. "What he's trying to do is capture the essence of these guys, who were fairly ordinary but brave and committed to their profession."