INTERVIEW: The Guys by Anne Nelson

Twelve years ago this month New York City firefighters were called to duty for an unthinkable disaster. A third of all New York City Fire Department (FDNY) companies were dispatched to go into battle against time at the World Trade Center and 343 individual firefighters never made it back. One of the ways in which New York came to grips with this horrible tragedy was to put on a play. Anne Nelson wroteThe Guys in just nine days and it debuted off-off-Broadway at the Flea Theatre on 4 December 2001, just three months after the attacks.

The two characters in the play, Nick (an FDNY captain) and Joan (a journalist), were performed by Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver and subsequent Nicks and Joans have been played by Anthony Lapaglia (the show’s first Australian connection) and Susan Sarandon; Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon; and Tim Robbins and Helen Hunt. But it’s not just the big-name stars who are keeping this show alive and helping it to reach new corners of the globe; it’s the beautifully written story itself that still touches audiences,and the gentle force of Nelson’s words reminding us of the strength and self-sacrifice these first responders were capable of.

Read the full article here.


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