Jonesville’s Sauk Theatre will honor the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks next month with a one-weekend performance of “The Guys,” a two-actor play about the aftermath of the 2001 tragedy.
The show, which is based on a true story, portrays the relationship that develops between newspaper editor Joan and New York Fire Department chief Nick as she helps him to write the eulogies for his men who died in the line of duty following the attack.
“The play is really all about the way we all connected after 9/11,” said director Trinity Bird, “which is oddly appropriate now in this election year.”
In the roles of Joan and Nick, the play will star local actors Kary Swiontek and David Trippett. Swiontek, a speech pathologist for Jackson County schools, acted in her first play just last November, while Trippett, who is also president of The Sauk’s board, has acted in 17 other Sauk productions since 1997.
Swiontek and Trippett said they hoped the play would unite the community in commemoration of the sacrifices Americans made for one another 15 years ago.
“I really am putting more pressure on myself, I think, because I really want to honor and give a tribute to these people, to these firefighters,” Swiontek said. “It’s not so much about the horror of that day, but about them and their lives and the type of people they were.”
“This is really a way that we have the opportunity to do something a little bigger than just theater,” Trippett agreed. “We actually can help lift people up with this show.”
The Sauk will give all of the play’s proceeds to the Jonesville Fire Department’s scholarship fund.
“It’s just our way to thank our local heroes, much in the way that the play sort of salutes the folks in New York,” Bird said.
“The Guys,” the sixth play of The Sauk’s 2016 season, follows close on the heels of last week’s “Big Fish.”
“They were both in ‘Big Fish,’ and I directed ‘Big Fish,’ so ultimately for rehearsal time we’ll have three weeks,” Bird said. “I think small casts are in an odd way easier, because I can be more one-on-one with them.”
The Sauk will close out its 2016 season with an adaptation of the Louis Sachar novel “Holes” in October and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” in December.
“‘Holes’ is gonna be great,” Bird said. “It’s great because it’s perfect for the whole family … And ‘Christmas Pageant’ is a classic; they used to do it here every other year and sold out all the time.”
But for Swiontek and Trippett, no production will be as meaningful as the one in September.
“We think this is something that is special,” Trippett said. “The biggest thing that we said after 9/11 was, ‘Let us never forget.’ This is our way of making that come true.”