PIECES OF PAPER - ASPIRATIONS OF 9/11, a theatrical multimedia meditation on the power of human compassion in action the week of September 11, 2001, is being prepared for the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2010. The production is currently being presented at HERE Arts Center, through May 14th.
Conceived and directed by theater artist and 9/11 first responder Michael Simon Hall, a large ensemble of actors representing every walk of life take the audience on an emotional theatrical journey, using movement, video, text, and original music by internationally acclaimed composer Anton Batagov. This story of hope is inspired by actual handwritten documents created the week of 9/11 by grassroots volunteers at the Chelsea Piers Support Center in New York City.
Pulitzer Award winning author Robert Olen Butler shed some light on the multidisciplinary nature of Hall's project, "Michael is a dynamic artist who does not limit himself to a particular form to realize his vision. He exhibits a sensitive intelligence and deep understanding. I couldn't imagine a more inspired or effective collaborator."
Pieces of Paper began development in the fall of 2010, at the Neighborhood Playhouse and more recently at the Joyce Soho.
The impetous for the concept, the pieces of paper themselves, were collected by Hall on Sunday, September 16th, 2001, when the grassroots volunteer operation at Chelsea Piers was shut down by the Office of Emergency Management, and the hundreds of volunteers were sent home. These artifacts were featured at the New-York Historical Society in an exhibit called "Radical Hospitality", and have been on loan to the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Opening night audience feedback:
"I was deeply moved last night at the presentation of Pieces of Paper. I've yet to see anything that commemorates first responders and our fallen loved ones in such a creative way. This is a unique opportunity for reflection on the compassionate actions of so many, and will hopefully provide some solace for all those who are still deeply affected by 9/11."
- Tamara Smith, Director, First Responders Alliance Program, Tuesday's Children
Seeing "Pieces of Paper" brought me back to the finest time of my life, a time of pure love and connectedness. Seeing the sign I hadn't seen in 10 years, "Cell Phones Charge Up Station" gave me chills. It hung over our table with 24/7 volunteers handing out phones to the rescue workers. As one woman said, "it was the closest to God she'd ever known" in those days. Thank you Michael Simon Hall for reminding us that it is within all of us to be of selfless service as thousands of us were then.
- 9/11 Chelsea Piers Volunteer, Sandi Bachom, the "Cell Queen"
"This show is a great statement of what people can do when they pull together. The actors brought to life the many different points of view that volunteers can have, despite their common purpose to help."
- 9/11 Ground Zero First Responder
I had the privilege of seeing the multimedia theatrical presentation "Pieces of Paper...Aspirations of 9/11" last evening with some fellow volunteers. The nature and nuance of the 9/11 volunteer experience is so realistically reflected in this performance. I laughed...I cried...I remembered. The performers did an incredible job of portraying the precious tapestry of characters that so beautifully weaved together, reflecting a true portrait of our unique 9/11 family. As we near the 10th Year of Remembrance, I would earnestly encourage you to experience "Pieces of Paper".
- 9/11 volunteer Rhonda Villamia
Friday May 13, 7pm
Saturday May 14th, 2pm and 7pm
Theater: Here Arts Center
Address: 145 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111