REVIEW: Fall play delivers an emotional take on a historical subject


Micah Organ


“110 Stories”, this year’s fall play, delivered on its promise of an emotional depiction of the struggles of people in New York during 9/11

When I entered the school theater to watch “110 Stories” (written by Sarah Tuft, directed by Stefanie Stanton and Sara Sharp), this year’s fall play, I was first struck by the number of people sitting in the audience, patiently waiting for the show to start. I expected for there to be less people than “Annie,” as the musicals here tend to be more popular than the plays. While my prediction was correct, there was still a bigger crowd than I expected to see.

Before I knew it, Act 1 was underway. Going into it, I had been told that the show told the stories of many different people who were at and around Ground Zero during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I also knew that the story would be told through interconnected monologues, giving each actor their time to shine.

Therefore, I was prepared for the monologues going into Act 1, but what I was not expecting was the actual news footage that played on three projector screens on stage during the monologues. These images and videos gave the audience something else to look at other than the actors on stage. They also helped enhance actors’ monologues, and pulled the audience into the action.

The real-world news footage was great, but there was a fire graphic and a sky graphic that were not actual footage, which detracted from the story because they were so different from what was usually being shown on the screens, and looked very out of place as a result.

While the visual aids enhanced the storyline, the monologues were engaging on their own. There was a variety of different types of characters in the show. Don Casey (CJ Travis) was a New York City fireman who worked to save lives during and immediately after the attack. His character was regarded as the main protagonist in the show. In addition to the fireman, there were nurses (True Chin-Parker and McKenna Fuhrman), a dog handler (Clara Smith), a child psychologist (Mason Knight), two office workers (Anna Luedtke and Matthew Steele), and a police officer (Robert Gangwer), to name a few characters. The standout monologue came from the character Father Bob Deming (Alex Hare) in Act 2. While his monologue was one of the longest in the show, his delivery was emotional and kept the audience enthralled.

As Act 2 continued on, I found myself with very little left to write. The structure of Act 1, and all that was great about it, continued into Act 2. While Act 2 checked in on the characters from Act 1, as well as introduced new characters, the show still became monotonous. The three hour and ten minute run time could have easily been cut down. A read of the audience’s faces toward the end of the show told me that they got the point and were honestly ready to go home. The same content and delivery that was engaging in Act 1 was repetitive and boring by the middle of Act 2.

“110 Stories” would appeal to fans of some of the other dramas that Granville High School has put on such as last year’s “John Lennon and Me” and 2016’s “Almost, Maine.”

Despite its length, the show was produced well.The actors all did phenomenal jobs with connecting the audience to their characters, and there did not appear to be any glaring problems on the technical end.The hard work of the actors and technicians paid off, as “110 Stories” was still a good show despite its pitfalls.