It Even Takes a Village to Write a Play!

A few months back I could be found leaping into the air and making loud obnoxious weeeeeeeehoooooo sounds.  I was ecstatic because I found out that my play about 9/11 was published by Indie Theater Now!  After running around the house and cheering, I put my business suit  on – I mean business head on – and  let theater pals know.  Then being a blatant self-promotion whore, I posted on Facebook  the link to my page on the Indie Theater Now website (  and told folks to cough up the $1.29 the play costs and buy one.  A bunch of folks did and I thank each and everyone.

Whoa slow down – what is the name of the play and what is it about?


E-Mail: 9/12, my five character play demonstrates how sharing, caring, grieving and even allowing a spark of humor to fly through cyberspace helped our nation get through the painful aftermath of 9/11.  In writing the play, I was able to come to grips with my feelings and understand that the people we connect with are the stories of our life.

On September 11, 2001, I was on the train to Newark when the first World Trade Center tower was hit by terrorists.  I watched the horror from the window.  That night I took stock and realized that the only thing that mattered were the people in my life –  folks like all of you.  The play evolved from e-mails I sent family and friends and their responses.  During and after one of the most horrific tragedies our nation has ever faced, our keyboards kept us connected.  The primary character is someone named “Margaret” a fifty year old college professor – who sends e-mails to everyone she loves.  H’mm “Margaret” – Midge”  Yeah, it is pretty autobiographical.

Last night – staring at the keypad while trying to write a new play based on the La Befana theme – it hit me.  I couldn’t have written as good a work as I did about 9/11 without my Italian family.  OK – La Befana needs work and maybe my brain was procrastinating but I did riff back to E-mail: 9/12.  The summer that I was struggling with that play, my cousin Annarita was visiting us in Flagtown.  I asked her what young people in Italy thought and felt about the events of September 11, 2001.  Sharing a bottle of wine we talked for hours.  I created a monologue based on her feelings, thoughts and phrases.  I’ve posted that monologue below –  it played really well in all the productions that were done of the play.

Soon, I’ll be back in Italy – I know all those happy kids playing in the piazza will inspire me to finish La Befana.  Of course, I do sit in Bar Elimar sipping cappuccino and writing every morning so that helps too.


Oops – my mind is drifting again.

E-mail: 9/12 only costs $1.29 so click on the link and give the play a read.  Belong to a book club?  Why not suggest that your book club members buy it and read it!  Teach?  What a great way to generate dialogue about a piece of history. (I’ve even included open ended questions at the end of the work.)  Read Annarita’s monologue and then read the rest of the play by clicking on:

ANNARITA & MARGARET say their lines in tandem – Margaret translating the Italian.  The play is done with only 5 actors – everyone but the actress playing Margaret play a variety of characters. Characters of all ages, sexes and nationalities.  It was challenging for some companies to find someone to speak Italian.  Our real Annarita helped there too and made an audio file for folks to listen to and upgrade their accents.  Annarita is one of the reasons we go back to Italy as often as we do.  Here is the monologue based on her thoughts.

Ciao Margherita! Qui in Italia sono piu’ o meno le dieci e mentre io sono qui seduta a scrivere , da voi in America milioni di persone stanno vivendo momenti di terrore ….ma in realta’ credo che tutto il mondo sia stato sconvolto da quello che e’ successo!.Io stavo tranquillamente guardando la tv quando hanno interrotto i programmi per dare la notizia…passavano le immagini del fumo,delle macerie,fiumi di persone che correvano in cerca di un posto sicuro… 

Ho assistito impotente a cio’ che stava succedendo pensando a voi e cercando di capire il perche’…


Poi la notizia che dei terroristi hanno organizzato tutto!E’ incredibile come l’odio e la violenza si possono trasformare in tragedia cosi’, in un’attimo…


”L’America e’ cosi’ lontana…”questo e’ quello che ho sempre pensato,ma guardando gli occhi di quelle persone,le lacrime che solcavano i visi straziati dalla paura,sentendo le voci disperate…vi ho sentiti davvero vicini…

Hi Margaret! Here in Italy it’s ten P.M. and while I sit here writing millions of Americans are living in terror…In reality all the world has been shocked by what happened!I was watching television when they stopped the program for the news…the images of the smoke, of the rubble, of the river of people running and searching for safety…


I watched helplessly to what was going on – with you in my mind – trying to figure out why?


Then the news that terrorists organized everything! It’s unbelievable how hate and violence can be transformed into tragedy in a moment…


“America is ‘so’ far away … ” that’s what I always thought, but looking at the eyes of those people, tears streaming down their faces torn by fear, feeling the desperate voices … I felt really close ……


Love to all of you for thinking about and buying my play from  Know any producers? I’d love to see a few more productions of E-Mail: 9/12.  Grazie mille!

One thought on “It Even Takes a Village to Write a Play!

I love to read your Comments! Leave one here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.