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‘The Guys’ pays moving tribute to tragedy

by Mallory Tucker

“People who are ordinary in an extraordinary situation — that’s what this is about.”

Knowing vaguely that Anne Nelson’s play “The Guys” was about the events of 9/11 and based off her own experience, I walked in on a very different hour and a half than I was expecting at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Black Box Theatre.

Ashley Nossett (sr) portrays Joan, a journalist, and Seth Lawrence (sr) plays Nick, an FDNY captain, during a rehearsal of "The Guys."

Ashley Nossett (sr) portrays Joan, a journalist, and Seth Lawrence (sr) plays Nick, an FDNY fire captain, during a rehearsal of “The Guys.”

Expecting a New York City stage scenery, I was surprised to be opened up with Ashley Nossett (sr) who plays Joan, a distressed editor on the Upper West Side of NYC, standing in the middle of a living room.

The set consisted only of what you would find in an average living room, along with rustic newspapers hanging from the ceiling at a distance.

The play features a two-person cast. The male lead, Nick, came out shortly after Joan’s introduction. Nick, a grieving New York City Fire Department Captain played by Seth Lawrence (sr), was seeking a writer to help him write eulogies for several men on his crew who died during the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

One by one, Nick and Joan slowly analyzed each deceased life of the FDNY crew members in order for Joan to write an effective eulogy for Nick to read at the funerals.

One specific thought ran through my head throughout the entire duration of the play:

“Lawrence cannot be a senior in college!”

Had I not known Lawrence was playing a part in a play, I would have bet money that he truly was the captain of a fire department in the uniform he wore on stage. Lawrence looked the part perfectly, not to mention double his actual age. Kudos to the costume and hair/makeup designers.

The setting of this play is approximately two weeks after the attacks on 9/11. Contrary to what I was expecting, “The Guys” displays the agonizing anguish and grief the events of 9/11 caused friends and family of the lives lost during the attack, rather than the initial incident itself.

Throughout the play, the scenes flashed back and forth between Nick and Joan’s conversation and Joan’s soliloquies.

Suddenly, a scene would break and the spotlight would shine upon Joan as the audience was given insight on her perspective of the tragedy as an outsider looking in. Nossett did a remarkable job professing her long lines to the audience with such a dramatic flare that could keep a person absorbed for hours.

10410432_846805905343262_4116076101690966037_nIt was apparent to me that the play was not only portraying the detrimental effects of 9/11 on survivors or survivors of the deceased, it was a play about the effects of the tragedy on Americans as an entirety.

The set and the costumes were basic, but I was impressed at how powerful and emotional Lawrence and Nossett made the play despite the simplicity.

“The Guys” is about such a critical event in American history and required a serious tone for the bulk of the performance. The solemnity made it difficult for me to relate to the limited bits of humor the script entailed.

Though lacking in humor, I was far from disappointed by the dramatics.

I believe the two-person cast did an incredible, professional job as they spoke for ninety minutes straight with no break. They managed to portray an inspiring amount of emotion for the audience to experience.

Multiple sniffles rang through the audience, including my own, as the power of the story spoke to each of our hearts.

I left the theatre thinking hard about my own experience and memories from 9/11. “The Guys” is a play IWU can expect to be proud of.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Opinion, ReviewsComments (0)

Tedeschi’s Take: For the love of sports

Why do I love sports?

I’ve been thinking about that question this week and realized it’s difficult to answer.

Sports have always been a part of my life. I can’t imagine my life without them. But why? What is it about sports that has drawn me to them since I was a little kid?

It certainly isn’t because I like winning.

I have been a diehard Cleveland sports fan my entire life, so I’m not too familiar with the whole winning concept. (Although I’m hopeful that will change with LeBron coming home!) Interestingly, through the perpetual losing seasons and disappointment, my love for sports has actually grown. `

My love for sports can be summed up by “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” to borrow the famous “Wide World of Sports” tagline. I love the drama and passion of sports. You see it in the hard work of athletes at practices and games, the intensity of a coach’s pregame speech and in the painted faces of football fans on Sunday afternoons. Sports give people something to be passionate about, a place to express their emotions.

I also love how sports bring people together. Absolute strangers become best friends celebrating a team’s victory. Entire nations come together to rally around national teams during events like the Olympics and World Cup. Sports forge a bond between people that few other things can.

So why should you care about all this? Because I want to share my love of sports with you this year.

Through this column and other stories, I hope to tell of the drama and passion of IWU sports, as well as how sports are bringing people together on this campus and elsewhere.

I am looking forward to working as the sports editor for The Sojourn this year, and hope to interact with you any way I can.

Feel free to contact me through email or Twitter (@tim_tedeschi), and be sure to check back every two weeks for another edition of Tedeschi’s Take.

Posted in Columns, Sports, Sports ColumnsComments (0)

Letter to the editor: Robby Knight

If anybody was to look at the chapel schedule issued before the beginning of the semester they would see that Dr. Jim Lo and myself were to partner in vision for the chapel service Wednesday, March 26. Unfortunately, Dr. Lo’s schedule wouldn’t allow him the time to prepare a message with me, due to traveling around the globe (no big deal) and preaching around the states. We met on Friday, less than two weeks before the service, and decided that I should go on ahead and put together the service that day. Dr. Lo was planning on giving a brief introduction in chapel that day, but his schedule became even busier and that detail changed less than two days before.

I sought the Lord and asked what He would have me share. I had a sermon that was extremely transparent, but I was advised to give something a little less transparent. I scrolled through my Evernote folders and came across some notes from a Jesus Culture podcast I had heard nearly three years ago. I had taught from it before, but never in a setting like chapel. I felt confident and a peace when deciding these words were what God would have me share. I crafted an outline, sent it to the Dean of the Chapel’s Office and had the service planned only a little behind schedule.

The night before the service myself and the worship team spent a few hours in the chapel rehearsing and praying specifically for obedience and openness to the Holy Spirit’s calling. There’s not a doubt in my mind that those prayers didn’t go unanswered. I ran through my sermon, found it was too long (nothing new), cut a few things and repeated.

The day came to speak and everything ran smoothly. We walked away knowing and already hearing stories of individuals taking life-changing steps; not because of anything we did, but believing because we as a team asked and were obedient to His leading. There was no doubt God worked in our community.

Afterward a few individuals approached me about the sermon’s illustrations and crafted phrases being close to a sermon from a JC podcast video. I explained that the sermon I preached was that very word – the word that God first used to call me into a life of continual leadership. As I wanted to communicate that, I obviously fell short and did not do so effectively. My intentions were never to steal, build a name for myself or give a word that I did not first learn myself. I wanted to share a word that has and forever will shape the way I live my life in hopes that it would have the same impact on others that it did on myself.

To those I may have offended because of my faults, I mean this with all of my heart – I am sincerely sorry. I ask you would forgive me. It’s easy to look at chapel speakers, leaders, professors or even student body chaplains and think that we have a lot figured out, but I can speak for myself and tell you I don’t.

I’m thankful for three things:

1. There are a lot of lessons that I will need to learn throughout my life, some obviously of legal matters and humility. I’m thankful for these lessons being learned in a loving and incredibly supportive community. Thank you Indiana Wesleyan University for being that for me.

2. The continual affirmation of my calling into ministry and support of friends, professors and others in my life throughout this community.

3. That God is not held back by our shortcomings. That He can choose to speak, call and use individuals like myself, despite their inadequacies, failures, limited knowledge and even their sin. Praise be to Him for even incorporating us into his plan. In the times that I should feel unworthy, I’m honored, treasure and loved enough to still be used.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

-Robbie Knight (sr)

Posted in Letters to the Editor, OpinionComments (1)

Letter from the editor: Chapel isn’t about you

Read that title again. And then read it once more the next time you walk into the Chapel-Auditorium. Whether you think chapel attendance should be mandatory or voluntary or if you prefer traditional or modern worship, those details aren’t why you should go.

Chapel isn’t about singing songs you like or hearing messages that feel good to you. It’s not about agreeing with everything that’s said and done on stage and tweeting about what you don’t like. And it’s certainly not about doing homework during the service and standing up to leave during the benediction.

Quite simply, it’s about praising God.

One could also argue it’s about respect. No matter how you feel about any aspect of chapel, the concept as a whole is a matter of respect toward God and should be treated as such.

I’m not saying we should eliminate all discussions regarding chapel and how to make it better. However, those conversations should be constructive and not based solely on personal preferences. I understand and appreciate the desire to improve the chapel experience and I can think of at least three or four specific services that left many students, including myself, scratching our heads.

But I believe our God is intricate; the same One who brought us all to Indiana Wesleyan University for a specific purpose. Couldn’t this God who obviously plans far ahead use a chapel I thought was pointless to touch the life of someone who needed to hear it at that moment?

You bet.

Chapel is always a hot-button issue, and with good reason. On a campus representing many majors, socioeconomic statuses and (believe it or not) ethnic backgrounds, chapel is one of only a few experiences nearly all IWU students have in common. All the more reason we should treat it with the respect and courtesy it deserves, along with the students, staff and faculty who work hard to make it happen.

Posted in Editorials, Front Page, Letters From the Editor, Opinion, OtherComments (2)

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