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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Drama-thon touches New York
Actors read a scene from Charles Evered's play, Adopt a Sailor
The project involves more than 150 artists

Many of Broadway's theatres are dark this week, but the Brave New World theatre marathon began its three-day run last night in New York City.

Initially started as a modest festival by founder and playwright J Dakota Powell, the project blossomed into a series with over 50 original works and the participation of over 150 artists.

Ms Powell, a London resident, was in Manhattan during last September's attacks. She decided to mount the tribute on the one-year anniversary as way for artists to respond to the tragedies.

Ms Powell insists the project is not about mourning, but rather rebirth.

Kristin Davis is best known for her role in Sex & the City
Kristin Davis performed in two short plays
Because of the dozens of award-winning actors and writers participating, including Sigourney Weaver, Cynthia Nixon and Stanley Tucci, the marathon has attracted massive media attention.

It is one of the most popular commemorations in the New York artistic community this week.

Actress Kristin Davis, star of the popular programme Sex and the City, began the series by welcoming the audience and saying how grateful she was "that we could all come together tonight in our great city".

She later performed in two short plays, one about the imagined last conversation between two people before they jumped to their deaths from the World Trade Centre.

This touching piece was balanced with works from Neil LaBute and Christopher Durang, who managed to find an impressive amount of humour in the events of 11 September.

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin will be performing later this week
Their plays lightly poked fun at the trivialities that concerned many New Yorkers before the attacks.

In Nine Ten, by Warren Leight, four New Yorkers wait to be called for jury duty. One bitterly complains, "Do they change the names of the subway lines here just to spite us?"

It ruined her day.

Another piece called Skylab featured Dana Ivey, and was a monologue given by a woman who committed suicide in the 80s because she could not cope with her daily fears.

Her main concern was that the doomed space station Skylab would fall on her head. She says she definitely "couldn't cope with living in the world of 9/11" and wished the audience "good luck".

Other performances were darker. 2001: An Oral History told the stories of ordinary New Yorkers in the minutes, hours and days after the attacks. It was chilling to see these moments re-enacted.

Famous names due to perform on Tuesday and on 11 September are Alec Baldwin, Amy Irving, and Marisa Tomei.

The proceeds from the three days go to The New York Childrens' Foundation, which was founded by children in the wake of 11 September to benefit other children who were affected by the attacks.

New York despatches





See also:

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