Bas Bleu captures tragedy

Sep 112011
Authors: Lianna Salva

Last night, the Bas Bleu Theater of northern Fort Collins presented “The Guys,” a play about a fire captain of the New York Fire Department seeking help from a journalist to write eight eulogies for the men he lost in the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The sounds of helicopters flying over the theater before the show accompanied the voices of the actors, Wendy Ishii and Don Kraus, and director, Morris Burns.

Kraus plays Captain Nick Flanagan who goes to Ishii’s character, Joan, a journalist, for help on writing the eulogies of the eight men of Flanagan’s team. It is 12 days after the attacks and the bodies of the eight men have not been found. Both characters were based on real people.

Ishii explained that her character feels helpless in the time of the attacks. By helping Flanagan, she feels that she is contributing to the memory of the fallen fire fighters.

“It’s something that Bas Bleu does. We try to hold the mirror up to significant issues that affect our community. We choose plays that we hope will be meaningful to our community while at the same time entertain them,” Ishii said.

Kraus’ character expresses his anxiety with the responsibility of portraying the eight men at their memorial services. His character admits denial of one of the men’s death in particular, his best friend, Patrick.

“I think it was a little cathartic for me as well to portray the emotions of people that have gone through it,” Kraus said. “It broadens my abilities as an actor portraying a real person.”
Both Kraus and Ishii have been acting for more than 40 years.

Director Morris Burns is an Emeritus professor of theater at CSU and has directed more than a hundred plays in his 40-year career.

“I’ve directed plays dealing with history, but nothing that’s been so impactful on American culture,” Burns said. “There’s a pulsation and energy that comes from real people that film and television can’t communicate.”

_Collegian writer Lianna Salva can be reached at _

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