By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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And so for the third consecutive year, Dries and Port Angeles actor Paul Martin will offer “The Guys,” the story of a New York City fire captain and a journalist in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
Admission is free to the performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road.
“The Guys” gives us Nick, a captain who lost eight firefighters when the World Trade Center towers fell.
He has to deliver their eulogies but doesn't know how to begin writing them.
Enter Joan, a journalism professor portrayed by Dries. She helps compose the remembrances in such a way that Nick can offer solace to the families who also loved his “guys.”
Dries, for her part, believes the anniversary of 9/11 is a time to remember our ability to help one another deal with tragedy.
Helping each other
“'The Guys' is not just a story about the first responders,” she said. “It is about people huddling together to recover . . . losing their veneers and working very, very hard to help strangers, friends and family.”
Carol Swarbrick Dries and her husband, Jim Dries, are co-founders of Readers Theatre Plus, which presented “The Guys” here in 2011 and 2012. Jim Dries directs the Sequim performance.
Since its premiere in December 2001, the play by Anne Nelson has been staged in 48 U.S. states and in the Czech Republic, Argentina, Japan, Italy and Poland.
“So many lines,” Jim said, “make us wonder if the playwright had a crystal ball. One example is the shift in what was 'normal' on Sept. 10 and what has become 'the new normal.'
“It is a joy,” he added, “to watch these two actors, Paul and Carol, tell the story, live the story.”
As they have done since the first performances here, the American Legion Riders will welcome patrons to the schoolhouse with a line of raised U.S. flags.
And as is traditional with Readers Theatre Plus, donations will be accepted and given to a local nonprofit.
The beneficiary this time is Puppy Pilots, a Sequim-based organization training guide dogs for the blind.
For more information about the troupe and Wednesday's performance of “The Guys,” visit www.ReadersTheatrePlus.com or phone 360-797-3337.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.