They were between three and seven years old when it happened, but this weekend, students with Bettendorf High School will bring the events surrounding 9/11 back to life on the stage.
“By Candlelight” is a play written by Claudia Haas, who is from New York City. She says she started writing to show the teenager response to the tragedy, but through her research, she found out one of her childhood friends died in the attacks.
“When I started writing, I didn’t know she was in the towers,” says Haas. “We had changed lives. We weren’t in touch anymore so I started one way and I went another.”
The end product is a story that follows that friendship… from when the two met in the 1960s to the event that tore them apart.
Megan Sanchez and Dylana Lockwood, both Seniors at Bettendorf High Schools, play the young friends. They say participating in the play is less about remembering 9/11 and more about connecting with it in a different way.
“I really wanted to get involved to experience what happened on 9//11 in a more personal way,” says Lockwood.
“What the play has given us the opportunity to do is really put a face with the victim,” says Sanchez.
Haas says “By Candlelight” should not be seen as a documentary. Instead, she hopes these young performers tell – and the audience receives – a bigger message… something bigger than 9/11 itself.
“It`s not to take away 9/11, but it’s what these teens did during those times to help each other cope and heal,” says Haas.
“I just want people to be more aware of what happened and really feel something on 9/11 and take back more recognition of it and just be a lot more thankful of what we all have in our lives,” says Sanchez.
Haas is in the Quad Cities this weekend to see the play and will be leading discussions with the audience after every show.
“By Candlelight” shows Friday, November 2nd and Saturday, November 3rd at 7:00pm at Davenport North High School, NOT Bettendorf High School since their auditorium is under construction.
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