A BLANKET OF DUST | written by Richard Squires
Staged Reading | directed by Robert McNamara
"A Blanket of Dust" is a political thriller and the story of a modern day Antigone. When the daughter of a US Senator loses her husband in the destruction of The World Trade Center, her subsequent ordeal in seeking justice for his murder ultimately drives her to the outer fringes of society. Struggling with facts that the government, the media, her family and countrymen all deny, she finally confronts them all in a harrowing act of sacrificial tragedy.
With in the world premiere in New York 2018 "A Blanket of Dust" successfully tested the receptiveness of the stage to the issue of what really happened in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. The play is the fictional story the daughter of a high-ranking US Senator seeking justice for her husband who has died in the World Trade Center.
The woman, named Diana Crane, is like a modern-day Antigone – an iconic heroine of Theater of Resistance. She races from Washington, DC to New York to witness the gruesome aftermath of the attacks and stands helplessly in the dust of the fallen buildings to witness the collapse of 7 World Trade Center. Distrustful of the speedily-forming official narrative, she is launched on a hunt for justice that drives her to the outer fringes of society. Having witnessed facts that the government, the media, her family and her countrymen deny, she confronts her doubters with a harrowing act of sacrifice. Her ultimate tragedy is to oppose the lies and the rule of fear in 21st Century America.
To playwright Richard Squires, the play is not meant to invoke the events of 9/11, but the larger issues of our era. He reflects, “It doesn’t matter so much whether government colluded on attacks on September 11 or whether they only exploited them opportunistically on September 12. Eighteen years later, when you look back on those events, we had a right-wing coup d’etat. It was called a policy coup by General Wesley Clark, who was running for president at the time. We went on a war footing immediately after 9/11 and stayed on it to invade the Middle East, which is what this country has been doing ever since. We have become an overtly military empire governed by an ideological right wing. That is unarguable. If we are going to remain a democracy, then the people have to have some voice in our decisions. That is what this play is about.
Robert McIlvane, father of a 9/11 victim, has read both the book and the play, written by Richard Squires. In a recent videotaped interview, he declared, “My feelings about 9/11 are in that play–the absolute frustration. We haven’t gotten the truth of what happened and millions of people have died because of that. And that’s the true beauty of A Blanket of Dust.” The play is likely to resonate strongly with many other New Yorkers whose memories of the fated day are still raw because of its unanswered questions.
Cast: Jean-Theo Joost, Karoline Troger, Sebastian Hölz, Erik Hansen, Jeff Mittelman, Priscilla Be, Alessandra Filippi-Rossi, Ben Maddox, Christine Rösslhuber
Written by Richard Squires & directed by Robert McNamara.