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That Day In September

    by Artie Van Why


Drama Play Script: 'That Day In September' by Artie Van Why

Everyone has their story of where they were on 9/11. This is one of them. An eyewitness, and survivor, of the attack on the World Trade Center gives his account of the being there, on the streets, in front of the twin towers.
Artie Van Why lived in New York City for 26 years; until moving to Pennsylvania in 2003 to be near his parents. That move was prompted by Artie being an eyewitness to, and a survivor of, the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Since that life altering day, Artie has turned to the arts to express the catastrophic effects of that day and the aftermath of living with PTSD. He says:-
"We number in the thousands; the men and women who witnessed first hand the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. We are not the heroes who stand out when one thinks of that day. We are what I call the neglected majority; the people who just happened to be there that morning. We are the eyewitnesses and for the most part our stories have gone unheard. But I will continue to have my story told to any who will listen; to help assure that we never forget.

'That Day in September' is the narrative of what I witnessed that day. 

From the moment I heard the explosive sound of the first plane hitting the North Tower, to stepping out onto the chaos on the streets, I hope 'That Day In September' will convey to an audience the horrific havoc of that morning, as witnessed by one person. The play goes beyond just the events of 9/11 however; it delves into my personal journey that encompasses encountering God, acknowledging my sexual identity and descending into the world of addiction. 

'That Day In September' is more than just an intimate understanding of the events of 9/11. It is a glimpse into how my choices led me to be standing in front of the twin towers that morning, and how my life was dramatically transformed forever".

“Artie Van Why's recounting of his experience . . . is admirable in its dedication to chronicling the terrorist attacks firsthand." 

"Van Why's recollections of the attacks and their aftermath are harrowing, marked by an eyewitness perspective that has the sober authenticity of diary entries. Countless heroes emerged from the chaos of Sept. 11, and by selflessly sharing his story, Van Why must be counted among their number. ”

David C Nichols, The Los Angeles Times


(1m or multiple casting)

Though originally conceived and performed as a one-man theatre piece, 'That Day in September' can easily be adapted to accommodate more than one actor; dividing the monologues between a multiple cast. Productions have taken place with two or more actors and one even had a cast of eleven; each actor representing a cross section of varying ages, genders and races. That concept seemed to give an 'everyman/everywoman' quality to the words; a reminder that though it is one person’s story being told, there are many stories of that day.

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