Monday, September 11, 2017, at 7:30 P.M.

The Guys

The Guys Logo Small

The 9/11 attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center in 2001 killed 343 firefighters, all of them among the first responders who willingly laid their lives on the line trying to save others – it was their job, their duty. Anne Nelson’s play The Guys is dedicated to those who went up the staircases to help others, the workers in the Twin Towers desperate to escape the buildings, as they came down the staircases seeking safety as the horror unfolded. It’s a story about the aftereffects of the event on a journalist who helps a struggling FDNY captain write the eulogies of his fallen men who were lost in the collapsing buildings.

Joan, the editor, helps Nick, the captain, prepare the eulogies and deal with his personal devastation of grief and loss. This is something playwright Nelson actually did with the captain of a local neighborhood firehouse as her way of giving back in response to the unprecedented human loss of fellow firefighters and the other victims of the terrorist attack.

After Nelson finished helping the fire captain, she wrote about their experiences and produced this play in just 9 days. Twelve weeks to the day after the attacks, her play debuted in an Off Broadway theatre not far from the site of the Twin Towers in a production starring actors Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver. In 2002 the story was turned into a movie featuring Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia.

Under normal circumstances, the playwright and the fire captain might never have met, just as happens to Nick and Joan. Nelson wanted her play “to be a healing experience…honest and artful in its own way. One reason people respond to this play is because they share the same emotions as Joan. You start out with this fuzzy notion of who firefighters really are and in the course of writing and hearing these eulogies, the ciphers become fleshed out into human beings.”

“The Guys cannot but hit home” —NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“A stark and simple, potent and poignant play, brimming with edgy humanity”

“The Guys is not an ordinary night in the theatre…what comes through is that humanity can be exalted by expression as well as the other way around” —NEW YORK TIMES

“New York’s most cathartic theatre event” —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“The Guys goes beyond theatre. It’s not just entertainment, it is a real, moving document” —ROBERT ALTMAN

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service, Inc.

For up-to-date information about our season, casting, and auditions visit us on Facebook at:

Casting of Carlsbad Playreaders productions usually is done at the discretion of the director.  Occasionally the director will hold limited, by-invitation-only auditions.  Rarely does Playreaders hold open auditions for any one particular production.  Information regarding future auditions will be posted on this website and our Facebook page.

All Carlsbad Playreaders events are held in the Schulman Auditorium at the Carlsbad City Library: 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011

From Interstate 5, exit La Costa Avenue, going east for approximately 1 mile. Turn left on El Camino Real and travel north for approximately 1.5 miles. At the light after the light at Alga/Aviara, turn left onto Dove Lane and into the library parking lot. Schulman Auditorium is on the left at the entrance of the library.

There is no set charge for attendance at Carlsbad Playreaders performances.
Suggested Donation:
$5 General Admission
$1 Students

No reservations necessary