What we lost


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Anne Nelson had modest ambitions for her first play, The Guys, which was one of the earliest theatrical responses to 9/11. "What I tried to do was create a space in which to quietly mourn," she told me in an interview a few months after the play opened in NYC in December of 2001. "To think about what we've lost and what we've had with each other." But her simple, eloquent two-hander, based on her own experience helping a fire captain write elegies for the eight men lost from his firehouse, went on to become an international phenomenon: To date it's had at least 45 productions in 10 countries and has been made into a feature film. Part of its success can be attributed to the vividness of the script's everyday details: "I've had so many firefighters come to the play and say, 'I know that firehouse, it's in the Bronx, right?'" Nelson told me. On Monday, the fifth anniversary of the attacks, Jobsite encores its 2003 production of The Guys for the benefit of the Tampa Firefighters Museum. Talented couple Roz and Paul Potenza co-star; Brian Shea directs. Mon., Sept. 11, 8 p.m. Jaeb Theater-TBPAC, downtown Tampa, $30, 813-229-7827, www.jobsitetheater.org (Note: The Guys will also be performed Sat., Sept. 9 at Clearwater Central Catholic HS to benefit the high school's scholarship fund. Call for details.)

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