thought was going to be just another day. I hadn't slept well.
I had gone to bed seeing the second half of Private Ryan. The
last scenes are harrowing and take place among heaps of rubble.
I went to sleep at three and woke at seven. I was going to wait
for Lori to call at nine, but remembered that I had to post
my stepmother's birthday card, so decided to leave early. Before
I left I wrote an email to Lori. I said that after seeing Private
Ryan that it put things into perspective and I would now view
our separation as if I had gone to war.
to the post office at ten to nine and waited till nine for it
to open. It was a beautiful late summer day, no humidity and
not too hot. I arrived at the Lincoln Center at ten past nine.
A piano tuner was next to the grand piano explaining to the
resident stage manager of the Clarke Studio how to adjust the
hammers for the keys. In the Clarke Studio itself, which is
just across the hallway from the rehearsal room, there was a
workshop going on. I felt a mild irritation as I realized I
wouldn't be able to go through any of Prospero's speeches aloud.
Lindsay Rae came in and then Tony and Giselle. Then someone
from the Lincoln Center staff on our floor came by. He mentioned
something about a plane going into the World Trade Center. Apparently
it had completely shut down the subways in areas. Marci, Aussie
Mark and Mark Powell arrived and said another plane had crashed
into it, and that Manhattan was cut off as they had closed all
the bridges. Giselle was in tears, as she knew someone who worked
at close to the building. I was worried about my brother-in-law,
Jimmy and his girlfriend Jerry. I tried to rack my brains to
remember when he said his work was moving from the World Trade
Center to Datek's new offices in New Jersey. All the phones
were down or busy.
reluctantly started the warm-up. Mira came in. She was our choreographer
for the dance in The Tempest and had been teaching in the Clarke
Studio, but said they now had set up a television in there,
and confirmed that two planes had crashed into the WTC, but
also another one had crashed into the Pentagon. Everyone just
stood there dumbfounded. Another man came by and said the building
was being evacuated, but we could stay if we wanted to. We voted
to stay because we couldn't think of anything better. Nate Flowers
rushed in, visibly upset, apologized, and said he had to go.
David didn't make it. After the warm-up Giselle, Lindsay-Rae
and Marci who is going to be Ariel for the first two performances
did some singing with Tony, and the boys ventured out into the
hallway. The Clarke Studio was deserted except for a radio blaring
out news reports in a corner. I grabbed some hospitality food
that had been left, and made my way to the offices. In one of
the cubicles there was small television with a group of people
gathered around. The picture was fuzzy because it had an inside
aeriel, but it was clear enough for me to watch in disbelief
the now famous pictures of the plane crashing into the building.
Someone said that one of the towers had come down. I said that
couldn't be right. I had thought that it was a small plane or
a cargo plane, but now realized that it was a passenger plane.
returned to the rehearsal room only to find that now the order
to evacuate was official and that every landmark building was
having to do the same thing. Out on the streets people were
walking in their droves. I was reminded of War of the Worlds
or Day of the Triffids. The atmosphere was just surreal. We
made our way to a sandwich bar. We tried to be jovial, to make
fun of it; the truth was we were all shaken up. We went over
to the flat rocks in Central Park, opened up the sandwiches
and half-heartedly ran through our lines for both plays. The
sun burnt our skin and the day seemed eerily calm. A beautiful,
still, September day. The only hint of the madness was the constant
wailing of sirens and the two fighter planes that kept making
passes above our heads. Every time we heard the sound of an
aircraft we stopped and waited.
mid-afternoon we had finished and made our way the relatively
short distance to Tony's apartment on 72nd Street. And it was
there, in front of the television… with a crystal clear picture
this time, that we saw the full and utter horror and madness
of what had happened. The plane crashing, the buildings coming
down, the Pentagon… the utter devastation… the carnage.
the time I left Tony's the 1&9 was running, but many had to
walk miles and miles home. Dionne, Robert and Janet (Robert's
mum) were all sitting on the sofa watching the TV. I had had
anxious calls, and made them back to reassure people and also
replied to the many people who emailed me to check if I was
ok. I was greatly touched by the concern. It was with great
relief that I heard from Lori when I later spoke to her that
when she rang her mother, the first thing her mum had said was:
"He and Jen were late. They missed the Path train in." Thank
both worked very close to the WTC. In fact at 9.25 yesterday,
Jim had had a meeting on 101st floor of no1 Trade Center Building.
24 hours made a big difference. Relieved for Jimmy since he's
already had two car crashes. And everything comes in threes.
Although I suppose today it was four…
son Charley was very shaken and wanted me to fly home straight
away. I pointed out that there were no planes. "They should
bring Clinton back," he said, "Bush is shitting it!" And later
when I watched the President address the nation I had to agree
with him. Bush was shitting it.
impact of all this for our band of brothers is hard to tell
just now. We had no show tonight of course, and I believe that
everything south of 14th street is closed tomorrow, which rules
out the show and planned rehearsal. There may be an impact on
the extension of the show. Will people want to go out to the
theatre? I think they will, as sometimes people tend to start
to appreciate the more artistic things in life in a war situation;
and at the moment over here it feels like that there is a war
going on. But who knows what will happen?
don't know what to feel except a great sadness for the loss
of life. The futility of it baffles me. The backlash scares
me. They have never had anything quite like this over here,
whereas I suppose the Brits are a little more stoical having
memories of IRA campaigns and the traditions of the Blitz. But
for America, well you have to go back to Pearl Harbor. It confirms
every fear I ever had about flying… If I come back to England
it will have to be on the QE2!
I sent off
my last diary report yesterday… it began "After the explosion
of writing… a gap… a space…
story below was sent to me by my brother-in-laws girlfriend,
Jenny, written after talking with one of two co-workers of hers
who were in the building when Tuesdays events took place.
Teresa had been running late for work for the past week or so,
However, Tuesday she wanted to get in early. Seconds after she
stepped foot off of the elevator that brought her up to the
47th floor - she heard a loud boom, and the building shook like
she never felt it before. That shake, was the first plane hitting
that, she heard the elevator she just stepped off of, drop and
the screams of the people still on the elevator echoed. She
ran past the bathroom and escorted an extremely frantic women
back to her office. She described the halls as quiet, however
dust and smoke was beginning to fill the area. Instead of fleeing
at that moment she had to check to see if anyone was in our
office, because that's the kind of caring person she is. When
she got there, she found my other co-worker, Karin hiding underneath
a desk very shaken. Karin would not leave. She was too scared.
After too many minutes of persuading her, Karin finally agreed
walk from the 47th floor down to the 30th floor went fairly
quickly. There were many people fleeing, most in control, although
the stairs were also very quiet - most people were unaware of
what was happening Around the 30th floor they stopped. From
the 30th to the 20th floor, they moved very slowly. People were
starting to lose it and the stairs were getting very smoked
filled. Around the 20th floor was when they saw the firemen.
She said they were exhausted having been carrying such heavy
equipment up 20 flights of stairs. Everyone was clapping and
cheering them on. A few stopped to let them know they are doing
their best to get everyone out. Teresa burst into tears at this
point when I talked to her last night, because it saddened her
that those fireman, her heros, most likely did not make it out.
and Karin finally made it down to the concoure/mall of the WTC.
It took them 1 hour! For those that are familiar w/ the WTC
- they had to evacuate using the escaloters by the Warner Brothers
store that go up to Borders. Midway up the escalor which would
take them to ground level - the lights and power went out. 2
WTC was collapsing. Teresa had never heard such a horrific noise.
Next thing she knew, she went flying backwards due to the force
of the windows blowing out, and landed on top of my other co-worker.
All Teresa could feel were the stings of glass going into her
the building had collapsed - there was only silence. Teresa thought
she was dead. She didn't hear a soul - she began praying thanking
god for a wonderful life, for him to please take care of her
family...Then she saw a flashlight and started screaming - I'm
alive please help me I'm alive. A few others that were around
jumped up and started making there way towards the light. The
entire area was pitch black completely covered in dust and smoke.
She found my other co-worker and ran to the police officer -
who was the one w/ the flashlight. He quickly escorted them
out through the Borders that was there and they were immediately
put into Ambulances. On the way to the hospital - Tower One
collapsed. They were so lucky! They were stitched up and released
and are thankful for their lives.
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