The Cedar Shoals drama department returns to the stage for the first time since early 2020 with this week’s production of Dan McCormick’s National 9/11 Memorial and Museum inducted play “On The Day and The Days That Followed.” A documentarian drama on the occurrences of 9/11, the play chronicles the life changing effects on people who lived through the attacks.
Drama teacher Rosemary Milsap chose the second rendition of “On The Day and The Days That Followed” because of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this past September.
“Nobody in this cast has had a tremendous amount of experience and the vast majority of the cast have zero experience on stage acting. So I had to take into account that I had to come up with a play where I could teach them from scratch, or I could teach them the whole play business with one play,” Milsap said.
“On The Day and The Days That Followed” follows the story of an average American family waiting to see if their family member Micheal will return from his job at the World Trade Center. The ensemble cast talks about their various experiences during 9/11 throughout this wait.
College sophomore Traci and Micheal’s sister, played by Student Producer and Costumes/Props Manager junior Gracie Fleming, struggles with her faith in God, unable to understand why this tragedy happened.
“I’m not currently a religious person, but I used to be very religious, and her monologue about God not being there is — just like I’ve had those moments. She’s a very real character with her religious turmoil and dealing with loved ones’ racism,” Fleming said.
The play does not shy away from subjects like racism, as they played a big part in the time following the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centers.
“There’s this darker side that people don’t like to talk about where the race focus became placed on Middle Easterners. It was not all patriotism and heroism there,” Milsap said.
By diving into these heavy topics, Milsap feels the play can be a source of discussion among both her student actors and those who watch the play.
“I’m an educator and ultimately, I want people to think and grow and look at the world around them more critically. I hope it gives them a little bit of knowledge,” Milsap said.
“On The Day and The Days That Followed” runs on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. in the Cedar Shoals fine arts auditorium. Student tickets cost five dollars and family tickets $15. All tickets can be purchased at the door or through GoFan.