AU Press Releases

AU ‘towers’ project travels across campus in gesture of 9/11 remembrance

Students add links to replicas of the Twin Towers

Students add links to replicas of the Twin Towers

Over 100 Alfred University students and staff members have taken time this week to reflect on their connection to the 9-11 tragedy through an exercise of hanging varying lengths of small linked chains on a replica of the twin towers.

Of those 100-plus chain links already placed, seven single links represent direct connections to someone who lost their life in the attacks.

One of five student coordinators for the project, Michel Nacipucha, a freshman from Brooklyn, noted "the anonymous nature of the project lets people recognize their link privately." He hung two links as his father witnessed the attack first-hand on his way to work and Nacipucha still remembers his father returning home two hours later after a long walk and covered in dust.

The towers are moved daily to different locations on campus. The number of links for each chain chosen will depend on the degrees of separation between the individual and a victim of the attacks. The project will culminate with a public reading of "9/10," a play written by Richard Willet, on the evening of Sept. 10.

Performers will be drawn from the AU student body and the community, demonstrating the unity we all share as we reflect on this somber event that so strongly impacted our nation and the world.

Developed from a play-writing workshop Willet taught at Alfred University in 2003, America had just gone to war with Iraq. He drew upon some of his experiences, particularly one of the characters in the play, while in Alfred, in his writing of the play. "9/10" interweaves four stories, each set in the World Trade Center on the night before Sept. 11, 2001.

The "characters" include: Roberto, Dominican-born American mulatto in his 20s; Walter, African-American security guard in his late 50s; Colin, from Brooklyn, tall, not conventionally handsome but looks good in his firefight uniform, age 22; Allison, from Brooklyn, a tough girl who consents every once in a while to be pretty, age 22; Scott, gay man from Idaho, one of those guys who came to New York because he’s gay and now doesn’t quite know what he’s supposed to be doing there, age 35; Sahar, Muslim woman from Morocco, late 20s; Roy, Japanese-American man in his 40s; and Grace, perma-tanned blonde, striking, in her 40s.

A reception and talk-back session with NYC director and AU alumna Eliza Beckwith, AU class of 1978, who will co-direct with Professor Steve Crosby and his Directing I class, will be held after the free performance, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. in CD Smith III Theatre, Miller Performing Arts Center.

The week’s activities are a collaborative project between Alfred University’s Drawn to Diversity (D2D) program, coordinated by Dan Napolitano, AU director of student affairs, and the Division of Performing Arts Theater Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, chaired by Crosby.