9/11 at center of new play

Local News

Out of Pocket, Inc. will present Yankee Tavern at Rochester’s Multi-use Community Cultural Center from February 1-9.

Olivia Knowlden, who plays Janet, and John Jaeger, who plays Ray, discussed the play Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“It starts with three people sitting in the bar,” said Knowlden of Yankee Tavern. “The bar is kind of run down. It used to be really, really popular but it’s kind of past its glory days now. It takes place about five years after 9/11 in New York City.”

The terror attack is central to Steven Dietz’s story. Jaeger’s character sets conspiracy theories aloft. “He’s a very interesting character,” Jaeger said. “He’s homeless. He wasn’t always homeless, but after 9/11 he becomes homeless. He’s a conspiracy theorist, and the more outrageous the conspiracy the more he believes it. He goes from things where – one of my favorite things is he says, someone heard my theory about Yoko Ono and the Bay of Pigs, and you think what have they got to do with anything – all the way to things that are very well known about 9/11 and he is well versed in this and believes all of it.”

The first act sets up a thrilling second act. “The thriller aspect is the stranger that comes into the bar, and how that whole aspect plays out,” said Jaeger.

Knowlden added, when it comes to this story, words matter. “It’s definitely going to keep them on the edge of their seats! It’s definitely going to give them kind of a – I don’t want to say a new outlook on 9/11 – but it kind of makes you realize how quickly things can unravel. Bar stories are kind of – the bigger, the better – but the play shows how when you’re competing for who’s got the best story in the bar, how that can effect everybody else’s lives, especially when it’s something that hits so close to home.”

To see Yankee Tavern get your tickets online at MuCCC.org.

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