Encore performance: Play pays tribute to January 8th tragedy on eve of two year anniversary
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the darkest day in Tucson's history, survivors came together to heal through theater.
"Everything helps heal," Col. Bill Badger said. "Being with this group helps heal."
The Beowulf Alley Theatre performed "Word Clouds", the same play performed just months after the shooting in 2011. It was written in response to the tragedy. The play's writer and director Michael Fenlason tells KGUN 9 that two years later the message of guns, mental illness and safety still resonates.
"We wanted to try it one more time and see if we can get the conversation started," Fenlason said.
Fenlason says he was moved by the shooting in Aurora and the massacre of 6-year-olds in Newtown, Connecticut. He felt it was right to bring the play back to the stage in Tucson.
"We felt deep down that the community needed this," actress Nicole Scott said. "They needed a place to go feel again."
The play recounts the events of that day through average people touched by the tragedy.
"A show like this really brings back the memories," said Scott.
It doesn't dwell much on the killer or much on the bloodshed, but pays tribute to those lost, honors those who saved lives and reminds Tucsonans how strong they really were in the days after.
"I can tell you Tucson is a great city to live in, and the people are just great," Badger said.
Twenty-five percent of the night's proceeds went to Tucson Homicide Survivors, a group that has helped many of the victims of the Safeway shooting.
Fenlason tells 9OYS he's not sure if the play will be performed again. He says he hopes the country learns lessons from Tucson, Aurora and Newtown. If the country does, he says he won't have to bring back the play for a fourth time.