Angels in America
play dives into controversial themes amid AIDS epidemic
Tony Kushner’s ambitious Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Angels in America, is set to awaken the hearts and minds of audiences during its upcoming run on the UW-Eau Claire campus. Set in the mid-1980s during initial public acknowledgement of the AIDS epidemic, the play intertwines the stories of several realistic and supernatural individuals, all overcoming heartbreak, emotional turmoil, and eventual character transformation. A gay man with AIDS, a Mormon lawyer, an African American male nurse, a prophetic angel, and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, among others, explore overreaching themes of love, justice, theology, individual identity, and the need for social change in a society becoming increasingly restricted by intolerance. With controversial themes, Angels in America is highly relevant to modern audiences. UW-Eau Claire director F. Reed Brown hopes that students, faculty, and community members will embrace the play and consequentially increase their understanding and acceptance of difference. “As we know, the LGBT community is still looking for change to happen,” said Reed. “We open Angels in America on December 2, the day after national AIDS day, and our LGBT community is still being viewed as the walking wounded by some.” The revival of the play, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, recently opened on Broadway to sold out audiences. The fact that UW-Eau Claire is willing to take on a tale of such rich complexity and controversy deserves high praise.
Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes • Dec. 2-4 and 9-11 at 7:30pm, Dec. 5 at 1:30pm • Kjer Theatre, 105 Garfield Ave. • $14 adults, $12 seniors, $4.50 students • ages 18+ • 832-7529