Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert present Tony Kushner's Tony Award-winning Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika, directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell. Angels in America will run March 30 – June 3, 2012 at Court Theatre.
"The Great Work Begins." The year is 1985: Ronald Reagan has just been reelected to a second term, and the deadly AIDS epidemic is at its height in New York City. Tony Kushner's two-part historical drama captures the lives of the HIV-positive Prior; Louis, his lover who abandons him; Joe, a closeted gay Mormon; his Valium-addicted wife Harper; Roy Cohn, a notorious lawyer from the McCarthy hearings, dying of AIDS; Belize, his African-American nurse; Hannah, Joe's mother from Utah; and the Angel, a terrifyingly beautiful herald of the apocalypse. As these characters discover, confront, and seduce each other during a time of death, hypocrisy, and tumultuous change, Kushner summons a restless pastiche of the historical and the supernatural, the theological and the political-all told by a company of eight actors.
Having directEd Kushner's Caroline, or Change and The Illusion, Court's Artistic Director Charles Newell will direct Millennium Approaches and a newly-revised Perestroika in repertory performance.
"Mr. Kushner and I were chatting about what our next collaboration might be, and as we were mulling over a few smaller ideas, he stopped and said that what he really wanted me to direct was Angels in America," says Artistic Director Charles Newell. "It's a significant honor and a thrilling challenge to take on this work, which I consider to be a true classic, one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century. Moreover, as we move into another presidential election season, the play's themes of progress and community--politically and emotionally speaking--couldn't be timelier. While Court will be offering the chance to see either part separately, I personally encourage our audiences to see both parts in one day to experience the full power of this play's emotional journey."
Angels in America features Eddie Bennett (Louis Ironson), Mary Beth Fisher (The Angel), Heidi Kettenring (Harper Amaty Pitt), Rob Lindley (Prior Walter), Geoff Packard (Joseph Porter Pitt), Michael Pogue (Belize), Hollis Resnik (Hannah Porter Pitt) and Larry Yando (Roy M. Cohn).
The creative team includes John Culbert (scenic design), Mike Tutaj (projection design), Keith Parham (lighting design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), and Josh Horvath (sound design). Amber Johnson is the Stage Manager and William Collins is the Production Stage Manager. Drew Dir is the Production Dramaturg.
Tony Kushner's (Playwright) plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. He wrote the libretto for the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, also with Ms. Tesori. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Sezuan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and Steven Spielberg's Munich. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a Pultizer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award and an Oscar nomination, among other honors. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.