The Salt Lake Acting Company is staging part one of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning epic play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on American Themes.
This mind-blowing, intimate piece of theater focuses on Americans from various socio-economic backgrounds who face a myriad of conflicts. The characters are based in Salt Lake City and New York City in the mid-’80s.
“Angels in America is essentially a play of personal relationships,” said Director and Executive Producer Keven Myhre. “[It’s] about where the characters are going and what they are carving out in their lives through those relationships.”
The list of characters include a gay man with AIDS experiencing heavenly visions, a neurotic Valium-riddled Mormon housewife, her deeply closeted gay husband, a lawyer whose reputation is threatened when he is discovered to have AIDS, the ghost of a Communist spy and a former drag queen.
“What interests me is that anytime that you read or watch Kushner’s play, depending on where you are at in that particular moment, you will follow different characters,” Myhre said. “You will take their lead or their point of view as you follow these lives as they weave in and out of one another.”
Salt Lake Acting Company was one of the first regional theaters to be given the rights to perform Angels in America in 1995.
“A lot has changed in America since 1995 – within this company, within theatre, within everyone’s lives,” Myhre said. “The production will remain true to the play, but you can’t produce it again the way it was done initially; it is a whole different experience than our previous production or than the HBO series.”
The production is also a celebration of Salt Lake Acting Company’s 40-year anniversary.
“In the spirit of honoring the past, we examined SLAC’s 40 year history and asked: What is the benchmark play that epitomized SLAC?” Meher and executive producer Cynthia Fleming stated in a press release. “Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is a defining, relevant play for theatre worldwide, as well as for SLAC in particular.”
Part one, Millennium Approaches, will be performed nightly except for Mondays and Tuesdays, Oct. 6-31. Tickets are $15-$37. Part two, Perestroika, will be presented as a staged reading Nov. 5-7. Tickets to the reading are $15.
For more information, go to www.SaltLakeActingCompany.org