EPAC Presents ANGELS IN AMERICA, 3/7-4/6
The Ephrata Performing Arts Center is launching its 2013 main stage season with the most ambitious theatrical undertaking in its history - the area's first-ever production of Angels in America in its two-play entirety: Millennium Approaches (March 7-9 and 13-16) and Perestroika (March 28-30 and April 3-6).
This landmark achievement that The New York Times hailed as "The most thrilling American play in years, won both the Tony for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
This epic work by Tony Kushner (author of the Oscar-nominated Lincoln) sweeps across a fantastical landscape ranging from Manhattan to the nether reaches of hallucination, including Antarctica.
Angels' dramatic depiction of America's struggle to identify and treat the HIV/AIDS crisis in the Reagan era of homophobic denial is rich in humor as well as history and timely relevance.
"Democracy and Marxism, pessimism and optimism, comic and tragic, ghosts and flesh, capitalism and socialism, abandonment and loyalty, dreams and reality, progress and stasis, gay and straight, Jews, Christians, Mormons - Kushner has stuffed everything into this gorgeous enormous two-part play about forgiveness and hope," raved The Philadelphia Inquirer.
To bring this ambitious work to life, EPAC Artistic Director Edward R. Fernandez has assembled a cast composed of both EPAC favorites and some stunning newcomers, most of whom portray multiple characters. The roles and the actors portraying them are:
Prior Walter, a gay man facing the loss of his life - and his partner -- through AIDS (Daniel Greene).
Louis Ironson - Prior's boyfriend, struggling to cope with his partner's HIV status (Bob Breen).
Harper Pitt - A drug-addled Mormon housewife plagued by hallucinations - and the discovery that her husband is gay (Amy Carter).
Joseph Porter Pitt: Harper's deeply closeted Mormon husband and friend/clerk to Roy Cohn (Equity guest artist Andrew Kindig).
Roy Cohn - The real-life closeted, right-wing gay lawyer concealing his HIV/AIDS status behind the claim of liver cancer (Richard Bradbury).
Ethel Rosenberg - The ghost of the woman whom Cohn was instrumental in convicting and executing for being a Communist spy (Elizabeth Pattey).
Hannah Pitt - Joe's mother who rushes to confront him when he drunkenly admits to her his homosexuality (Elizabeth Pattey).
Belize - Prior's ex-boyfriend and best friend, a former drag queen who, ironically, becomes Cohn's nurse (Adam Newborn).
Nurse, Street Woman and Voice/Angel, a messenger from Heaven who visits Prior and tells him he's a prophet (Kristie Ohlinger).
Ally Ortiz serves the production as stage manager. Set design is by Michael Rhoads; lighting design by Jeff Cusano; costumes by Danae McQueen. Original music is by EPAC Music Supervisor J.P. Meyer.
This dual production is underwritten as a community outreach by Alder Health Services, which is dedicated to improving the health of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and those struggling with addiction in the South Central Pennsylvania region.
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America: Perestroika will both be performed at the Sharadin Bigler Theatre, 320 Cocalico St., Ephrata, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, with 2 p.m. pay-what-you-will matinees on Saturdays, March 16 and April 6. Tickets are $15-$27.50, with reserved seating for both plays available for $45. Reserve tickets on line at ephrataperformingartscenter.com or call (717) 733-7966, Ext. 1.