AS MUCH AS I CAN to Play Run at Joe's Pub This Fall
A unique and powerful piece of activist, experiential theatre, Sarah Hall's As Much As I Can will play 10 performances at Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette Street) from September 12-16 (two shows nightly at 7:00 and 9:30 PM). James Andrew Walsh will direct. Produced by Harley & Co., and supported by ViiV Healthcare, the production is designed by Harley & Co. Additional creative team and casting is to be announced.
As Much As I Can was created in collaboration with hundreds of gay and bisexual Black men from Jackson MS and Baltimore MD who shared their personal stories. Designed to mobilize communities to respond to the terrible fact that Black men have, and continue to be, disproportionally infected and affected by HIV, the show's original staging was fully immersive; audience members moved from room to room with the actors. At Joe's Pub it will be staged to reflect the production's intent to blur the lines between theatricality and reality. Playwright Sarah Hall said, "The show is designed so that you forget it is a fiction. We want you to feel so much a part of it that it becomes impossible to separate yourself in the way we do when we observe narratives. That could only work if it was a broadly resonant story and if we gave each audience member a role to play." As Much As I Can was previously presented in Harlem, Baltimore, Jackson MS, San Diego and Raleigh NC.
Following a day in the life of a group of friends, the play introduces the audience to a tight-knit community where the church is ever present, family is complicated, and history is hard to escape. It asks viewers to consider the power of belonging, the challenges of intimacy, and the repercussive effects of systematic prejudice.
Mark King of Thebody.com, a website devoted to HIV/AIDS, said, "We may never come this close again to inhabiting the lives of a community often reduced to statistics and test results. The Black gay men of As Much As I Can are living and loving and leaning on each other. Their triumph and their pain are so close you can touch them, and you actually might."
As Much As I Can is the recipient of a Cannes Lion Award, Shorty Award, two Telly Awards, a Patient's Congress Award, and a D&AD Award. It has also been shown to be an effective public health intervention in shifting people's perception of HIV/AIDS.
Photo Credit: Harley & Company