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Get to Know Tony Kushner, The Playwright of ANGELS IN AMERICA

Get to Know Tony Kushner, The Playwright of ANGELS IN AMERICAManila, Philippines--Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group opens its 20th-Anniversary Season with Tony Kushner's modern classic ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, part one of the two-part play cycle.

Considered to be one of the greatest works of 20th-Century Theater, ANGELS IN AMERICA is a spellbinding epic of love, betrayal, loss, truth, and lies, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 10 Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Revival of a Play.

Set in New York City at the height of the Reagan era and the beginning of the AIDS crisis, a handful of characters struggle to make sense of the world around them, questioning their beliefs, their desires, and their societal roles they feel obligated to uphold.

Kushner's modern masterpiece, ANGELS IN AMERICA, is an epic exploration of politics, religion, sexuality, and love that intensifies to an astounding finale.

In 2003, ANGELS IN AMERICA was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning television miniseries.

Kushner's subsequent plays include Slavs! (1994); A Dybbuk, Or, Between Two Worlds (1997); Henry Box Brown: Or, The Mirror of Slavery (1998); and Homebody/Kabul (2001). He also wrote the book for the musical Caroline, or Change (1999). His unfinished Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, written in response to the Iraq War, was performed in a number of readings in 2004, and his translation of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children was staged in New York City in 2006. Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (2009) is a naturalistic drama about an extended family of intellectuals dealing with their patriarch's desire to commit suicide.

In addition to his work for the stage, Kushner contributed screenplays to Steven Spielberg's films Munich (2005; co-written with Eric Roth) and Lincoln (2012). Kushner also authored the children's book Brundibar (2003; illustrated by Maurice Sendak) and co-edited (with Alisa Solomon) the essay collection Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (2003).

He received the National Medal of Arts in 2013.

Critically-acclaimed actor Art Acuña, who last appeared on the Atlantis stage in God of Carnage, plays the role of Roy Cohn, a fictional re-creation of the infamous New York conservative lawyer who died of AIDS in 1986. Art feels privileged to be able to work with Kushner's language. He says, "Tony Kushner's writing, more than his simple yet precise choice of words, is about 'sound.' The sound embedded in the pictures that sprout from the dialogue."

Theater actor Topper Fabregas, who plays the central role of Prior Walter, says of Kushner, "His writing in ANGELS IN AMERICA feels so grandiose and far-reaching at times. It can be a little intimidating for an actor, but then, the more you tap into his rhythms and trust the words, the more you realize how immediate his writing is. It goes straight for your gut. As an actor, you always know when the material's great because the words alone can take you to the emotional places you want to get to. That's how I feel with ANGELS IN AMERICA. And we haven't even started rehearsing yet! This is just from me reading his writing over and over again."

Directed by Bobby Garcia (who also directed the Asian Premiere of the monumental epic almost 25 years ago), ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES runs from March 22 - April 7, 2019, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Get your tickets at TicketWorld.com.ph.

Photo: Walter McBride

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