THE NORMAL HEART Tour Kicks Off A.C.T.'s 2012-2013 Season, 9/13

By: May. 21, 2012
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American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Artistic Director Carey Perloff announced today that The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer's landmark play focusing on the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City in the 1980s, will open the 2012–13 season this fall.

Directed by five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart unfolds like a real-life political thriller as a tight-knit group of friends refuse to let doctors, politicians, and the press bury the truth about an epidemic ravaging the gay community behind a wall of silence. Wolfe's 2011 Broadway staging received universal acclaim and was the recipient of three Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, and the Outer Circle Critics Circle Award, all naming it Best Revival of a Play. The show was also awarded the Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle.

The Normal Heart performs a limited run September 13–October 7, 2012, at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Press night is Wednesday, September 19, at 8 p.m. The Normal Heart is presented in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., by special arrangement with Daryl Roth.

First produced in 1985 by Joseph Papp at New York's Public Theater, where it ran for 294 performances, The Normal Heart immediately became a critical sensation and a seminal moment in theater history. An unflinching and unforgettable play that remains pertinent and prescient, Kramer's unapologetic tackling of the AIDS epidemic, gay marriage, and our national healthcare system cast theatrical light on issues that are as present in today's national discourse as they were when the play first premiered a quarter of a century ago. Casting for the A.C.T. production of The Normal Heart will be announced at a later date.

Says Perloff: "I am so moved and delighted to open the season with a piece as fierce, funny, and ferocious as The Normal Heart. This beautiful production is such a wonderful reminder that fighting is better than forgetting, and that all of us are more complicated and contradictory than we would wish. Kramer has created such rich, three-dimensional human beings in The Normal Heart, and it is deeply satisfying to revisit their lives and their struggles from our contemporary perspective."

Director Wolfe speaks to the widespread appeal of the play: "Last year when we did the revival on Broadway it was thrilling to see critics rediscover what a great American play The Normal Heart is, and to see audiences, young and old, respond with such emotion and ferocity to the story." Producer Roth comments on its timelessness: "It is a testament to Larry Kramer's 'righteous rage' 25 years ago when the play was written that allows us to again engage and touch those who remember, but most importantly, enlighten a younger generation learning their history and legacy."

The Normal Heart reunites members of the Broadway revival's design team, including scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer and original music composer David Van Tieghem, and projection designer Batwin & Robin. Joining the team is restaging director Leah C. Gardiner. The 25th anniversary Broadway staged reading of The Normal Heart was held on October 18, 2010, and produced by Daryl Roth and directed by Joel Grey.

Tickets for the limited engagement of The Normal Heart are available only as part of A.C.T.'s 2012–13 season. To order a subscription, visit or call 415.749.2250. A.C.T.'s 2012–13 season also features the return of Lorenzo Pisoni's acclaimed one-man show Humor Abuse (August 3–19), Carey Perloff's sweeping production of Sophocles' Greek tragedy Elektra starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis (October 25–November 18), the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol(November 29–December 24), Tennessee Williams'ssultry classic A Streetcar Named Desire (January 17–February 10), the world premiere of George F. Walker's Dead Metaphor (February 28–March 24), the world premiere hip-hop opera, Stuck Elevator (April 4–28), the Bay Area premiere of The National Theatre of Scotland's internationally acclaimed production of Black Watch (May 3–June 9), and a new production of Tom Stoppard's masterwork Arcadia (May 16–June 9).


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