Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s two-part play about the AIDS crisis and homosexuality in the 1980s, is having a moment. UW Drama will perform part two, “Perestroika,” April 24–May 6. Director Mark Valdez shares his thoughts on why Angels is relevant 25 years after its Broadway premiere. drama.washington.edu
The play initially was trying to assess the future of our country — where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. The play begins in a turbulent time. There’s chaos and death and the Earth is dying. It’s trying to wrestle with these enormous ideas of what this country is and how we got here. ¶ Coming out of this election, I felt like there were so many people who were like, How did this happen? There was something about starting right in the middle of the mess. ¶ AIDS is still very much a crisis…but it’s also become a metaphor at a certain level. People are dying, because we’re letting them die. I think there’s some power in this moment of Black Lives Matter, for instance. There’s an epidemic going on, and we’re just standing by because we’re afraid. ¶ You can’t conquer this play. People will always be doing it.