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.

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Image: Grace Attlee


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.  

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