Pulitzer Prize-winning Play, AIDS Activist, Exhibit on Campus

UNCW Theatre Presents Angels in America Part One; AIDS Memorial Quilt on Campus – Founder Cleve Jones to Give Lecture

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Theatre continues its 2012-2013 season with Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tony Kushner. The production will run Nov. 8-11 and Nov. 15-18 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Cultural Arts Building. Shows times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Directed by Ed Wagenseller, this is the first production of Angels in America in Southeastern North Carolina.  “This is one of the most perfectly written plays in the American canon,” notes Wagenseller.  “We are using a style I call ‘exposed theatricality,’ where we aren’t hiding actors, props, lighting and set pieces.  We are exposing our theatrical world to the audience.”

Tony Kushner’s groundbreaking play was a milestone in U.S. culture and history. Hailed as “a vast, miraculous play” by the New York Times, Angels in America Part One won the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Drama Critics Circle award and the Tony award for best play in 1993. The 2003 HBO miniseries based on the play won 5 Golden Globes and 11 Emmys. The story of Angels in America begins in October 1985, when Prior Walter is attacked by a mysterious disease that destroys his body from within.  Abandoned by his lover Louis, approached by an apocalyptic angel, Prior must battle his way through the defining epidemic and repressive politics of the late twentieth century to earn his fate as survivor and prophet.

UNCW’s production of the play features local professional actor Cullen Moss (One Tree Hill, Army Wives and The Notebook).  Jessica Gaffney, theatre instructor at Cape Fear Community College and New York University graduate, is the guest costume designer. Donald Robert Fox is the guest professional lighting designer and the set design is by Assistant Professor Gregg Buck of the UNCW Department of Theatre.

"Seeing Angels in America 17 years ago was incredibly impactful for me as a child of the eighties. The play is no less relevant today than then," notes Moss.  "It is a gift and an honor to work on this production with Ed and an excellent student cast." 

Tickets for Angels in America Part One are $12 for members of the general public, $10 for seniors and UNCW employees and $5 for students. They are available at the Kenan Box Office on campus, by calling 910.962.3500, or on the website at www.uncw.edu/arts/boxoffice.html.  Please note that the language and imagery of Angels in America may be disturbing to some audience members.

UNCW Theatre’s production of Angels in America has been scheduled in coordination with the UNCW Presents Leadership Lecture Series and Synergy Common Reading Keynote Address by Cleve Jones. Creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Jones has contributed to understanding and hope for those with the disease. His lecture, “The Power You Have to Make a Difference,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 in the Burney Center*.

Tickets for the Cleve Jones lecture are $10 for the general public and free for faculty, staff and students. Those tickets can be picked up at the Sharky’s Box Office (910.962.4045) or at etix.com. An informal discussion with Jones will be held prior the lecture from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in the Fisher Student Center, RSVP to mancusos@uncw.edu is required.

Jones’s AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display in the Warwick Center lobby Nov. 8-15. Join UNCW Presents along with the Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) for an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the lobby.

*Overflow seating for the Cleve Jones talk will be available in Lumina Theater with a live-video feed.

Media Contact: Caroline Cropp, University Relations, 910.962.7109