Photo Credit: LaRae Lobdell,

Photo Credit: LaRae Lobdell,

Over the next week, Artistic Director Andrew Russell will share the discoveries he’s made while acting in The Normal Heart and planning/auditioning for Angels in America, which both explore the 1980s AIDS crisis in New York City.

It all leads up to our big reveal of the Angels in America cast, announced first on Facebook – like us and be one of the first to know!

 Despite my very expensive degree from Carnegie Mellon University in acting, I’ve not performed in a production in over a decade. So when Sheila Daniels asked me to play Felix in her production of The Normal Heart at Strawberry Theatre Workshop, I considered it for some time.

I believe the activism at the heart of the play must continue today — one needs to have a higher calling when it comes to these things — and I trust Sheila deeply enough to do just about anything she may ask of me. So, I said yes.

Not once did it occur to me that I’d be rehearsing and performing in this political thriller about sexual politics and the first shock of AIDS in New York City, while also auditioning and planning for Angels in America here at Intiman.

This was not orchestrated, and I chant a thank you to the stars every night as I walk to the theatre for making it so. Hearing Tony Kushner’s gorgeous language in daily auditions while exploring Larry Kramer’s fury and fire in nightly shows has encouraged so many discoveries, many of which won’t fully realize themselves until the next nine months unfold.

While both plays occur in 1980s New York City, are stories inspired by the AIDS epidemic, and feature men infected with the disease who live and die, The Normal Heart and Angels in America are incredibly different journeys told through two very different voices.

I’ve learned there is great value in experiencing them together, or in relationship to each other, and I encourage you to see them both. Through no pre-planning, Strawberry Theatre Workshop chose to produce The Normal Heart (which closes this weekend, buy tickets here) in the same year Intiman Theatre will produce both parts of Angels in America.

Yesterday, we launched our annual Show the Love campaign to raise funds for Angels in America. I hope you’ll invest with me in this incredible work, which I believe will remind us of the humanity that underpins many of the issues confronting us today, and deepen our community dialogue around these issues. Donate today and your gift will be doubled! Thank you.