The Clark State Community College Theatre Arts program will present the highly accredited Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part II – Perestroika by American playwright Tony Kushner. The show has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.
“When Director Sarah V. Michelson decided to present Angels in America, Part I in the spring, we knew it was a package deal,” said Theresa Lauricella, associate professor and Theatre Arts program coordinator at Clark State. “If we were going to tell the story, we wanted to tell the complete story.”
Lauricella has taught Angels in America, Part I in her Script Analysis class at Clark State for many years. “Students often wonder what happens at the end of our discussion on this script,” she said. “They became so involved in the characters' storyline that they would want the final act. Although the ending of Part I is so spectacular, it is an open ending.”
Angels, Part II takes place almost immediately where Part I ended, Lauricella explained. The story continues following the main character, Prior, who was diagnosed with AIDS. Lauricella said Angels, Part II is about the varied and frayed fabric of American culture, but with humor.
“The audience can expect to be swept into the world of New York City in 1986 and into the metaphysical divine as well,” said Lauricella. “Audiences can expect to learn that we have come a long, long way in those 30 years, but in the words of Prior, ‘This disease will be the end of many of us, but not nearly all, and the dead will be commemorated and will struggle on with the living, and we are not going away. We won't die secret deaths anymore.’ I think, I hope, audiences will grasp the human struggle living at the soul of this play.”
Angels, Part II is an ensemble piece and many of the actors from Angels, Part I have returned for Part II. Four Clark State students are in the cast including: Megan Kelly as Harper Pitt, Paula Arter as Hannah Pitt, Erin Teague as the World's Oldest Bolshevik and Alex Mast as the Angel. Students backstage include Jordyn Mason for wardrobe and makeup, Morgan Robertson on sound, Timbra Buford and Janai Mitchell as run crew.
Angels in America, Part II will be at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, Turner Studio Theater on October 28, 29, 30, November 4, 5 and 6. Tickets are free for Clark State students with a student ID. General admission tickets are $15 and are available through ticketmaster.com.