In the world of theater, a show is never truly finished. Especially a masterwork like Angels in America.
As a show ages, new productions and companies take on the story and characters, causing the art itself to evolve. Angels in America is over 30 years old and has seen many evolutions over the years. The America that the show was written about is different than the one we live in now, but the rhymes of that era’s history can still be felt today. We have traded the AIDS epidemic for the coronavirus pandemic, and a crisis with ozone for a crisis with nature itself. We live in a world where marriage is legal for all, and yet, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination every single day. With this production of Angels in America, we will feel the emotions of today and 30 years ago riding together side by side in one play.
The director for this production, János Szász, is the perfect director to take on such a monumental task.
I first met him over 23 years ago while on a trip to Budapest when Philip Arnoult and the Center for International Theatre Development took a group of intrepid artistic directors to create relationships with great Hungarian directors. I found János Szász, a brilliant theatermaker and filmmaker. When we first met, the world still looked remarkably similar to the one depicted in the play. As the world has evolved in the decades since, the way we create art has evolved with it. Szász’s approach to Angels in America is unusual and clarifying. Although you may think you know this play, he investigates it through his very different perspective.
I always love it when artists from other countries interpret our American classics. They see our stories through a different point of view and that’s good for all of us.