RTP’s ‘Angels in America: Millennium Approaches’ aims to remind RVA how faith can be used or abused
“What’s great about Richmond Triangle Players is that the issues we deal with are really good stories well told, but they truly have the capacity to look at the world in a different way when you leave” said Philip Crosby, the managing director of Richmond Triangle Players Theater.
RTP’s upcoming production of Angels In America: Millennium Approaches hopes to accomplish just that, featuring strong local talent and grappling with themes that are unfortunately still hugely prevalent in today’s world.
The production opens on April 2 and runs through April 25th.
Considered to be a modern morality play, Angels In America tackles the ways in which greed, sexual politics, and a sweeping AIDS epidemic all fundamentally changed the American cultural landscape in the mid-80s. The play originally reached Broadway in 1993, receiving the Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award and The Pulitzer Prize.
As the first part of a two part story, the plot follows characters including a closeted Mormon Republican, an ex-drag queen, and an attorney based on the real-life story of Roy Cohn, all struggling with issues of societal acceptance, self acceptance, and religion conflicting with sexuality.
Being the only theater in the Midatlantic that expressly does work with a focus on the LGBT population, the Richmond Triangle Players Theater has “wanted to do it forever, since we were founded, but we never really felt we had the capabilities to pull it off,” according to Crosby. “Since we got the new venue, now we think we can really do this play justice.”
The play will be directed by RTP’s Bo Wilson and features a wide ranging cast of local performers; including Matt Shofner, who recently played the title role in Theaterlab’s production of Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Deejay Gray, artistic director for Theaterlab, Nicholas Wilder, who starred in RTP’s Two Boys On A Cold Winter Night, Andrew Etheredge of Cabaret and Pageant, Andrew Firda of Cadence Theater’s Sight Unseen, and Audra Honaker from the recent production of The Lion In Winter, as well as new faces like Boomie Pederson and Kylie Clark.
Crosby said Angels In America: Millenium Approaches is an “important play with important issues, heavily dealing with issues of faith and what people believe and how they use their faith and sometimes abuse their faith to the detriment of others.”
Those issues are just as timely today as they were when the play was written 20 years ago, as the recent passage of Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” law teaches us.
With Angels In America, Crosby hopes to continue Richmond Triangle Players’ tradition of showcasing “diversity, inclusion, and why they make the world a stronger, better place.”
Angles in America: Millennium Approaches runs Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM until April 25, with Sunday matinees April 12 and 19 at 4 PM.
Rodrigo Arriaza is a cool dude who loves bees and Bolivia.
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