ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENIUM APPROACHES

by Tony Kushner

23-26 January 2013

 

Director Jack Sain

Co-Producer and Sound Designer Simon Devenport

Co-Producer Hannah Hurley
Designer Becky Luffman
Executive Designer Emma Glaser
Executive Designer and Deputy Stage Manager Rachel Beaconsfield-Press
Associate Artist Jessica Campbell​
Production Manager Rachael Cross​
Assistant Production Manager Emma Wallis
Lighting Designer Ed Horner
Lighting Assistants Sam Littley and John Evans
Sound Designer Simon Devenport
Sound Engineer Jay Anslow
Composer Nathan Klein
Costume Designer Holly Morse
Co-Stage Manager Lizzie Walker
Co-Stage Manager Helen Morris​
Costume Assistants Ellen Bean & Anusha Mistry
Marketing Manager Carlene Kuschke
Marketing Associate Katie Ebner-Landy
Education and Outreach Officer Jessica Adler


 

 


Amelia Sparling
​Harper Pitt/Martin Heller

Amelia is a second year English student at Jesus College. Since arriving at Oxford, she has appeared in A Man for All Seasons (University Church of St. Mary, MT11), The Vagina Monologues (Lee Simpkins Theatre, HT12), Othello (Corpus Christi Auditorium, HT12), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Christ Church Gardens, TT12), Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Brasenose Arts Festival TT12), Swan Song (Edinburgh Fringe, TT12) and Bloody Poetry (O’Reilly, MT12). Amelia is also a member of the NYT and took part in S’WARM in 2010. She also starred in the student film, Thom, which was nominated for Best Student Film by the Oxford and Cambridge Film Association (MT12).





Arty Froushan

Louis Ironson

Arty is a second year French and German student at Brasenose College. Since arriving at Oxford he has appeared in POSH (Union, MT12), Chekhov Shorts (Lee Simpkins, HT12), Closer (O’Reilly, TT12), the OUDS National Tour 2012 Machinal (London, Oxford, Edinburgh), A View From The Bridge (OP, MT12) and Bloody Poetry (O’Reilly, MT12).



Barney White

Roy Cohn

Barney is a third year English Literature student at Keble College. Since arriving at Oxford he has performed in Hamlet (Oxford, London, Stratford Summer, 2011), The Birthday Party (O’Reilly, MT11), The Hothouse (Playhouse, HT12), After the Dance (Simpkins Lee, TT12), Much Ado About Nothing (OUDS/Thelma Holt Tour, Summer 2012) and A View From The Bridge (OP, MT12).



Dugie Young

Joe Pitt/The Eskimo

Dugie is a third year PPE student at Worcester College. Since arriving at Oxford, he has appeared in The Ghost Walks of Worcester College (Worcester, MT10), Spoon River (BT, MT10), Fear and Misery in the Third Reich (Frewin Undercraft, HT11), Much Ado About Nothing (Worcester, TT11), POSH (Union, MT11) All in the Timing (Worcester, MT11), Dangerous Liaisons (OP, TT12), Proof (O’Reilly, TT12), A View From The Bridge (OP, MT12) and A Real Inspector Hound (BT, MT12).

 



Ed Barr-Sim

Prior Walter/Man in the Park

Ed is a third year English student at Oxford Brookes. Credits include Romeo and Juliet (Wells, 2009), A Doll’s House (Wells, 2009), Hamlet (Wells, 2010), DNA (Wells, 2009), Chekhov Shorts (LMH, 2012), Much Ado (Brookes, 2012), Who’s Afraid of Viriginia Woolf? (Brasenose, 2012), Hamlet, Laughing Boy (Bethnal Green, 2012), A View From The Bridge (OP, 2012) and The Real Inspector Hound (BT, 2012).





Georgina Hellier

Emily/Ella Chapter/The Woman in the South Bronx/The Angel

Georgina is a second year English student at Lady Margaret Hall. She trained on the RADA Foundation Course, and was involved with the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre in Guildford, where she appeared in a number of musicals. Since arriving at Oxford, she has appeared in POSH (Union, MT11), Dangerous Liaisons (St. Anthony’s College, HT12), Closer (O’Reilly TT12), the OUDS National Tour 2012 Machinal and A Little Night Music (OP, MT12).



Jo Allan

Prior 1

Jo is a second year English student at University College. His theatrical work at Oxford includes The Two Cultures (Pilch, MT11), Duck Variations (BT, MT11), School of Night (Improv Show, MT11), Mephisto (International Student Drama Festival & OP, HT12), The Tempest (Magdalene Gardens, TT12) and Tenuous Links (TSK, TT12). He has appeared in the short films Fresh (Ashish Ravinran) and Music Wherever She Goes (Alexander Darby). This summer he appeared in Machinal (OUDS), is a member of the NYT and has performed at the National Theatre’s Watch This Space in The Tempest, Harry! at the Royal College of Music. He appeared in A View From the Bridge (OP, MT12), and will also be appearing in Another Country in Hilary.



Natasha Heliotis

Rabbi Chemelwitz/Henry/Hannah Pitt/Ethel Rosenberg

Natasha is a second year English student at Lincoln College. Since arriving at Oxford, she has appeared in A Man for All Seasons (University Church of St. Mary, MT12), The Taming of the Shrew (Showcase, HT12), A Dolls House (Brasenose Arts Festival, TT12). Natasha is also a member of the NYT and took part in their adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, as well as a production of Orpheus and Eurydice at the Old Vic Tunnels last summer. Other roles include Judith Bliss in Hay Fever and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She also appeared as Mme Armfeldt in A Little Night Music (OP, MT12).



Selali Fiamanya

Mr Lies/Belize

Selali is a third year Medicine student at St Catherine’s College. Prior to Angels in America he appeared in DNA (St Catherine’s College, TT11) and Mens Rea (Lee Simpkins, TT12). Selali is also a singer in Dot’s Funk Odyssey, Oxford’s funk and soul band, and Out of the Blue, the all male a cappella group with whom he has toured the USA, Japan and Europe.



Tim Gibson

Prior 2
Tim is a third year History student at Christ Church. He spent much of the summer at the Edinburgh Fringe, performing in a piece of new writing called Swan Song. Before that, he appeared as Otto Ulrich in Mephisto (International Student Drama Festival & OP, 2012) and Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Christ Church Gardens, TT12). Whilst at Oxford, he has also had roles in Caligula (BT, MT11), DNA (St. Catherine’s College, TT11) and Chekhov’s Baby (O’Reilly, 2011). This year, he appeared in A View From The Bridge (OP, MT12), Volporne XXX (O’Reilly, MT12). He will be appearing in Another Country at the Playhouse this term.

WHY NOW? NOTES FROM THE DIRECTOR



 

 

It could easily be argued that however influential Angels in America was upon its premiere in 1993, garnering rave reviews, ecstatic nationwide appreciation and winning a Pulitzer and several Tonys along the way, it is a play that is very much of its time. Well, there is some truth in that: its focal topic, AIDS, is no longer headline-grabbing disease. Roy Cohn, the anti-Communist and controversial lawyer had died only recently at that point: now he is a distant memory for some, certainly unknown to the majority of my generation in this country. Is it likely to stir controversy and debate in the same way that it did a few decades ago, or have we evolved enough culturally and sociologically that it now only preaches to the choir?

 

  Well, to reduce Angels in America to political theatre could easily be done until you first see it, or in my case first read it. But anyone who saw Kushner’s version of Mother Courage at the National a few years ago or Steven Spielberg’s Munich a few years before that knows that he is a force to be reckoned with, a rare writer who can combine the lyrical with the spectacle, can cover a breathless span of subjects (from the aforementioned to Judaism, McCarthyism, drug addiction and race) through the intimate portrayal of complex characters, with a few shots of epic fantasy (by way of some very challenging stage directions). It is principally a beautiful text: you can’t help but engage with the journeys of the confused and frustrated protagonists.
 

  But apart from its considerable merits as a piece of theatre, Angels remains palpably and dramatically relevant. 30 million people have died of AIDS since its discovery, but 34 million people still live with it: every 9.5 minutes someone in the US is infected with HIV, and 1 in 5 don’t even know they have it. The prevalence of AIDS and the lack of education surrounding it in developing countries is, for want of a better phrase, mind-boggling. The rights for homosexuals are getting better, with Barack Obama historically the first US president to support gay marriage, but it is only legal in eleven countries worldwide; homosexuality itself is still illegal in almost eighty countries, punishable by death in some. Angels teaches us that in many respects we still have a very long way to go: these problems may not always be on the front page, but it has been made easier to ignore that which still simmers below the surface. I am not, by nature, a political director - I am drawn to works that have something to say, but as an English student perhaps it’s inevitable that I’m also hugely drawn to the way it’s said; Angels is the epitome of that taste. It is a play that asks many questions, but in such a poetic, imaginative way that it begs re- evaluation, exploration and performance.

  I am indebted to a number of people for the creation, course and culmination of this project: firstly to the cast and creative team who have worked with animation, determination, enthusiasm and a level of commitment that has been both heartwarming and humbling. I’d like to personally thank our funding bodies, who generously agreed for 10% of the profits of the show to go to the National AIDS Trust. But I am also hugely grateful to the Playhouse, who accepted this project knowing it was a risk, but that it was something different, something bold and something beautiful: a play with an audaciously eloquent statement that still needs to be made.



-Jack Sain, January 2013

 

To buy the soundtrack, hear the music or find out more about our composer Nathan Klein, please visit www.nkcomposition.co.uk.



To view the teaser trailer, full trailer and feature, please click here.



To see The Preview Show's feature on the music in the show, please click here.



To download the Education Pack for the show, click here.

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