It’s show time. Concordia's theatre season opens November 26 with Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Tony Kushner's award-winning drama about HIV/AIDS, love and religion. This will be the first of three 2014-2015 productions presented under the unifying theme of “Forces.”
“This year, we’re exploring forces that are bigger than all of us, forces that move, agitate and unite us,” says Raymond-Marius Boucher, artistic director of the Department of Theatre.
The Theatre and Development program at Concordia is making good on its mission to emphasize socially engaged art, and that connection promises to become even stronger at the closing performance of Millennium Approaches on December 1 — World AIDS Day. For one night, all the money raised from ticket sales will go to the 25-year-old Fondation d'Aide Directe - SIDA Montréal, which operates a food bank and related services for those whose lives have been disrupted by the disease. Audience members are also encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items.
Public attitudes to HIV/AIDS have changed dramatically since the 1991 debut of Millennium Approaches — the first, independently presentable half of Kushner's two-part Angels in America play, in which a straight couple and a gay one struggle with issues of sexuality, ethics, politics and the plague of AIDS.
A work subtitled A Gay Fantasia on National Themes naturally sparked enormous emotional, social, artistic and political interest in the early 1990s. Most critics praised the work. In The New York Times, Frank Rich called it "the most thrilling American play in years."