Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ANGELS IN AMERICA Thoughts -- Actor Frank Wood

We continue our series of posts featuring people's thoughts on the power and impact of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Click here and continue checking back for more words from Broadway cast members, our current cast and creative team, Signature’s past Playwrights-in-Residence, and others in the theatre community. We also want to hear from YOU -- click here to find out how you can contribute.

Photo by Gregory Costanzo

"I remember reading Angels in America in American Theater Magazine. I was living in one of four apartments I ended up subletting in my first year back in New York after a two year stint in Malvern, Pa. at People's Light and Theater Company. I was lonely and unsure of myself, certainly of my future. I had chosen this place (sort of). Why? And this career. Why? In my little apartment that had roaches coming out of the telephone (my fault as much as the building's) and access to every drunken conversation that passed by my basement window (magnified by the air conditioner vent) I felt overwhelmed by the city, my unemployment and the idea of being an actor. I read Angels in America as a duty almost, and then before I knew it, it had taken me out of my New York apartment and put me in all these others. It put me back in New York in the middle of a crisis that was going on outside my window but that I never touched. It read like Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw and Caryl Churchill. It made me proud to be an actor and proud to think that the most important work anyone I knew could think of that dealt with today's politics and culture and represented America most truthfully was a play. I had landed back in New York when my profession and the only corner of it that I had practiced in, theater, was at the center of American life.

So. Now. To be in this play is to revisit not only the mid eighties but also the early nineties and a time in my life when I got a second wind. When I started to notice what was going on and what mattered. It is perhaps the only play that came into being during my adulthood that is now being performed, while I am still...almost... in my prime, as one of the Greats.

For my time, it is the great play.

And now I take a breath and bring my thoughts down a notch and think about Roy Cohn and a Bronx accent and... hope for some revelation."

–Frank Wood

Frank Wood is playing Roy Cohn in the Signature Theatre Company production of Angels in America

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