Thursday, December 9, 2010

ANGELS IN AMERICA Thoughts -- Actress Zoe Kazan

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 Joan Marcus

"It is a great honor to be part of the revival of Angels in America. I can't describe the energy in the room the first day of rehearsal, but it was remarkable to feel that every person there was equally excited about the undertaking and equally eager to get in and start rooting around--as the Angel says, "The Great Work begins." I was also struck by how personal the plays felt for almost everyone I talked to about them. So many of us have some story, some personal attachment, which cuts through the size of what the plays have become. The personal is in the universal, and visa versa: as much as Angels deals with huge themes, it is also (I think) fundamentally concerned with and rooted in the body in all its mess and sex and mutability and mortality--and what could be more personal than that? I think this is what keeps Angels completely rooted in the here and now, even as the "virus of time" has moved the events of the play away from the present tense. I was two years old in 1985, when Millennium Approaches begins, and was only seven when Angels was first produced in New York. I remember my parents coming home from the theater, telling me about it the next morning. I didn't know what AIDS was; I didn't even know the meaning of the word "gay." Three years later, one of my elementary school teachers had died from AIDS; a second one would pass a few years after. I don't remember the first time I read Angels, but I know the impact it had on me--my dog eared copy will attest to the many times I have returned to it. I always find something new. It is a blessing--more life--to have the opportunity to return to it again, in this new way, with these people, in this theater."

–Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan plays Harper Pitt in Signature Theatre Company's production of Angels in America