The Oakland Center for the Arts opens its 2013-14 season with the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches."
Tony Kushner's play is set in New York City at the height of the AIDS epidemic in 1985, but director Matthew Mazuroski describes its as a conversation about the state of our politics, the state of religion in this country, and the state of our institutions.
"Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches" follows the overlapping plots of Roy Cohn, Joe and Harper Pitt, as well as Prior Walter and his partner Louis Ironson.
Cohn, a lawyer and powerbroker, is driven by "clout," and he sees people's identities in terms of where they stand in the social hierarchy. Joe Pitt works for Cohn, who offers him a job in Washington, D.C., a source conflict between Joe and and his wife. Harper struggles with addiction as well as her past.
Mazuroski studied under Kushner as a graduate student and brings unique insight to directing the production. In the press release, Mazuroski says, "I'm thrilled and excited, and at the same time I'm scared to death, which is a good place to be artistically. It's a mountain to climb acting-wise, but they'll be totally prepared for it."
The three-hour, three-act production features eight actors - James McClellan, Bernie Appugliese, Tyler Clark, Johnny Pecano, Candy DiLullo, Liz Conrad, Timothy Thomas and Molly Galano - playing 20 different characters.
According to Mazuroski, "I think it's a real testament to the Youngstown area theater community that we can mount this production with all of its challenges. It says something very healthy about where the community is and what kind of quality we can offer an audience."
"Angels in America Part 1: Millennium Approaches" will be staged at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 19 at the Oakland Center for the Arts, 220 W. Boardman St., Youngstown. Friday's opening night performance will be followed by a talk back in the Oakland's newly opened Living Room on the second floor.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $10 for students. For reservations or more information, call 330-746-0404.