West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park opens its sixth season on Wednesday with ‘Angels in America,’ a challenging production dealing with difficult subject matter that New York Times writer Anita Gates calls ‘risky’ for the local theater.
By Ronni Newton
It’s not often that a performance at a small local theater catches the eye of the New York Times, and although theater critic Anita Gates calls the Playhouse on Park’s upcoming production of Angels in America: Part 1: Millenium Approaches “risky,” it’s not because she fears the show won’t be up to par.
The show deals with difficult issues of race, religion, homosexuality, and the AIDs epidemic. At 3 1/2 hours, it’s also longer than the average production that Playhouse on Park audiences are accustomed to.
However, director Sean Harris, who is also co-founder and artistic director at the Playhouse on Park, told Gates in an interview that he loves the play, and believes it’s an important story to tell. “I made the choice to actually be a theater major because of this play. I saw what theater had the ability to do,” Harris said in the New York Times interview.
Playhouse on Park is known for producing a wide variety of theater, including other shows that involve difficult topics such as Peter Shaffer’s Equus which was presented in 2010.
Harris told the New York Times that the Playhouse on Park’s intimate environment makes it “the ideal place to immerse audiences fully in plays they might otherwise feel distanced from,” keeping both the actors and the audience engaged in the performance.
To read the full New York Times feature, click here.
Angels in America: Part 1: Millennium Approaches runs Oct. 1 – 19. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in person, over the phone, or online. Subscribe to the entire Main Stage Season and save 20 percent over individual ticket prices plus receive subscriber benefits.
For more information to become a main stage series subscriber or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 860-523-5900 x10 or visit www.playhouseonpark.org. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.