The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) will present The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America this Thursday October 8th at 8:30p.m. EST. on Broadway.com’s YouTube channel to benefit amfAR’s Fund to Fight COVID-19. Working with playwright Tony Kushner, director Ellie Heyman has enlisted an impressive array of performers, who filmed themselves remotely, for this free virtual event including Glenn Close, Paul Dano, Linda Edmond, Jeremy O. Harris, Brian Tyree Henry, Nikki James, Laura Linney, Vella Lovell, Patti LuPone, S. Epatha Merkerson, Larry Owens, Andrew Rannells, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Lois Smith, and Brandon Uranowitz. While Alan Cumming, Whoopi Goldberg and Jake Gyllenhaal will also participate in interstitial moments throughout production, and a special score has been composed by Ellis Ludwig-Leone for the one-hour online event. The seven selected scenes from Kushner’s two-part Pulitzer Prize-winning epic work, which opened on Broadway in 1993, were chosen according to their resonance with the current health emergency.
Scenes from Angels in America will be followed by a live conversation moderated by Paul Wontorek, Editor-in-Chief of Broadway.com, and feature Mr. Kushner, Ellie Heyman, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost and several of the actors from the production. They will discuss the play, as well as activism and COVID-19 research. The conversation will offer viewers who make a donation of $100 or more an exclusive opportunity to hear directly from the cast and creative directors about the event and the importance of joining forces to support COVID-19 research.
“I’m touched and honored that amfAR and the remarkable Ellie Heyman decided to build this evening around Angels, said Tony Kushner. “For over thirty years, amfAR has been steadfastly determined to find a cure for AIDS. Like everyone else on the planet (except maybe some people), I’m praying that the novel coronavirus will prove easier to obliterate than HIV. But I know we’ll all do whatever’s required to defeat this scourge, and I know that amfAR, as it always has been, will be there in the heat of battle with us. So, to everyone involved, and to everyone who watches the broadcast and decides to donate, thanks for supporting this heroic, essential American institution!”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ellie Heyman and to have the support of Tony Kushner for this timely reworking of what is considered to be the most profound and poignant artistic exploration of the AIDS crisis,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “Angels is an intensely personal work that is so much more than just an AIDS play and, in this time of COVID and national unrest, its themes of racism and government failings make it as relevant and resonant today as it was when it was first performed 30 years ago.”
The Great Work Begins: Scenes from Angels in America will livestream on Broadway.com’s YouTube channel on October 8th at 8:30p.m. EST. For more viewing information visit www.thegreatworkbegins.org. Follow amfAR on Twitter/Instagram @amfAR #amfARAngels