Charlie Newell (at left), longtime artistic director of the Court Theatre,and playwright Tony Kushner discuss the upcoming production of Angels in America.
Legendary playwright Tony Kushner shuffled into the rehearsal room about 10 minutes before the first read-through of the Court Theatre’s spring production of Angels in America.
He shook a few hands and took his perch on a stool next to artistic director, Charlie Newell, who has directed two other Kusher plays — Caroline, or Change and Illusion — in his 20-year tenure at the Court, but never Angels, not until now.
The two men faced a table of attentive cast members, as well as a small audience of donors, patrons and self-proclaimed Kushner “groupies” in the back of the room.
“Why Angels in America now?” Newell said, asking his first question in an introductory conversation with Kushner. (Angels changed the discourse on HIV/AIDS when it premiered some 20 years ago. Set in 1985, the characters struggle with AIDS during the Reagan administration. Much has changed since then, hence Newell’s question.)
“I don’t know, you’re the one who’s doing it,” Kushner said, breaking into a toothy grin.
The 50 or so people burst into laughter. Kushner had his audience.