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'Angels in America' to open Dec. 2

RELEASED: Nov. 29, 2010

'Angels in America' poster imageEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire department of music and theatre arts will present Tony Kushner's "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, Part I: Millennium Approaches" Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 8-11 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Performances will be in Kjer Theatre.

Directed by F. Reed Brown, assistant professor of theatre, "Angels in America" is set in late 1985 and early 1986, as the first wave of the AIDS epidemic in America is escalating. The play weaves multiple stories together: that of a young gay man with AIDS and his frightened, unfaithful lover; a closeted Mormon lawyer and his valium-addicted wife; the infamous New York lawyer Roy Cohn; an African-American male nurse; a steel-winged, prophecy-bearing angel; the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg; and many others — all played by a company of actors in multiple roles. The lives of these disparate characters intersect, intertwine, collide and are blown apart during a time of heartbreak, reaction and transformation. Ranging from earth to heaven; from the political to the intimate; to the visionary and supernatural, "Angels in America" is an epic exploration of love, justice, identity and theology as well as the difficulty, terror and necessity of change.

The cast includes junior Siri Brobst, Rochester, Minn., as Emily/homeless woman/Ethel Rosenberg; senior Cameron Cylkowski, St. Paul, Minn., as Roy M. Cohn; junior Katie Gerarden, De Pere, as Harper Pitt; senior Chasten Glezman, Traverse City, Mich., as Louis Ironson; and Dr. Scott Bailey-Hartsel, professor of chemistry, as Henry/Prior 1. The cast also includes seniors Eddie Neve, DeForest, as Prior Walter; Michael Renner, Waukesha, as Martin Heller/man in the park; Michael Van Hemert, Whitehall, as Joe Pitt; sophomore Micah Harder, Hartland, as Sister Ella Chapter/Prior II; freshman Aaron Suggs, Brown Deer, as Mr. Lies/Belize; and senior Jennifer Sisko, Elkhorn, as Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz/Hannah Pitt/the angel.

The production contains mature subject matter and nudity, and may not be appropriate for children under 18. Tickets, available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, are $12 for the public; $10 for those 62 and older and faculty/staff with a university ID; $8 for those 17 and younger; and $4.50 for students with a university ID.

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KJ/RD/DW

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