Trinity Presents Tony Kushner’s Drama, "Angels in America"

Professor Michael Preston directs the Pulitzer Prize-winning Play

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Tony Kushner, will be staged at Trinity College’s Austin Arts Center from April 10 to 12. The production is directed by Michael Preston and presented by the Trinity College Department of Theater and Dance.

Preston, who shares a position as associate professor of theater and dance at Trinity with his frequent collaborator, Barbara Karger, was co-director of Fräulein Maria, choreographed by Doug Elkins, which won accolades across the United States. Preston recently appeared in A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas at Hartford Stage, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a co-production of Hartford Stage and the Hartford Symphony. From 1991 through 2000, he toured the world as one of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, which included three different runs on Broadway.

Preston says he was drawn to directing Angels in America initially because of the impact that it had on him when he saw it in 1993. Having lived in New York City in the 1980s, he found that it gave voice to that time and seemed to be hopeful in its insistence that change was both necessary and possible.

“What makes it alive for me now, in 2014, at Trinity, in Hartford, is that we are still fighting the same battles both politically and privately,” Preston said. “Thirty years after Reagan we are still debating whether or not government can be a positive force. And while HIV/AIDS is not the death threat that it once was, there are over 1 million Americans living with it and 50,000 new cases being diagnosed every year. Once again, it is rarely talked about. Millions more are infected and not surviving but they are for the most part in Africa and Asia. We are allowing them to die because their populations are disenfranchised.”

Preston’s collaborators are set designer Evan Adamson (Freud's Last Session, The Mountaintop, at TheaterWorks), costume designer Elinor Watts (design assistant, Midsummer Night's Dream, Hartford Symphony and Hartford Stage), lighting and sound designer Ritz, and a cast of 12 Trinity students, some playing multiple roles.

A native of New York City, Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichol’s film of Angels in America and Steven Spielberg’s movies, Munich and Lincoln.

Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a Cultural Achievement Award from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for Lifetime Achievement, and the 2012 National Medal of Arts.

Performances are Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Arts Center’s Goodwin Theater. Admission is free and open to the public, although tickets are required. Reservations are accepted.

To make reservations, please call the Austin Arts Center box office at (860) 297-2199.