The IU Department of Theatre and Drama opens its spring season with the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America.
The director is the Theatre and Drama Department’s special guest artist, IU alumna Jane Page. Since graduating in 1980, Page has worked with theaters in Scotland, Austria, and across the U.S.. This spring she journeys to Cairo for a directing project.
Highlights From The Interview
“It’s great to be back in Bloomington,” Page says. “I have actually come back to direct a couple of shows at Brown County, but this is my first time directing on the campus. I’m also teaching three classes.”
The full title for the play is Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches. It has a dark sound to it. “The mid-eighties were an incredible time, with great changes in our society and in politics. It all resonated and found echoes in the arts. But I don’t want you to get the idea that it’s all doom and gloom. There’s plenty of very smart humor in the play.”
Two of the students whom Page directs in the play, Henry McDaniel and Sarah Fischer, play roles they’ve specialized in during their MFA training. Henry is probably best remembered for his villainous roles, Sarah for her sympathetic female characters. Fans of these actors are going to see some real stretches, however. “I really admire the work these two have done,” Page says. “They’ve spent so much time on research and readying themselves for a pair of very demanding parts.”
Angels in America premiered in the early ’90s. Earlier this year, the IU Department of Theatre and Drama put on the musical Rent, which dates from the late ’80s. Says Page, “I hope that especially people who came to Rent will come back for Angels. Rent is a great musical; Angels gives us another lens, another way to look at this very important, formative period of our history.”