The Normal Heart (2011)

THE NORMAL HEART

by Larry Kramer

Oct 14 – Nov 6, 2011
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Dora Award Nomination: OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURED ROLE (Ryan Kelly)

Larry Kramer’s landmark play about love and loss in the 1980s chronicles the rise of the AIDS crisis in New York City, seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks as he battles against a world unwilling to confront the epidemic.

The Normal Heart’s call to arms caught audiences by storm when it was first performed in 1985. It became the longest-running play in the history of New York’s Public Theater, and is widely considered to be one of the most significant plays of the 20th century.

Today, this document of recent history is as relevant and powerful as it ever was – a reminder that battles for justice, equality and dignity are not just things of the past. Letter from Larry Kramer

Studio 180 was pleased to work in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre once again, seven years after partnering to bring Toronto audiences our acclaimed production of The Laramie Project.

THE NORMAL HEART was presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg
FEATURING John Bourgeois, Mark Crawford, Paul Essiembre, Ryan Kelly, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller, Sarah Orenstein, Jonathan Seinen & Jonathan Wilson
SET & COSTUME DESIGN John Thompson
LIGHTING DESIGN Kimberly Purtell
SOUND DESIGN Verne Good
STAGE MANAGER Robert Harding
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Sarah Bustard
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER Suzanne McArthur
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Jessica Glanfield
PRODUCTION MANAGER Nathaniel Kennedy
ASSOCIATE COSTUME DESIGNER/HEAD OF WARDROBE Michelle Bailey


Marvelous Muchenje’s “Body Map” artworkLobby Exhibit

Our lobby exhibit for The Normal Heart included safe sex poster campaigns from the 1980s to the 2000s provided by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT), articles by HIV/AIDS activists Tim McCaskell and Alex McClelland, and other memorabilia. In 2011, the exhibit also featured Marvelous Muchenje’s original “Body Map” artwork. Information from ACT, Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange and AIDS ACTION NOW! was also on hand.


Panel Discussions

  • How HIV/AIDS Impacts Community
    OCTOBER 30, 2011
    What makes a community? Why is community important? And, as community members, how are we responsible to one another? Veteran HIV/AIDS organizer Glen Brown moderated a panel of community leaders examining the complex answers to these questions and more. Read more…
  • HIV/AIDS in Toronto: Past, Present & Future
    OCTOBER 23, 2011
    Nicole Greenspan moderated a panel of leading HIV/AIDS activists, educators and doctors in a multi-generational dialogue about Toronto’s responses to HIV/AIDS. Where have we come from and where are we going? Read more…

Season Sponsor 2011/12


BMO Financial Group

2011 END-OF-YEAR REVIEWS

Listed among the top productions of the year:

NOW MAGAZINE (Top 10)
GLOBE AND MAIL (Top 11 of 2011)
TORONTO STAR (Theatrical Cheers)
TORONTO SUN (Top 10)
SLOTKIN LETTER/CIUT 89.5 FM (Top 10)


“More brilliant work from one of the most reliably interesting and challenging theatre companies in town.”

★★★★ (out of four) TORONTO STAR


“Outstanding!”

★★★★ (out of four) GLOBE AND MAIL


“Continues to anger, shock and move even three decades after its premiere.”

NNNNN NOW MAGAZINE


“Damn good theatre!”

★★★★★ TORONTO SUN


“Normal is Outstanding!”

★★★★★ STAGE DOOR


“An involving and passionate production.”

FAB MAGAZINE


“An intense theatrical experience not to be missed!”

POSITIVE LITE


“You must go and see it!”

MOONEY ON THEATRE


“Brilliant marriage between great theatre and great politics.”

★★★★½ TORONTOIST

“That was quite possibly one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in my lifetime.”

CHIN P.

“One of the most electrifying pieces of theatre I have had the pleasure of seeing in years. It brought back a painful time with a clarity that memory sometimes lacks. Thank you for your spectacular offering.”

GLEN S.

“Moving production and AMAZING to watch with an audience of all ages; truly a great night at the theatre.”

KAT S.

“It brought back – forcefully – a lot of the anger, confusion and frustration I felt in the 1980s. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back there… I am really glad I did. It was an incredibly intelligent production of a really angry, but moving play – beautifully staged and acted.”

REX B.

“One of the best plays I have ever seen. It was heart-wrenching. The actors were all superb. I recommended it to all my friends.”

MARLA G.

“As someone who has lived through the entire pandemic, it was important to me to see the historical beginnings of the fight. The performance was riveting, moving, at times tough and very emotional. I particularly liked the ‘balance’ of characters… [they] were truly representative of the people I remember as playing their roles… I was in tears at the end remembering all of those I have been with at or near the end of their lives as a result of AIDS.
 Thank you!”

DAVID C.

“This was a transformative experience for me. The writing/acting/direction were finely and powerfully integrated and superb at every level. The integration of creativity, politics and history was inspiring. Generous performances in every way. I am proud that Studio 180 is such a strong voice in our community.”

LAURA S.

“Having lived through that time period, I remember the outrageous suggestions and comments as AIDS unfolded. The friends that died. The uncertainty. The ‘don’t share bodily fluids’ campaigns. The protests. The anger. The fear. 
I enjoyed the production so much. It was time to revisit old friends in my mind and heart.”

ROBERT B.