The Normal Heart
12 13 Season
By Larry Kramer
Directed by Joel Greenberg
In association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
October 19 – November 18, 2012
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
A masterwork of love, rage and pride.
The story of a society in denial between 1981 and 1984, The Normal Heart unfolds like a real-life political thriller, as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this outrageous, unflinching and totally unforgettable look at the beginning of the AIDS crisis remains one of the theatre’s most powerful evenings ever.
In 2011, Studio 180’s production premiered to rave reviews and popular acclaim, earning top-star ratings and being recognized as one of the best productions of the year by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, NOW Magazine and Slotkin Letter/CIUT 89.5 FM.
Written by Larry Kramer
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Intern Directed by Daniel Bennett
Apprentice Directed by Awoba Bob-Manuel
Featuring John Bourgeois, Mark Crawford, Martin Happer, Ryan Kelly, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller, Sarah Orenstein, Jonathan Seinen, and Jonathan Wilson
Stage Managed by Robert Harding
Assistant Stage Managed by Sarah Bustard and Suzanne McArthur
Associate Costume Designed by Michelle Bailey
Sound Designed by Verne Good
Lighting Designed by Kimberly Purtell
Set and Costume Designed by John Thompson
Production Managed by Adrien Whan
Beyond the Stage events
AIDS Memorabilia, Articles & Artwork
October 19 – November 18, 2012
We Are Not Criminals: Examining Canada’s Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure
October 28, 2012
The Normal Heart: Why Now?
November 4, 2012
For Studio 180: debut. Larry Kramer founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1981 with five friends; the organization remains one of the world’s largest providers of services to those with AIDS. In 1987, he founded ACT UP, the AIDS advocacy and protest organization, which has been responsible for the development and release of almost every life-saving treatment for HIV/AIDS.
Kramer was the author of The Normal Heart, which was selected as one of the 100 Greatest Plays of the Twentieth Century by the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and is the longest running play in the history of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theater. He was also the author of The Destiny of Me, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won an Obie and the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play. Both The Normal Heart and The Destiny of Me are published by the Samuel French imprint of Concord Theatricals.
Mr. Kramer’s screenplay adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, a film he also produced, was nominated for an Academy Award. His writing about AIDS is published in Reports from the Holocaust: The Story of an AIDS Activist and The Tragedy of Today’s Gays. His novel Faggots is one of the bestselling of all gay novels.
He was a recipient of the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and he was the first openly gay person and the first creative artist to be honored by an award from Common Cause. The American People, Kramer ‘s reimagining of American history, was begun 1975 and published in 2015.
Kramer was the winner of a 2013 PEN Literary Award, receiving the Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist. A graduate of Yale, Kramer lived in New York and Connecticut with his lover, architect/designer David Webster.
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class, Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.
For Studio 180: debut. Daniel graduated from the University of Toronto. Credits for the Trinity College Dramatic Society include Spring Awakening (Director), 4.48 Psychosis (Stage Management), RENT (Director/Choreographer – Nominated for Broadway Toronto Best Youth Theatre Production) and The Wiz (Director/Choreographer).
For Studio 180: debut. A young, celebrated director with a decade of experience in film, television and theatre, Awoba is regarded as “an actor’s director” for her ability to draw grand performances from her subjects. Her stage credits include Flood, The Meeting (African Theatre Ensemble); Oluronbi: The Musical, Game of Wit (AbOriginal Productions); Shylock (Joke Silva’s Lufodo Productions); and Private Lies (Emage Xchange). She has also stage managed Brixton Stories for African Theatre Ensemble.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Selected theatre: The Tempest (Prospero), The Price, The Goat, Lost in Yonkers, Oleanna, Cherry Docs, Frankie & Johnny (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Tamara (Off-Broadway); Gaslight (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia); Troilus and Cressida (Stratford Festival); and M. Butterfly (Theatre Aquarius). Selected directing: After Miss Julie (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre), Decadence (Ziggurat Theatre – Dora Nomination), Taming of the Shrew (Skylight Theatre – Dora Nomination), Rough Crossing (Centaur Theatre) and Bag Babies (Theatre Passe Muraille). Writing: Tansey’s Brag (Ziggurat Theatre, Toronto Fringe, Bravo TV & CBC Radio), Walking on Crimson (Ziggurat Theatre). Teaching: U of T, George Brown, York. Faculty at Humber College. Director of Screen Acting program at Humber College. Recent TV credits: Day Late, Dollar Short, Copper, Covert Affairs and The Firm. Other: produced and directed the original short feature film, Jimmy Pacheco (Best Comedy at Mill Valley Festival and Yorktown Film Festival). In production: After Lola (feature length project with graduates of the Acting for Film and TV program at Humber).
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Most recently, Mark appeared in See How They Run (Theatre Aquarius) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage Shakespeare in High Park). Other theatre credits include The 39 Steps (Magnus Theatre and Globus Theatre); Vimy (Blyth Festival); The Waves (Toronto Fringe); Why We Tortured Him (Hammertheatre); The Tempest (Canadian Stage); The Miser (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Opening Night (Theatre Aquarius); Mary’s Wedding, Cost of Living (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Peg and the Yeti, Bluenose, Danny, King of the Basement (Carousel Players); Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Driftwood Theatre); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Festival of Classics); It’s a Wonderful Life (Theatre New Brunswick) and Steven Gallagher’s Memorial (Next Stage Festival).
For Studio 180: debut. Most recently: Engaged and A Woman of No Importance (Shaw Festival). In Toronto: Arcadia (Shaw/Mirvish), The Happy Woman (Nightwood), Theory (SummerWorks) and A Boy Called Newfoundland (TheatreSmash). Elsewhere: Eleven seasons at Shaw, including Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, world premiere of Michel Marc Bouchard’s The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, Arcadia, Lady Windermere’s Fan, and tours of Belle Moral (National Arts Centre) and Saint Joan (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); One Man Two Guvnors, The 39 Steps, Age of Arousal (Arts Club); Clybourne Park (Sterling Nomination – Citadel Theatre); The 39 Steps (Chemainus Theatre Festival); Thy Neighbour’s Wife (Theatre NorthWest); Canadian premiere of Vincent in Brixton (Theatre Network); two seasons with Free Will Shakespeare Festival. TV: Mayday, Murdoch Mysteries, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye, The Eleventh Hour, Breaker High.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Previous theatre credits include Dancing Queen (Buddies in Bad Times), I Have AIDS (Cabaret Co.), Twelfth Night (Direct Flight), Crush (Optic Heart), Craplicker (Best of Fringe ’10), Soulless (505 Prod), Life Like Luv (Rhubarb ’06) and Will the Real JT LeRoy Please Stand Up? (Dora Award, Cabaret Co.). Musical credits include Living With Henry (Outstanding Performance Citation, Off Broadway), Mamma Mia (Mirvish), …Charlie Brown (DaCapo Prod), Hipcheck (Best of Fringe ’09), Robin Hood and Cinderella (Ross Petty), Jesus Christ Superstar (Toronto Youth Theatre), Cordelia (Rhubarb ’10), Suzie Goo Private Secretary (Buddies in Bad Times) and The House of Martin Guerre (Canadian Stage). Film and TV credits include Cosmopolis (Alfama Films), Warehouse 13 (SyFy), Breakout Kings (A&E), Dan for Mayor and The Big One (CTV), Queer as Folk (Showtime), How to Be Indie (YTV), Unlocked (CBC), Broken Tulips (Enroute Fest Winner), The Dog Walker (Genie Nomination – CFC) and Almost Audrey (Canadian Comedy Awards Nomination – Comedy Network). Dora Nomination for The Normal Heart, 2011.
David/Hiram Keebler/Examining Doctor/Orderly
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class, Parade, Stuff Happens, Offensive Shadows, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. For Studio 180: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park, You Will Remember Me and, most recently, The Nether. Mark is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook & The Laramie Project (2004). For Studio 180: Cock, The Normal Heart, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Laramie Project . Other theatre includes Hana’s Suitcase, To Kill a Mockingbird, Reading the Signs, Liars (Young People’s Theatre); Same Time Next Year, Half-Life, Rabbit Hole, Leading Ladies (Sudbury Theatre Centre); Steven Gallagherʼs Craplicker (Toronto Fringe 2010); Mike McPhadenʼs Poochwater, Sean Reycraftʼs One Good Marriage (Theatre Passe Muraille); King Lear (Walking Shadow Theatre); Stones in His Pockets, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Rumors, The Petrified Forest, Moon Over Buffalo (Nipissing Stage); Communicating Doors (Magnus Theatre); The Othello Project (Florida Shakespeare Theater); Love! Valour! Compassion!, Twilight of the Golds (Boston Speakeasy Theater); and The Lisbon Traviata (Boston Triangle Theater). TV credits include roles on Good Witch, The Strain, Man Seeking Woman and Queer as Folk.
Dr. Emma Brookner
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart & Stuff Happens. Sarah Orenstein started her career at the age of 5. She studied at the prestigious Vancouver Playhouse acting school and has appeared on stages from her native Halifax to the Queen Charlotte Islands. She has won multiple awards in a career spanning 50 years. Her most recent of many Film and T.V. credits is the upcoming series Station Eleven. She Is committed to mentoring young actors and directors, and to new play development. She has recently begun to explore direction in her association with Studio 180. Some credits: Shaw Festival – thirteen seasons, including Millionairess, Blithe Spirit and Heartbreak House. Tarragon Theatre – Patience, Collected Works of Billy The Kid, Scorched (Canadian tour). Stratford Festival – five seasons, most recently seen in Birds of a Kind and Nathan the Wise.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Jonathan is an actor, director and theatre creator, Co-Artistic Producer of Architect Theatre, and Artistic Associate with lemonTree creations. Recent acting credits include Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show (Architect/Theatre Passe Muraille), As You Like It (Banff Centre/Citadel Professional Theatre Program), and Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo & Juliet (Theatre Prospero). Directing credits include This Must Be the Place: The CN Tower Show (Architect/Theatre Passe Muraille), Still Life (lemonTree/ SummerWorks), Deathwatch (lemonTree/Pride Toronto) and Hamlet (Swallow-a-Bicycle Performance Co-op, Calgary). Selected playwriting credits include Unknown Pleasures (Sage Theatre) and [ ice land ] (Walterdale Theatre, published in Hot Thespian Action! (Athabasca UP)). A graduate of the University of Alberta and the National Theatre School, Jonathan is currently developing an adaptation of Measure 4 Measure for Moveable Feast/GromKat Productions.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Past theatre work includes the Canadian premiere of The Lion King (Dora Award – The Princess of Wales Theatre) and performances in his own play My Own Private Oshawa (Governor General’s Award nominee, Dora/Chalmers Nomination – Tarragon Theatre, New Yorker Theatre). Jonathan was also a writer and performer with The Second City for six shows (Dora Nomination). Other theatre credits include The Drowsy Chaperone, Moonlight and Magnolias (Sudbury Theatre Centre); The Clockmaker (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Possible Worlds, The Duchess (Theatre Passe Muraille); Not To Be Repeated, Medici Slot Machine (Tarragon Extra Space); Cinderella (The Elgin Theatre); This Could Be Love (The Poor Alex); and Annie Get Your Gun (Massey Hall). Jonathan was also writer in residence at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto where he wrote the play Kilt (Dora/New York Drama Desk nominations), which has had over 20 productions around the world. TV and film credits include Not To Be Repeated (CTV/The Comedy Network), My Own Private Oshawa (Gemini Nomination – CTV), Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye (Pax Network/CTV), Murdoch Mysteries (CityTV), This Is Wonderland (CBC), Life With Derek (Family) and Monk (USA Network), as well as hundreds of voices for animated series including Skatoony, Iggy Arbuckle (Gemini Nomination), Pearlie and Little Bear.
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class, Parade, Stuff Happens & Blackbird. Credits elsewhere include Divisidero: A Performance, This Is What Happens Next (Necessary Angel); Side by Side by Sondheim (The Grand Theatre); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Happy Days (Theatre Columbus); Another Home Invasion, Communion, A Beautiful View, How It Works, Past Perfect (Tarragon Theatre); Festen, Marion Bridge, A Whistle in the Dark (Company Theatre); British Invasion!, British Invasion 2: America Strikes Back! (Charlottetown Festival); Seussical (YPT); Carmela’s Table (Centaur Theatre); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Resurgence Theatre).
Assistant Stage Manager
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Sarah grew up in Carleton Place, Ontario, graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston and now calls Toronto home. Select credits include Night (Human Cargo); Lost in Yonkers, Tuesdays with Morrie, Kindertransport (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company); The Gifts of the Magi (Theatre New Brunswick); White Rabbit Red Rabbit (SummerWorks); Andromache, Hamlet (Necessary Angel); La clemenza di Tito (Opera Atelier); The Big League, Forbidden Phoenix (YPT); Madhouse Variations (Eldritch Theatre); Twelfth Night (Co-op, GromKat/Direct Flight); The Cherry Orchard (Soulpepper); The Tempest (Canadian Stage); Madama Butterfly (Opera Hamilton); Evil Dead, The Musical (Independent); The Beggar’s Opera, Trying (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Wade in the Water and The Goat, or, Who is Sylvia? (Centaur Theatre Company).
Assistant Stage Manager
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Other credits include Perfect Wedding (Drayton Entertainment); Hosanna, The Tempest (Stratford Festival); Forests (Tarragon Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ed’s Garage, Side by Side by Sondheim, Pride and Prejudice, The Wizard of Oz, Playwrights Cabaret, Dance Legends (The Grand Theatre); Storm Warning, Wrong for Each Other, Knickers: A Brief Comedy (Port Stanley Festival Theatre); Beauty and the Beast (Silver Mist Productions); The Last 15 Seconds, Seasons of Immigration (MT Space); Schoolhouse, The Last Green Hill, The Art of Silent Killing (4th Line Theatre); Potato Chips (Theatre Beyond Words); and Little Shop of Horrors, The Rocky Horror Show (Theatre in Port). Production Assistant for West Side Story, Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stratford Festival).
Associate Costume Designer/Head of Wardrobe
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class & Parade. Michelle lives and works in Toronto as a professional costumer for theatre, primarily as Head of Wardrobe for Tarragon Theatre. Her Tarragon work includes Mimi, If We Were Birds, Forests, After Akhmatova and The Misanthrope. Select design credits include The Red Queen Effect (Dora Nomination, Seventh Stage Theatre) and King Lear, Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre).
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Other theatre credits include: Cake and Dirt, Was Spring, Communion (Tarragon Theatre), sound design and original music for The Atomic Weight of Happiness (Stand Up Dance); The Red Queen Effect, Stockholm (Seventh Stage Theatre Productions). Sound design for The Mountaintop (The Grand Theatre); Pericles, Hirsch (Stratford Festival); Bingo! (Factory Theatre); Outside, In This World (Roseneath); Queer Bathroom Stories (Buddies in Bad Times); Free as Injuns (Native Earth Performing Arts). Verne is a personal trainer, a poet and a graduate of Bishop’s University, National Theatre School and Humber College.
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Our Class, Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens & Blackbird. Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance and is thrilled to be working with Studio 180 once again. Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia. She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Tapestry Opera, Hamilton Opera, Edmonton Opera, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Place des Arts among many others. She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads. Kimberly has been nominated for numerous awards and has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award, a`Sterling Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award.
Set and Costume Designer
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart & Our Class. Other theatre credits: Speaking in Tongues, The Test, Through the Leaves (Dora Award), Festen, A Whistle in the Dark, Marion Bridge (Company Theatre); Divisadero (Necessary Angel); The Retreat from Moscow, The Tempest, The Clean House, A Christmas Carol, Humble Boy, The Shape of Things (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Waiting for Godot, No Man’s Land, The Mill on the Floss, Betrayal, Twelfth Night, Don Carlos, The Misanthrope (Soulpepper); The Trials of Ezra Pound (Stratford Festival); The Pessimist, Care, Alice’s Affair, Helen’s Necklace, Russell Hill, Little Mercy’s First Murder, The Good Life, Skylight, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Earshot, The Road to Hell (Tarragon Theatre); Eternal Hydra (Crow’s Theatre – Dora Award); Caught, Unity (1918), Blood (Theatre Passe Muraille). John teaches design at the University of Toronto Drama Centre.
For Studio 180: The Normal Heart. Adrien has been working professionally as a technical artist for the past 20 years. He is currently the Technical Director for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Other selected credits include Site Production Manager for Ontario Place Corporation; Assistant Technical Director for YPT; Sound and Video Operator for touring productions of Our Brief Eternity and Circa (The Holy Body Tattoo); Lighting Designer for Under the Mink and Who’s Your Dada (The Scandelles), Real Live Girl and The Beauty Salon (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), and The First LP and Shifting Edges (Alias Dance); Stage Manager for Fluency by Peter Chin (Tribal Crackling Wind); and Production Manager for Once on this Island (Acting Up Stage Company).
More brilliant work from one of the most reliably interesting and challenging theatre companies in town.★★★★ – Toronto Star
Outstanding!★★★★ – Globe and Mail
Continues to anger, shock and move even three decades after its premiere.NNNNN – NOW Magazine
Damn good theatre!★★★★★ – The 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.★★★★ 1/2 – Torontoist