AS IS debuted 30 years ago and is a raw exploration of the AIDS epidemic that hit New York City in the early 80s.
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Bedlam Theatre, Bristo Place
The play itself was written during this time, and you can tell – it expresses not only the stigma of being HIV+ at the time, but the fear of the unknown that still existed. The production itself is excellent. Performers are focused at all times, even when tested by a mobile phone going off, with most playing multiple characters.
Design too is well thought out and versatile enough to create lots of different spaces without making huge set changes.
Actors changing costume as they flit from character to character in full view allows the production to flow. Video clips enhance the audience’s understanding of how the rest of America saw the AIDS crisis in those early days.
As Is does a great job of communicating how people coped with the impact of AIDS in the 80s, and is definitely worth a look.
Until August 30