Oceanside CA— The MiraCosta College Theatre Department’s latest production, ‘The Normal Heart,’ is a searing drama about the public and private indifference to the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. The play opens April 24 at the MiraCosta College Theatre, located at 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside. Eric Bishop will direct.
‘The Normal Heart’ tells the tale of one man’s lonely fight to awaken the world to the AIDS crisis. Larry Kramer’s play follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist enraged at the unresponsiveness of public officials and the gay community. While trying to save the world from itself, he confronts the personal toll of AIDS. “The Normal Heart” keeps this true story from getting lost in history, successfully reminding a new generation of how “gay cancer” changed everything, and the struggle that followed.
“I believe theatre is a powerful medium that produces many different outcomes: to entertain, to edify and to educate,” said Bishop. “As an educator, I believe that theatre is also a powerful agent of change that can profoundly alter lives for the better. Recently, I have discovered that the many of my students from the Millennial Generation were unaware of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the 1980s. My hope is that ‘The Normal Heart’ will educate or remind our audiences about this tragedy and in turn, prevent it from happening again. I believe our audiences will leave the theatre feeling moved, inspired to help, and a little bit better for experiencing it.”
About the student actors, Bishop said, “The cast is one of the most passionate groups I have had in years. I have been impressed with the dedication, work ethic and attention to detail that each individual puts into their work. I direct two or three plays a year. Every five years or so, I direct one play that I think is truly special. This production has the potential to be something very special.”
The cast features Jose Balestrieri as Ned Weeks. Rounding out the cast are Gian Caballero, Christopher Lynch, Carol Naegle, Alex Smith, Jordan Daniels, Steven Garretson, Nathan Stein, Justin Santana, Reden Magtira, Matthew Abosamra, Tyler Christensen, Justin Carty, Joey Prete, Tyrone Jeffries and Kyle Dowdy.
‘The Normal Heart’ is scheduled for April 24, 25, 30 and May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and April 25, 26 and May 2 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15; seniors/staff, $12; students, $10. A preview performance is scheduled for April 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the preview performance are $10 for all seats.
‘The Normal Heart’ contains some coarse language and adult situations that may not be suitable for children and younger teenagers. Minors 15 and under are not recommended. Parents are urged to learn more about this play before bringing their young teenagers with them. Children under 12 will not be admitted.
Tickets are available online at www.miracosta.edu/buytix or by calling the MiraCosta College Box Office at 760.795.6815.