Larry Kramer’s The Tragedy of Today’s Gays

Open Space Arts presents a world premiere stage event

THE KRAMER PROJECT to benefit Center on Halsted

The inaugural production is adapted and directed by David Zak

Open Space Arts announced its inaugural production of THE KRAMER PROJECT directed and adapted by David Zak from Larry Kramer’s (THE NORMAL HEART) watershed speech “The Tragedy of Today’s Gays”.

“In this season of anti-trans legislation, looming supreme court decisions, and orders to ‘Don’t Say Gay”, I found myself wondering ‘What would Larry Kramer say?’” recounts Zak. “‘The Tragedy of Today’s Gays’ calls out to be shared in a new way even now, two years after his death.”

This will be the first production for Open Space Arts, a non-profit dedicated to producing works of social relevance. All proceeds of the production will go to the Center on Halsted, a community center for LGBT+ Chicagoans in Lakeview.

The production runs July 22 – July 31 at Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted. 

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(sidebar – if you are NOT familiar  with  Larry  Kramer, he was a noted writer whose raucous, antagonistic campaign for an all-out response to the AIDS crisis helped shift national health policy in the 1980s and ’90s. 

An author, essayist and playwright — notably hailed for his autobiographical 1985 play, “The Normal Heart” — Mr. Kramer had feet in both the world of letters and the public sphere. In 1981 he was a founder of   New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the very  first service organization for H.I.V.-positive people, though his fellow directors effectively kicked him out a year later for his aggressive approach.

He was then a founder of a more militant group, Act Up (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), whose street actions demanding a speedup in AIDS drugs research and an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians severely disrupted the operations of government offices, Wall Street and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

He passed away  in 2020 at the age of 24

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Demoralized by the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004 and the 60 million voters who chose his ‘Moral Values,’ Larry Kramer gave what he called ‘the most difficult speech I ever had to give.” That speech, titled “The Tragedy of Today’s Gays”, was heralded as a “strident but truthful lecture” by The Boston Globe. In the wake of Trump’s presidency, David Zak revisited the speech and “found it still vibrant and stirring.” Zak initially worked with Kramer to adapt his speech into a theatrical work, having worked with the author previously on the Chicago premiere of Kramer’s comedy about the Reagans JUST SAY NO.

THE KRAMER PROJECT is the first event for Open Space Arts, a new non-profit dedicated to works of social relevance. Ticket sales from the six performances will benefit Center on Halsted, the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland.

The Cast includes Tom Chiola, Keith Butler, Elijah Newman, Hailey Hance, Roberto del Rio, Alexandria Moorman, and Ryan Quade. The video design is by Magdiel Carmona, and the original music is by Elijah Newman.

 

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THE KRAMER PROJECT

Adapted and Directed by David G. Zak from a “The Tragedy of Today’s Gays” by Larry Kramer

Produced by Open Space Arts   /      July 21, 22, 23, 28, 30, and 31 at 7PM

Hoover-Leppen Theater on the 3rd Floor of  Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60613

 

Located in Lakeview, north of the Addison Redline stop, near the 36, 8, and 152 CTA Bus lines

Tickets are $30 VIP, $20 General, $10 Seniors and Students.

Tickets on sale starting June 15 at https://www.centeronhalsted.org/

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