August 28, 2014
Angels Appear At Cornish Playhouse
: Belize (Timothy McCuen Piggee) and Prior Walter (Adam Standley). Photo by Chris Bennion, courtesy of Intiman Theatre Festival 2014.
: The Angel (Marya Sea Kaminski) . Photo by Chris Bennion, courtesy of Intiman Theatre Festival 2014.
“When is Marya going to come down in her wings?” whispered one Cornish student to another during a recent performance of Intiman Theatre Festival’s “Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.” Like many professional theater productions in Seattle, this revival of Tony Kushner’s classic duology features many Cornish connections. On top of being performed at the Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center, the cast featured Marya Sea Kaminski, a former Cornish faculty member, and Timothy McCuen Piggee, who teaches and directs musical theater and more at Cornish. Several students also worked as festival interns.
Andrew Russell, producing artistic director of the festival, worked for eight years as Kushner’s assistant and planned this year’s festival as a an examination of “the power of theatre, the future of America, and how to navigate the complexities of hope.” Along with the production of both parts of “Angels in America,” there will be an intern-produced evening of Kushner one-acts on Sept. 8 and 15 at the Cornish Playhouse Studio as well as other events.
Winning both the Tony and Pulitzer Prize in 1994, “Angels in America” chronicles the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s in seven hours of extraordinary, magical events tied to a very real crisis of both illness and identity.
On a warm summer evening, students in the back row of the theater roared with laughter whenever Piggee appeared as the sharp-tongued Belize or as one of Harper Pitt’s (Alex Highsmith) hallucinations. Then there were a few gasps when Kaminski finally made her descent “in all her glory to the theater that introduced Kushner’s epic drama to Seattle 20 years ago on the same stage,” according to Misha Berson of the Seattle Times.
“Angels in America” continues through Sept. 21 at the Cornish Playhouse.
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