Winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play
Join us for a one-night-only reading of the landmark marriage equality play "8"! See tab below for details.
Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Direct from its acclaimed Broadway run, Larry Kramer’s landmark 1985 drama unfolds like a real-life political thriller as a tight-knit group of friends refuse to let doctors, politicians, and the media bury the truth about an epidemic ravaging the gay community. Their differences could tear them apart—or change the world. Kramer’s unapologetic tackling of the early days of the AIDS epidemic, gay marriage, and our national healthcare system casts theatrical light on issues that are as present in today’s national discourse as they were when the play first premiered. An unflinching and unforgettable play, The Normal Heart delivers one of the most powerful evenings you'll ever spend at the theater.
The Normal Heart is presented in association with Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C., by special arrangement with Daryl Roth.
A.C.T. Presents the West Coast Premiere of George C. Wolfe's Tony Award–Winning Production The Normal Heart
"Deeply heartfelt. . . . The Normal Heart continues to earn our applause."
—The San Francisco Appeal
"A riveting evening of theatre"
—My Cultural Landscape
"Incendiary and legendary . . . a parable about the fight to be heard that echoes as loudly today as ever" —San Jose Mercury News
"A stunning work! Powerful as ever."
—The Huffington Post
"Director George C. Wolfe's ensemble offers the kind of acting that people go to the theater hoping to find, performances that make you both marvel at craft and relinquish yourself to an emotional world brought forcefully alive."
"Deeply affecting . . . The Normal Heart is breathing fire again." —The New York Times
"What makes the play so vibrant today—and what ensures its place in the annals of important American drama—is that Wolfe has shown us The Normal Heart's fragile beating heart." —The Washington Post (June 17, 2012) Read the entire review.
"Stunning and pulse-pounding" —Time Out New York
"★★★★★! A breathtaking achievement" —New York Daily News
"A letter-perfect production" —Back Stage
"Explosive" —The Hollywood Reporter
InterACT Events Splashy parties, lively discussions, and more—all free with your ticket.*
September 18, 5:30 p.m.
Before the curtain goes up, get behind the artistic process at this fascinating preshow discussion featuring a member of the Normal Heart creative team.
Theater on the Couch
September 21, 8 p.m.
Following the show, discuss the minds, motives, and behaviors of the characters with Dr. Bradford Crowell, Assistant Chief of Psychiatry at San Francisco's Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, who specializes in working with HIV patients and family members.
Experts Talk Back Special for The Normal Heart "AIDS Then" | Saturday, September 22, following the 2 p.m. performance
Thirty years ago, contracting HIV was considered a death sentence. By the time patients realized they had contracted the disease—referred to as GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency)—they had only months to live before they succumbed to the infection. Panic was all around. No one knew what this disease was, or how it was transmitted or treated, and HIV patients became the new contagion scare. Moderated by Senator Mark Leno—and featuring guest speakers KTVU Health and Science Editor John Fowler, Diane Jones, R.N., and Paul Volberding, M.D.—"AIDS Then" delves deeply into the early days of HIV in San Francisco and the roles played by the government, media, and medical professionals.
"AIDS Now"| Sunday, September 30, following the 2 p.m. performance
Entering its fourth decade, HIV has affected communities across culture, age, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, geographic region, and religious denomination. Over the past several years, many breakthroughs have been made in understanding the disease. New advances in drug developments have helped to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide. Yet there is still much work that needs to be done. Moderated by The Very Reverend Alan Jones, former Dean of Grace Cathedral—and featuring guest speakers Diane Havlir, M.D., Neil Giuliano, CEO of the SF AIDS Foundation, and Denny David, deputy director of LYRIC —"AIDS Now" will discuss what must be done medically, politically, and economically if we ever hope to control the disease.
September 25, 7 p.m.
October 3, 2 p.m.
Learn firsthand what goes into the making of great theater. After the show, join us for a lively onstage chat with the actors, designers, and artists who develop the work onstage.
OUT with A.C.T.
September 26, 8 p.m.
The best LGBT night in town! Mingle with the cast and fellow theatergoers while enjoying free drinks and treats at this popular afterparty.
Wine Series NEW!
October 2, 7 p.m.
Before the show, raise a glass at this wine tasting event featuring leading sommeliers from the Bay Area's hottest local wineries.
October 6, 1 p.m.
Get hands-on with theater with the artists who make it happen at this lively preshow workshop. Learn more about how lighting and projections, which play an integral part in this production, are created and used in large-scale theatrical presentations.
*Most events are free for ticket holders. Please note that performance times vary.
An unconstitutional proposition. An unprecedented decision. An unforgettable play.
In association with the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, A.C.T. is proud to present a one-night-only reading of "8," the landmark play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 8. Written by Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award–winning screenwriter of Milk, and directed by A.C.T. Associate Director Mark Rucker, "8" is the unprecedented account of the federal district court trial Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the freedom to marry. Black based "8" on the actual trial transcripts, firsthand observations of what went on in the courtroom, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.
Proceeds from the reading benefit AFER and LGBTQ youth participating in A.C.T.'s ACTsmart (formerly known as ArtReach) program, which offers free student matinee tickets and theater-based pre- and postshow workshops at no cost to 23 public high schools in the Bay Area (including all 18 San Francisco public high schools) with large populations of underserved, low-income students who otherwise would have little exposure to the arts.
Tickets are available for $50 to $100. A limited number of $250 VIP tickets are available and include premium seating and access to a postshow reception with the cast.
Insight into the Play, the Playwright, and the Production
Each entertaining and informative issue of Words on Plays, A.C.T.'s in-depth performance guide series, contains a synopsis, advance program notes, study questions, and additional background information about the historical and cultural context of the play.
Words on Plays is available for purchase in the lobby of the theater during performances or online ($12 each + postage and handling or $5 each for the electronic edition). For more information about how to subscribe to a full or partial season, click here.
Words on Plays Prepared by
Dan Rubin, Editor Elizabeth Brodersen, Director of Education
Michael Paller, Resident Dramaturg
Amy Krivohlavek, Marketing Writer
Aliya Charmey, Summer Dramaturgy Fellow
AHF HEALTHCARE CENTERS AND PHARMACIES (Multiple Bay Area locations; www.hivcare.org; www.ahfpharmacy.org) provide advanced up-to-the-minute medical care designed specifically for HIV-positive clients. Revenues generated from AHF Pharmacy contribute to caring for AHF patients, as well as supporting its prevention and testing programs worldwide.
PROJECT OPEN HAND (Alameda County and San Francisco; 415.447.2300; www.openhand.org)
provides comprehensive nutrition services to over 3,000 men, women, and children with symptomatic HIV and AIDS.
AGUILAS (415.558.8403; www.sfaguilas.org) is dedicated to creating a supportive, culturally sensitive environment for gay/bisexual Latinos.
AIDS EMERGENCY FUND (415.558.6999; www.aidsemergencyfund.org)
provides financial assistance for people living with AIDS for housing, phone, utilities, and certain medical expenses.
AIDS HOUSING ALLIANCE (415.703.8639; www.aidshousingalliancesf.org)
is a housing referral service created by and for people with HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area.
AIDS LEGAL REFERRAL PANEL (415.701.1200; www.alrp.org) provides pro bono and low cost legal services to HIV-positive clients.
BAY AREA YOUNG POSITIVES (415.487.1616; www.baypositives.org) helps young people (26 and under) with HIV/AIDS to live longer, happier, healthier, and more productive lives.
BLACK COALITION ON AIDS (415.615.9945; www.bcoa.org) is dedicated to HIV/AIDS-related advocacy, education, and harm reduction for African American people.
COMMUNITY CONSORTIUM (415.476.9554; www.communityconsortium.org)
is an association of more than 200 licensed health care providers who care for the majority of people with HIV infection in the San Francisco Bay Area.
DOLORES STREET COMMUNITY SERVICES (415.282.6209; www.dscs.org) provides an array of services for people living with HIV/AIDS. The Cohen House is a 10-bed, licensed 24-hour-care assisted living residence for formerly homeless men and women living with AIDS.
HEALING WATERS (415.552.1190; www.hwaters.org) provides outdoor adventures to people with AIDS.
HIV HEALTH SERVICES (415.554.9000; www.sfhivcare.com) strives to ensure the provision of the highest quality, accessible, culturally competent care for people with HIV/AIDS by working with people living with HIV/AIDS, service providers, other divisions of the Department of Public Health, community planning groups, funders, and the broader community.
LARKIN STREET YOUTH SERVICES (415.673.0911; www.larkinstreetyouth.org) helps San Francisco's most vulnerable youth ages 12 to 24 move beyond street life.
MAGNET (415.581.1600; www.magnetsf.org) is a gay men's health outreach center in the Castro neighborhood, offering testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
MAITRI (415.558.3000; www.maitrisf.org) provides 24-hour nursing, personal care, and emotional/spiritual resources to men and women living with AIDS.
MOST HOLY REDEEMER AIDS SUPPORT GROUP (415.863.1582; www.mhr-asg.com) helps mitigate the suffering and enhance the quality of life of those struggling with debilitating HIV/AIDS-related diseases regardless of religious belief, age, race, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
NATIONAL AIDS MEMORIAL GROVE (415.765.0497; www.aidsmemorial.org)
is a dedicated space in Golden Gate Park where millions of Americans touched directly or indirectly by AIDS can gather to heal, hope, and remember.
THE RICHMOND/ERMET AIDS FOUNDATION (415.931.0317; www.richmondermet.org) raises funds for and awareness about San Francisco area AIDS service organizations through entertainment events.
SAN FRANCISCO AIDS FOUNDATION (415.487.3000; www.sfaf.org) works at the federal, state, and local levels to stop the spread of HIV, and to protect the health and human rights of people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS.
SAN FRANCISCO CITY CLINIC (415.487.5500; www.sfcityclinic.org)
provides free or low-cost diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as confidential HIV counseling and testing to people who are considered to be in high-risk groups.
SHANTI (415.674.4700; www.shanti.org) is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life, improving the well-being, and promoting the independence of people living with HIV disease and AIDS in San Francisco.
STOP AIDS PROJECT (415.575.0150; www.stopaids.org) is dedicated to preventing HIV transmission among all gay, bisexual, and transgendered men in San Francisco through multicultural, community-based organizing.
TENDERLOIN HEALTH (415.437.2900; www.tenderloinhealth.org)
serves those living with and at the greatest risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS and have difficulty obtaining services elsewhere because of substance use, mental illness, and other social barriers.
UCSF AIDS HEALTH PROJECT (415.476.3902; www.ucsf-ahp.org) provides mental health services, training, and publications. Services include counseling, testing, support groups, psychotherapy, and crisis intervention.
EAST BAY AGENCIES
AIDS PROJECT EAST BAY (Oakland; 510.663.7979; www.apeb.org) is dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV and supporting individuals infected with the virus through programs targeted at some of the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in Alameda County.
BERKELEY FREE CLINIC (Berkeley; 510.548.2570; www.berkeleyfreeclinic.org) offers anonymous, rapid, and free HIV testing through its HIV Prevention Services Collective (HPS).
CASA SEGURA (Oakland; 510.434.0307; www.casasegura.org) works in partnership with the AIDS Project to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among injection drug users (IDUs) and other at-risk populations throughout Alameda County.
CONTRA COSTA AIDS PROGRAM (Martinez; 925.313.6771; www.cchealth.org/groups/aids)
provides care, support services, programs, and HIV/AIDS testing services via their mobile van.
TAYLOR FAMILY FOUNDATION (Lafayette; 925.455.5118; www.ttff.org) provides medical care, social, psychological support, and a wonderful camp experience.
WORLD (WOMEN ORGANIZED TO RESPOND TO LIFE THREATENING DISEASE) (Oakland; 510.986.0340; www.womenhiv.org) connects HIV-positive women, their families, allies, and communities to one another through peer-based education, support, advocacy, and leadership development.
NORTH BAY AGENCIES
FACE TO FACE (Sonoma County; 707.544.1581; www.f2f.org) provides care to people with HIV and their loved ones while promoting preventive education and responsive leadership.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT AIDS FOOD BANK (Sonoma County; 707.887.1647; www.fftfoodbank.org)
provides food, vitamins, nutritional supplements, prepared meals, and nutritional counseling for people with disabling HIV and AIDS.
MARIN AIDS PROJECT (Marin County; 415.457.2487; www.marinaidsproject.org)
helps the people of Marin County obtain the best quality HIV/AIDS services, information, education, and support possible.
MEALS OF MARIN (San Rafael; 415.457.4666; www.mealsofmarin.net)
prepares and delivers appetizing, healthy, home-cooked meals to people with life-threatening illnesses living in Marin County.