Category: Angels in America

Angels in America Timeline: Part One

Posted September 13, 2012 - 10:57am

The script for Angels in America draws heavily from crucial junctures in World history. To help guide you through some of the references made in Angels in America, we have constructed a timeline - this week's installment is the first half, 300 B.C.E - 1969 C.E.

300 B.C.E. - The development of the Hebrew alphabet. Beginning with the appearance of a pictograph of an ox head, the aleph glyph becomes the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the initial letter of God’s name at the time of Creation. The aleph is one of the three words alluding to His Ineffable Name.

68 or 95 C.E. - John of Patmos writes The Book of Revelation (named after its first word, apokalypsis), creating the most common Christian image of the end of the world.

525 C.E.  - The Anno Domini dating system is invented by the Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguous (Dennis the Small). To make cosmic history coincide with the Roman Diocletian calendar, he assigns Jesus’ birth as December 25, so the assumed date of his circumcision fell on January 1, 1 AD.

1348 - The Black Plague enters Europe. By the end of 1350, one-third of the population of Europe is dead. Prophecies of the End of the World abound.

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The Story Up To Now: A Synopsis of Millennium Approaches

Posted September 4, 2012 - 11:27am

Prior Walter, a gay man living in New York City, has been diagnosed with AIDS. Unable to deal with the challenge, his lover, Louis Ironson has left left him, and is beginning a tentative relationship with the closeted Mormon Republican lawyer Joe Pitt.

Joe's wife Harper, who suffers from a mild valium addiction, has encountered Prior in a hallucinatory scene she refers to as “threshold of revelation.” Traumatized by the discovery of Joe’s lies, Harper has fled their apartment after a fight, and is in a dream Antarctica with the imaginary travel agent Mr. Lies. Joe's mother, Hannah, has sold her house in Salt Lake City and comes to New York after Joe tells her he's gay.

Meanwhile, Joe's mentor, the rightwing fixer and shady lawyer Roy Cohn, has also been diagnosed with AIDS and is facing disbarment. After a series of severe abdominal spasms, he has been visited by the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, whom he helped execute in the 1950s. Ethel has called an ambulance for him.

Meanwhile, Prior has been seeking help from his friend Belize, a male nurse, because of Louis and because he's having visions and hearing strange voices that make him fear he's losing his mind. Millennium Approaches ends with an Angel bursting through the ceiling of Prior's apartment and announcing:

"Greetings, Prophet!
The Great Work Begins:
The Messenger has arrived."

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