the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park

Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika concludes at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. Atop the fountain is an eight foot bronze statue of a female angel known as the “Angel of the Waters”.  This name refers to the angel who blessed the healing waters in the pool of Bethesda in the Gospel of John. Water in the fountain cascades from an upper basin into a large pool filled with plants such as water lilies, papyrus and lotus. The fountain also features four cherubim representing Temperance, Purity, Health and Peace. While the pool at the base of the fountain was designed by Calvert Vaux, the co-designer of Central Park, the fountain sculpture was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868. As Louis notes in Perestroika, Stebbins was a lesbian and had a lifelong relationship with the noted actress and native Philadelphian Charlotte Cushman. “The Angels of the Waters” made Stebbins the first woman in New York City to receive a public commission for a major work of art. At 26 feet high, the Bethesda Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the city.


The Wilma Theater has made Pennsylvania voter registration forms available in our lobby

Election season is upon us and with the November 6th presidential election it is more important than ever to vote. To help facilitate voting in Philadelphia, The Wilma Theater has made Pennsylvania voter registration forms available in our lobby.

We were inspired by Sean Daniels of GeVa Theatre Center in Rochester, NY to offer this service to those attending performances of Angels in America, Parts One and Two. GeVa has partnered with the Rock the Vote campaign to get patrons involved in the electoral process once the show is over by providing them with voter registration information.


Angels in America Timeline: Part Two

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 second half, 1980 C.E - 1990 C.E.

1980 -
A mysterious constellation of diseases in forty-one different patients in discovered. The patients are all gay men living in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta publishes a report on the outbreaks of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and pneumocystic carinii pneumonia (PCP). The epidemic is later referred to as Gay Cancer or GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency).

Jan 1981 - Ronald Wilson Reagan is inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States. The GOP gains control of the Senate.

March 1981 - Ronald Reagan is shot 60 days into his first term. Although seriously wounded, he becomes the first U.S. President to be shot and survive. He leaves the hospital 21 days later.

July 1981 - PCP is discovered among intravenous drug users in New York City; most of the patients are heterosexual.

Jan-Feb 1982 - In several cases across the United States, infected Factor III blood is identified as the cause of PCP cases in hemophiliacs.