ITA Ensemble

Angels in America

Angels in America
11 Apr '25 to 28 Apr '25
ITA Ensemble / Ivo van Hove

If there is one contemporary play that deserves the epithet 'brilliant', it is undoubtedly Angels in America. After its premiere in San Francisco in 1991, Tony Kushner's Gay Fantasia on National Themes took the world by storm. The play was showered with awards and successfully adapted as an HBO series starring Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, and Meryl Streep, among others.

In 2008, Ivo van Hove directed a radical Angels in America that Tony Kushner himself named as his favourite version and for which Hans Kesting received the Louis d'Or for his portrayal of Roy Cohn. It is this version that is now being staged again, with some actors from the original cast and some new actors from the ITA Ensemble. So it's time, then, for the (re)discovery of a modern classic!

Run time tba
Genre Theatre
Language Dutch
Surtitles English, Thu, April 17 & 24

Angels in America


America during the Reagan administration. The AIDS epidemic is spreading, but its existence is being swept under the rug by the conservative government. Two New Yorkers each try to deal with their diagnose in their own way: the ex-drag queen Prior and the deeply conservative lawyer Roy Cohn, who coerces those around him to lie about the nature of his disease.

In the first part, 'Millennium Approaches', each character is ripped away from their foundations and securities: family, partners, religion, or political ideologies no longer offer a foothold against the sweeping disease and death. In the second part, 'Perestroika', reluctant new friendships and relationships develop, and the characters are confronted with the painful process of change.
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In a dazzling sequence of tragi-comic scenes and intrigue, Tony Kushner shows that identity cannot be reduced to religion, race, or sexuality, but is an ongoing process and can only be formed through interaction with others. Angels in America is a compelling, hilarious and heartbreaking story about the transformative power of love, as well as an ode to imagination – not just as an escape from an unliveable reality, but also as a source of insight.

Ivo van Hove directs the ITA Ensemble in Angels in America in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA).

Ivo van Hove about Angels in America

“Angels in America is a story about how people react to catastrophes. Undeniably, this play has become one of the great classics of contemporary theatre. It is set in the mid-1980s, during the Reagan administration, but it is as relevant as ever in 2025. It is about people facing the deadly disease that is AIDS. COVID-19 has re-introduced young people to what a deadly epidemic is, and what it means when certain groups are stigmatised. In Angels in America, people wage a literal life-and-death battle with illness. It also demonstrates how they deal with loss. It is an ode to the human ability to adapt, change and thereby survive. Driven by a soundtrack of purely David Bowie songs and with a minimalist stage design by Jan Versweyveld, we have tried to get to the core of this epic and universal story with a beating-heart.“

Tony Kushner


In his plays, Tony Kushner ponders: how can people change when there are hardly any ideological models left; how can they build connections in a society marked by individualism and division? He believes that compassion and solidarity are the key ingredients for allowing people from diverse backgrounds to unite.

“Man not only has the ability to change, but is capable of reinventing his deepest core. And that, in a sense, from a Jewish perspective, is a way of making sense of God's presence in the world. When we talk about resonances of the divine presence, we talk about looking into our neighbour's face and seeing their potential.
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Besides being a renowned playwright, Tony Kushner became particularly known in recent years for his close collaboration with Steven Spielberg, for whom he has now written four films: Munich, Lincoln, West Side Story and The Fabelmans.

Ivo van Hove directs the ITA Ensemble in Angels in America in Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA).
Ivo van Hove
Director
Ivo van Hove

Ivo van Hove was Artistic Director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam from 2001 to 2023. As stage director, he signed on for numerous ground-breaking and highly acclaimed productions such as The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) and A Little Life (Hanya Yanagihara), as well as the two Shakespeare marathons Roman Tragedies and Kings of War, with which the ensemble toured around the world. After twenty-two years, Van Hove decided to leave ITA and concentrate on his international directing work. He will also head the Ruhrtriennale as Artistic Director from 2024 to 2026.

In the 24/25 season, his productions of Who Killed My Father (Édouard Louis) and Angels in America (Tony Kushner) will be revived.

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CAST

Language NP Language no problem ‘Ntianu Stuger ‘Ntianu Stuger
Language NP Language no problem Eelco Smits Eelco Smits
Language NP Language no problem Minne Koole Minne Koole
Language NP Language no problem Hans Kesting Hans Kesting
Language NP Language no problem Eefje Paddenburg Eefje Paddenburg
Language NP Language no problem Marieke Heebink Marieke Heebink
Language NP Language no problem Jesse Mensah Jesse Mensah
The Angel
Prior Walter
Louis Ironson
Roy Cohn
Harper Pitt
Hanna Pitt / Ethel Rosenberg
Belize / Mr. Lies

REVIEWS

The New York Times

“Yet this is in many ways the most penetrating "Angels" that I’ve seen. Mr. van Hove finds a universal heart that seems destined to beat, loudly and steadily, for as long as there is theater.”

Het Parool

“With this production, TA proves to be in top form, both mentally and physically, and brings five hours of heartbreaking theatre that will occupy your mind for quite some time afterwards.”

de Volkskrant

“Rarely has this ensemble shown such passionate, almost possessed stagecraft as in this epic about America in the AIDS era.”

Credits


by Tony Kushner
director Ivo van Hove
adaptation and dramaturgy Peter van Kraaij
scenography and lightning design Jan Versweyveld
costume design Wojciech Dziedzic
music Wim Selles
video design Tal Yarden
translation Carel Alphenaar
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private producer Rob van den Bergh, Jeroen van Ingen and Bertil van Kaam

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