As Is portrays the effect that AIDS, a relatively new epidemic in the 1980s, has on a group of friends living in New York City. It was one of the early plays, and subsequent TV movies, depicting how the epidemic was affecting gay Americans. As Is opened shortly before Larry Kramer's play The Normal Heart.
This play depicts a gay couple, Saul and Rich, who open the play, and their separation. Rich's firm decision to separate is reversed when he returns to Saul after contracting AIDS from his new lover. Seeking emotional support, Rich shows how people with AIDS were treated by the American family, doctors, and friends. Their impersonal and detached attitudes lead Rich to recognize the importance of the partner for the gay individual.
The play is set at the Manhattan memorial service for Andre Gerard, who died of AIDS and was buried in Dallas several weeks earlier. Andre's mother Katharine cannot come to terms with his death or share her grief with Cal, Andre's lover. Her rage is directed not only at Cal and her own mother, who was less judgmental of her grandson's life, but at Andre himself as well.
The story of The Yellow Boat is a glorious affirmation of a child's life and the strength and courage of all children. This dramatization is based on the true story of David and Sonja Saar's son, Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia and died in 1987 at the age of 8 of AIDS-related complications. A uniquely gifted visual artist, Benjamin's buoyant imagination transformed his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of colors and shapes in his fanciful drawings and paintings. A Scandinavian folksong tells of three little boats: "One was blue, one was red and one was yellow as the sun. They sailed far out to sea. The blue one returned to the harbor. The red one sailed home, too. But the yellow boat sailed up to the sun." Benjamin always concluded his bedtime ritual by saying, "Mom, you can be the red boat or the blue boat, but I am the yellow boat." Benjamin's remarkable voyage continues to touch audiences around the world. Recommended for children age 8 and older, parents, families and adults. Music in book.
In the Continuum puts a human face on the devastating impact of AIDS in Africa and America through the lives of two unforgettably courageous women. Living worlds apart, one in South Central LA and the other in Zimbabwe, each experiences a kaleidoscopic weekend of life-changing revelations in this story of parallel denials and self-discoveries.
Essentially a series of comic vignettes underlined by tragedy, the farce traces the European odyssey of sister and brother Anna and Carl. They are in search of hedonistic pleasure and a cure for her terminal illness, the fictitious ATD (Acquired Toilet Disease) she contracted by using the bathrooms at the elementary school where she teaches. Knowing her life is nearing its end, Anna is driven by a lust that compels her to have casual sex with as many men as possible during their travels, a passion shared by her gay brother. Assisting the pair is the mysterious Third Man, a reference to the classic suspense film starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles, to which Vogel frequently alludes in detail.