Broadcast on BBC World Service radio on June 8, 2011.
The American playwright Tony Kushner is best known for Angels In America, whose epic depiction of the AIDS crisis in America’s gay community won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993, before being made into a film, starring Al Pacino and Meryl Streep. His new play, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, has just opened at the Public Theatre in New York, as part of a season-long celebration of his work that also includes revivals of Angels In America and The Illusion.
The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide is set in the Brooklyn home of Gus Marcantonio, a retired dock worker and Communist party member, who has gathered his three children, to tell them that he plans to kill himself. In a moment, we’ll be hearing from Tony Kushner, in conversation with our reporter Andrew Purcell, but first here’s an extract from the play.