Angels in America Final Project Theater 25AC


My goal in this project is to make a thorough analysis of the play "Angels in America", and simultaneously come up with a research question & essay in order to demonstrate my understanding of both the play and the course material covered in Theatre 25AC.

Performance Description & Galerie

Angels in America Symbols Themes

In order to get a deeper and a better understanding of the play at hand, I have both read the play and watched the HBO Mini Series of Angels in America. This helped me to visualize the play and empathize with characters as well as made it easier for me to identify the symbols and the mindset of the society towards homosexuality.

Specifically, my focus on this project will be to examine the symbol of “San Francisco” and its various interpretations and the relationship between the characters to explore themes such as race, and homosexuality. Watching the play, near the end when Prior Walter is in heaven, the director has included the Golden Gate Bridge in the shot, which is a direct reference to San Francisco. This suggest that San Francisco is a symbol of heaven, which could be interpreted as an escape for people feeling opressed by the society due to the ethnicity, color, or sexual preferences (homosexuality).

The symbol of San Francisco also strongly mean freedom with its liberal, open, and humane historical culture. Thus, I have added multiple snapshots from the series, in order to portray how “San Francisco” is interpreted as heaven.

Furthermore, I have also included the snapshots of the characters and specific scenes such as the moment when Louis finds out about Prior’s illness,Joe’s confrontation scene with his wife Harper about his true sexual preferences, and Roy’s edgy dialoguewith his nurse in order to briefly explore the theme of race and homosexuality through multiple character perspectives. These specific scenes will help me explore the relationships in a deeper way as well as help me make connections to the symbol of San Francisco and its meaning.

Photo Gallery
The "Symbol" of Heaven - San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge), Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
San Francisco and Heaven Interpretation, Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
The Golden Gate Bridge (Representation of San Francisco) and Motif used in the Film
Prior Walters (Left ) and Louis Ironson (Right), Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
The Angel of America, Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
Harper Pitt and her imaginary friend Mr. Lies, Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
Roy Cohn, Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
Joe Pitt & Harper Pitt in New York City, Angels in America Mini Series by HBO (2003)
Research Question: How does the play, Angels in America depicts America's performance through the conflicts between the characters and use of symbolism?

This is my specific research question that will guide me to write my essay. Throughout the essay, I'm going to be examining specific scenes that highlights the relationships between characters and how the themes such as ethnicity, homosexuality, and race has a key role in America's performance. Through the use of the perspectives of various characters, the reader will be exposed to multiple perspectives of these themes as well as generate more ideas about the subject at hand. Furthermore, I will also explore the significance of the symbol of "San Francisco" in the context of the play, and making connections with the theme and America's performance. The symbol of "San Francisco" is crucial to the play as it depicts America's performance, and it becomes an "heaven-like escape" for the characters that feel inferior due to the unaccepting American society. Moreover, the city of "San Francisco" also is an important concept worth examining as it helps the reader to understand how effective America performs and affects the society. In order to enhance my arguments, I'm going to give both visual and contextual evidence from the written play and the HBO Mini Series version of Angels in America (2013), to help the reader to visualize, and lead to a greater understanding of the play as a whole.