This book demonstrates the political potential of mainstream theatre in the US at the end of the twentieth century, tracing ideological change over time in the reception of US mainstream plays taking HIV/AIDS as their topic from 1985 to 2000. This is the first study to combine the topics of the politics of performance, LGBT theatre, and mainstream theatre’s political potential, a juxtaposition that shows how radical ideas become mainstream, that is, how the dominant ideology changes. Using materialist semiotics and extensive archival research, Juntunen delineates the cultural history of four pivotal productions from that period—Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (1985), Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1992), Jonathan Larson’s Rent (1996), and Moises Kaufman’s The Laramie Project (2000). Examining the connection between AIDS, mainstream theatre, and the media reveals key systems at work in ideological change over time during a deadly epidemic whose effects changed the nation forever. Employing media theory alongside nationalism studies and utilizing dozens of reviews for each case study, the volume demonstrates that reviews are valuable evidence of how a production was hailed by society’s ideological gatekeepers. Mixing this new use of reviews alongside textual analysis and material study—such as the theaters’ locations, architectures, merchandise, program notes, and advertising—creates an uncommonly rich description of these productions and their ideological effects. This book will be of interest to scholars and students of theatre, politics, media studies, queer theory, and US history, and to those with an interest in gay civil rights, one of the most successful social movements of the late twentieth century.
JANUARY 6 – 31, 2016
For its 16th Anniversary, the side project theatre in Chicago commissioned 16 playwrights to write a play for each year of the company’s existence. I’m thrilled to be a part of the project, and my play, The First Yes, will represent 2015 in Part B of this two-part event. Tickets and more info here.
Featuring world premiere plays from:
BRETT NEVEU, SEAN GRANEY, ROBERT TENGES, DANIEL TALBOTT, LAURA JACQMIN, PHILIP DAWKINS, CRYSTAL SKILLMAN, DAN CAFFREY, JESSE WEAVER, MARK YOUNG, MIKE FIFE, JACOB JUNTUNEN, STEVE J. SPENCER, SHEROD SANTOS, LYNNE MCMAHON AND SCOTT BARSOTTI
No, that isn’t a knock on Kansas City! My short play, Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be, will be performed at the City Theatre of Independence.
It runs July 9, 10 and 11 at 8 pm, and on July 12 at 2 pm. If you’re in the Kansas City, MO area, please check it out!
Hath Taken Away has been invited to the 2015 Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska! I can’t wait for this wonderful opportunity to workshop this script with these wonderful people. Check out the other invited scripts.
Nice to see the script getting so much love this early in its life.
Manhattan Repertory Theatre presents:
A woman haunted by her parents and her future learns that there’s more than one way not to die alone.
Manhattan Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce
A short play by Jacob Juntunen, Playwright
Directed by Allen Sermonia
MA: Jenn Remke
PA: Michael Donaldson
YOUNG WOMAN: Laura Kamin
YOUNG MAN: Jeremy Patrick Hamilton
WOMAN: Katie Braden
MAN: Robert Getz
DYING ALONE will appear in Manhattan Rep’s Fall One Act Competition from:
303 W 42nd Street.
Tickets are $20 and paid for at the door. Please reserve seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the show date and the number of tickets you’d like.
The evening includes DYING ALONE alongside four other works by emerging playwrights, with 30 plays appearing in the competition overall. Come out for a full night of theatre and to support new work!