Queer Spirit: Theory Generation Toward Directorial Practice in UC San Diego’s 2016 Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika by Tony Kushner
Proceeding from the perspective that theory can be utilized in practice, this thesis chronicles the making and production of the University of California San Diego production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika in 2016, directed by Jon Reimer. Through the examination of queer theory to justify definition of textual ambiguity, the establishment of queer spirit as a guiding lens of conceptual perspective provides clarity in the directorial decision-making process, as well as a framework for other collaborators to make choices within the interpretive parameters. In applying queer spirit for understanding vague concepts, the workload on the director actually lessons as the rehearsal process continues, emboldening with confidence the other collaborators to justify their choices at a deeper level. The identification of a unifying theory to address the centralized question of the play -- What is God and the Divine in Perestroika? -- demonstrates the efficacy of theory for not only simplifying but also streamlining the tasks of the director in production development.