Director reflects on 1996 'Angels in America' controversy
More than a decade ago, Angels in America opened in Charlotte. The play is about the AIDS crisis in 1980s America, and it received much acclaim across the country. Angels won a Pulitizer Prize, and it was even turned into an HBO mini-series starring Meryl Streep. But in 1996 Charlotte, Angels in America was best known as the play that had seven seconds of male frontal nudity. Protests erupted, and Charlotte became a national focal point in the debate over public arts funding. Now, a comedy called Southern Rapture examines those events. It opened this week at the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte. Yesterday, Southern Rapture was the focus of WFAE's Charlotte Talks program. As part of that program, host Mike Collins revisited the controversy with Steve Umberger, the Charlotte director of Angels in America.