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Steven Culp in "Angels in America"

Subtitled: "A Gay Fantasia on National Themes"

Opening Date: October 12, 1994

American Conservatory Theater: Marines Memorial Theater Stage, San Francisco, CA

two-part, seven-hour epic

Playwright by Tony Kushner
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey

Joe Pitt - Steven Culp
Harper Pitt - Julia Gibson
Hannah Pitt - Cristine McMurdo-Wallis
The Angel - Lise Bruneau
Prior Walter - Garret Dillahunt
Louis Ironson - Ben Shenkman
Belize - Gregory Wallace
Roy Cohn - Peter Zapp

Variety Review


Huge as the playwright's canvas is, both parts of "Angels" focus intimately on two couples, one gay and one nominally heterosexual, in which one partner abandons the other. Louis Ironson, a Jewish leftist and legal cleric, runs out on his AIDS-stricken lover, a WASP esthete named Prior Walter, once the disease's ravages leave blood on the floor. Joe Pitt, an ambitious Republican lawyer clerking in Federal court, deserts his loyal but long-suffering wife, Harper, once his homosexual longings overpower his rectitudinous Mormon credo. Whether intact or fractured, the couples intersect throughout the play, brought together by chance events, by interlocking fantasies (erotic and mystical) and, indirectly, by the machinations of Roy Cohn.

Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize–winning Angels in America, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, opens at the Marines Memorial Theatre and is extended five times, becoming the longest-running and most successful production in A.C.T. history. (

(October 11, 2006, by Robert Hurwitt)

Excerpt from the article: 40: THE LONG RUN / Plays make waves as ACT rebuilds

We look at the lasting legacy of the American Conservatory Theater on its 40th anniversary.

"One memorable moment for me was (casting director) Meryl Shaw calling me when I was in labor to ask if it was OK if we cast Steven Culp in 'Angels in America.' We were casting 'Angels' when Nicholas was born. And in between contractions I thought, yeah, Steve Culp? I like Steve. Let's cast Steve. I remember that very vividly." -- Carey Perloff

(January 15, 2014, by Annika Leichner and Nicole Oebel)

Excerpt from an Exclusive interview with Steven Culp @

Which character you ever played, was the hardest work? And which one had the most influence on you?

So there have been many roles that I could talk about, and maybe I'll write a book someday (because, as you can tell from this interview, I can be very long-winded). But if I had to pick, I would say that playing Joe Pitt in ANGELS IN AMERICA was the most challenging and fulfilling role I've ever done onstage. We did both plays (it's a 2-parter) at ACT in San Francisco, back in 1994-95. It was a marvelous cast that included Garret Dillahunt and Ben Shenkman, and was directed by one of the best directors I've ever worked with, Mark Wing-Davey. The roles were particularly demanding, Shakespearean in scope and size, the plays were massive, Tony Kushner's writing brilliant, and Mark was very much tuned in to the nuances of human behavior; you'd be doing things that were so close to the bone that you couldn't perceive them yourself, you just had to go forward and trust that it was working. And it did work, like nothing I've ever seen. It changed us all; we all came out of that production different actors, and different people.

To read the full interview, click here (external link).

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