Stories For, From and About
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
FOUR PERFORMANCES ONLY!
A community-led benefit for Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
and Frontline AIDS (formerly the International HIV/AIDS Alliance).
ABOUT THE SHOW
Quilt, A Musical Celebration is a unique and affecting work that celebrates and remembers both those who died from AIDS and those who have survived or been left behind. Based on true stories from friends and loved ones who were left behind, the musical is a living history for a new generation.
Pairing professional and amateur artists from around the country, Quilt is a celebration of the people, the tears, the memories, and even the laughter and love, surrounding the deadliest plague in American history. Join our coalition of activists, artists and community advocacy organizations, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, honor our past, and band together to do good for people living with HIV/AIDS throughout NYC and around the world.
"...sensitive, without being sentimental..."
A Musical Celebration
For, From and About
The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
Originally Produced by The University of Maryland in conjunction
with The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History
This show was Jim Morgan's baby, he wrote the book and lyrics and drew in Michael Stockler to write the music. Then he asked his friend, Merle Hubbard, to help write the book. I invited myself.
In the early 90's I got a call from an ex-student, Perry Ojeda, suggesting I catch the reading of a work-in-progress at Musical Theatre Works - he knew I was on the lookout for something political to get involved with. I went, I was blown away by what they presented, and I walked down onto the stage afterward and asked if they were working with a director - they weren't, and I offered myself. Our first production, a joint venture by the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution, came with a director, so, to continue my involvement, they made me the third bookwriter. When the show played the Smithsonian, the whole Quilt was on the Mall - seeing it filling the sweep of lawn up to the Capitol was overwhelming, like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon - except the Quilt was hand-and-heart-made. Later, I got to direct a production at the University of Michigan, Michael's alma mater, where I had been teaching and directing. The ultimate goal, to get a production in New York City, never happened, despite 2 showcases. But we did get into the MTI catalogue, thanks to Freddie Gershon's desire to represent a show about the AIDS crisis, and from there it derived hundreds of productions around the country.
We were very different people, the four of us, but we shared in the growing personal losses from the epidemic, and we wanted to do something to acknowledge it. But we didn't want to bring back the dead to tell their stories - we wanted to give voice to the myriad people in their lives - parents, friends, lovers, co-workers - who were drawn to memorialize them by contributing panels to Cleve Jones' incredible idea, The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. And in telling their stories, in scenes and songs, we found not just the expected loss and sadness, but so much love, and a wealth of humor - audiences laughed more than they cried. They identified. And something we had not anticipated - they stayed, and talked. For hours. Literally. Sharing personal stories, crying, laughing, bonding in an ad hoc community of loss and commemoration. The show turned out to be a catalyst for much-needed dialogue, in a time of fear and shame.
I'm the last of the four writers, and although we were a contentious bunch, I feel I can safely speak for them as well as myself when I say that this show was the most important thing I was lucky enough to be a part of in a lifetime of working in theatre, and I remain grateful.
SUPPORT THE PRODUCTION
Quilt: A Musical Celebration is a charity benefit production, raising funds for the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.
Most of our artists and technicians have donated their time and their talents for this production, which has cut production costs substantially, but New York City theater is inescapably expensive.
It's our goal to give every dollar of every ticket to the organizations that need it most, but we need your help to do that.
Please consider giving a tax-deductible gift. All donors will receive public recognition.
The following community partners are generously donating of their time, talents, and resources, in order to live their missions of making this world a better place. This production is truly an example of the community coming together to do good for the community.
For decades, Judson has served as a home for experimental, boundary-pushing art. In a city bursting with budding artists, the ever-growing scarcity of open, inviting space is especially disheartening. So Judson continues to pursue our nurturing artistic mission: We offer a haven for creative bursts that may evaporate in a puff of smoke, may send sparks flying, and may explode our comfortable complacency. And we cherish every one of these moments as sacred.
The results are continually astonishing. Artists walk back out of our doors having incubated startling new trajectories in dance, theater, music, and visual arts. Along the way, they irreversibly transform us, our practice, and our commitment to a vibrant future of shared, embodied experience.
Put simply, we don't know how to be a church without artists continually troubling our assumptions and nudging us in new directions.
Candid Theater Company dedicates itself to producing theater that addresses current political, social and ideological concerns. We develop new plays from concept to performance, and explore existing texts in a modern sensibility.
Candid Theater Company believes that theatre and all the arts should be accessible to everyone. So if we can't bring Mohammad to our mountain, we bring our mountain to Mohammad. We perform wherever our target audience is. Over the years we have performed in bars, churches, community centers, battered women's shelters and prisons. We develop each production for the audience at hand, speaking to the events in their lives, and aim to empower the audience to create change in their worlds.
Candid Theater Company
The Greenwich Village Orchestra was founded in 1986 by a group of musicians from the New York Metropolitan area. We are a 70-person community orchestra made up of accountants, actors, artists, attorneys, carpenters, editors, physicians, professors, programmers, retirees, riverboat gamblers, scientists, secretaries, students, and teachers. For over thirty years, the Greenwich Village Orchestra has had a single purpose: to bring the best possible performances of great music to our audience. The GVO is committed to making music at the highest possible level and dedicated to enriching the lives of our players and our audience. Our performances are emotionally charged, exhilarating experiences that truly delight our audiences and the performers alike.
Greenwich Village Orchestra
The West Village Chorale is a 70-piece choir made up of talented avocational singers with varied professional backgrounds but one shared goal: to make beautiful music. Our members give voice, leadership and passion to the Chorale. We perform several concerts per year, with repertoire ranging from traditional choral staples to contemporary pieces (including several world premieres and commissions in recent years). We host an annual Caroling Walk that regularly sends hundreds of singers out around the Village, and a series of weekly Summer Sings (which recently completed their 47th summer), which allow the many choral singers in the area the chance to get together and sing some classic pieces while the choruses are summer hiatus. And because we are lucky enough to make music in New York, we’ve also had the opportunity to participate in a variety of other activities—including singing with Patti LuPone and indie rock band Sky-Pony at the 2016 Park Avenue Armory Gala, and other private events.
West Village Chorale
Heritage of Pride organizes the official New York City LGBTQIA+ Pride Week events. It is a non-profit organization that began producing New York City's Pride events in 1984, building on the work of the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee, who organized the first March in 1970. That march brought national attention to 1969's Stonewall Riots, one of many occurring in the US at the time. What began as a March has grown to more than a dozen events which comprise NYC PRIDE week including The March, The Rally, PrideFest, and Pride Island- a multi-day cultural experience (evolution from Dance on the Pier: 1987-2017). Pride Island is the final event held each year. Starting on June 24, 1990 that closing event has culminated with the second largest annual fireworks display in Manhattan, bested only by Macy's 4th of July Fireworks. During Pride Month many facets of the community gather and join voices. In 2017, ABC7 broadcast three hours of HOP's Pride March for the first time, also making some content available on the Internet. The run time of the March was 9 hours, 38 minutes. The broadcast was nominated for a 2018 New York Emmy Award. HOP's works toward a future without discrimination where all people have equal rights under the law. They do this by producing LGBTQIA+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate their diverse community.
Heritage of Pride
The NAMES Project Foundation, established in 1987, is the international custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. Its mission is to preserve, care for, and use the AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, heighten awareness, and inspire action in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. The NAMES Project Foundation works with hundreds of partners across the country to orchestrate more than 1,000 displays every year in schools, universities, places of worship, corporations and community centers. Panel making remains a vital element of The NAMES Project as new panels arrive at our offices daily. Free panel making workshops unfold around the country and every Sunday afternoon at the national headquarters. In 2005, The Quilt was deemed an official American treasure with the awarding of the prestigious “Save America’s Treasures” Federal Grant. With this award, The Quilt is now recognized as part of America’s priceless historic legacy, an enduring symbol that defines us as a nation and is an important component of our culture and heritage that helps to explain America’s past to future generations. Currently, there are 10 NAMES Project chapters in the US and more than 11 international affiliates around the world. From San Francisco’s Castro Street to Vatican City, from Taipei to Uganda, from inner-city schools to the United Nations Headquarters, The Quilt has called on the world to respond to AIDS with compassion and resolve.
The NAMES Project Foundation
MJP Theatrical is a professional theatrical production company that works within existing arts and business structures to democratize theater at all levels of production.
book & lyrics