Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. Part One: Millennium Approaches. Part Two: Perestroika.
- Where Written: New York City and San Francisco
- Literary Period: Contemporary queer theater
- Genre: Political theater, or self-described “Gay Fantasia on National Themes”
- Setting: New York City in 1985 and 1990, as well as Heaven
- Climax: Prior tells the council of angels that he wants to live
Gay power couple: Tony Kushner is one of the most influential openly gay men in America: a hugely important playwright and screenwriter. His husband, Mark Harris, is an equally influential journalist, who’s written for Entertainment Weekly for many years (he recently published his second book on film history). Harris and Kushner were the first gay couple to have their wedding listed in the “Vows” section of the New York Times.
The perfectionist: In the theater world, Kushner is notorious for his perfectionism: even after his plays are performed, he continues reworking and revising his own material. When the legendary director Mike Nichols adapted Kushner’s play as a miniseries in 2003, Kushner jumped on the chance to revise his own work, slightly altering hundreds of lines of his own dialogue. In all, there are more than half a dozen accepted (and virtually identical) versions of Angels in America, each of which Kushner has reworked ever so slightly.