Theater: A Common Bond of Suffering

Shows about AIDS make good drama as well as propaganda

Plays with political agendas have largely passed out of fashion. Revivals of work by such impassioned advocates as Ibsen and Arthur Miller are often met with weary resistance, and few contemporary writers seek to emulate their manifestos. On one subject, however, the theater is ablaze with social concern: the deadly viral disease known as AIDS, which as of last week had claimed 4,906 lives and is worsening. At least seven productions around the country have dealt with its impact, particularly on the major risk group, male homosexuals. Actors from coast to coast have performed Jeff Hagedorn's monologue One, which begins, "I...

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