The current Broadway revival of Angels In America has garnered 11 Tony nominations including: Best Play Revival for the remarkably powerful, two-part opus by Tony Kushner, who won a Tony and a Pulitzer in 1993 for Millennium and a Tony in 1994 for Perestroika; Best Director for Marianne Elliott (double Tony winner for War Horse and Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime); Best Scenic Design for Ian MacNeil (Tony winner for Billy Elliot) and Edward Pierce; Best Lighting Design for Paule Constable (also a double Tony winner for War Horse and Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime); Best Costume Design for Nicky Gillibrand; and Best Sound Design for Ian Dickinson. Nathan Lane, with a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor, and Andrew Garfield, nominated for Best Actor, lead the cast.
With the Broadway revival marking the 25th anniversary of Angels In America, this production premiered at London's National Theatre in the spring of 2017. Thus, the shared Tony nod for MacNeil, the scenic designer, and Pierce, credited with design adaptation, which translates to taking the production and transposing it from the National's Lyttelton Theatre to Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre, where it opened in March 2018, and for the future international rollout.
Stagehands, dressed like ninjas in total black, are lit very carefully, so the audience can't see small black panels they are holding. "You don’t even see the actors leave the stage at times. They just kind of disappear behind the panels," says Pierce, who notes that transitions are of major importance. "Transitions can make or break the scenic design, the rhythm and the heartbeat of how we move the scenery. It's really fine-tuning every little moment, every breath of the transition."
Check out more coverage on the designs of the 2018 Tony Award nominees.