Nov. 21, 2006
Morningside College will recognize World AIDS Day, which is Friday, Dec. 1, with a special informal reading of “Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens” at 9:30 p.m. in Roadman Formal Lounge, 3600 Peters Avenue.
The public is invited to attend the free event, which is sponsored by the Morningside chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society.
In addition, up to ten life-sized human forms created from plastic wrap and tape will be placed at various locations around campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 1. The forms, which were created by students in the four “Design” art classes at Morningside, will be accompanied by a written essay or poem that reflects the life of a person who is living with or has died from AIDS. The installation is sponsored by Kathy Olson, campus pastor and director of Church Relations, and the office of Campus Ministries.
“Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens” is a dramatic and musical theater piece composed of more than 30 free verse poems and songs reflecting the lives of people who have lived with and died from AIDS. Morningside students, faculty, and staff will read each of the poems and perform the songs. The theatrical presentation was written by playwright, lyricist, and theatrical director bill russell, with music composed by Janet Hood. It has been produced in several venues throughout the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Australia, and several other countries. In 2001, an all-star benefit performance in New York City was recorded by Fynsworth Alley.
Russell attended Morningside from 1967 to 1969 and received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the college in 2003. He is the author of numerous books and plays including the musical “Side Show,” which received Tony nominations for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Actress.
World AIDS Day is now in its 19th year and is designed to bring attention to the worldwide challenges and consequences of the epidemic in order to prevent the spread of HIV and improve the lives of people living with the virus.