Larry Kramer, whose 1985 breakthrough play about the AIDS crisis won this year’s Tony Award for best revival, will be part of a theatrical presentation Saturday at Guild Hall’s John Drew Theater in East Hampton.
Joining the “The Normal Heart” author will be Terrence McNally, winner of four Tony Awards and an Emmy. His Tony-nominated musical “Catch Me If You Can” is currently running on Broadway, and “Master Class,” which won the Tony for best play in 1995, is in previews for its Broadway revival starring Tyne Daley.
The John Drew program will benefit Southampton Hospital’s new Rose Walton Care Services at the David E. Rogers MD Center. The Walton facility provides outpatient care — ranging from medications to psychosocial support — for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Before retiring, Dr. Rose Walton trained health care workers as director of the Stony Brook University Hospital’s AIDS Education and Resource Center.
In “The Normal Heart,” which premiered at Manhattan’s Public Theatre, Kramer expressed his frustration with bureaucratic paralysis and governmental indifference as well as the apathy of gay men toward AIDS.
In his Tony-acceptance speech Sunday, Kramer said, “To gay people everywhere, whom I love so dearly, ‘The Normal Heart’ is our history. I could not have written it had not so many needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight.”
In 1981, Kramer co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the largest private organization in the world assisting people living with AIDS. He founded the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, a group widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people diagnosed with AIDS and HIV.
Tickets for the benefit program, $250, are available by calling Kathy Lucas of the Southampton Hospital Foundation, 631-726-8700, extension 3, or emailing her at email@example.com.