TWU Drama presents Patient A in recognition of International AIDS Day

Proceeds from special Dec. 1 matinee performance will go to local AIDS organizations

Langley, British Columbia—In recognition of International AIDS Day, Trinity Western University Drama presents an upcoming performance based on the true story of a young woman who contracted the AIDS virus while having a dental operation in 1987. Called Patient A, the production shows from November 28 to December 1, with a special matinee performance on December 1 for International Aids Day.

As a way to support people living with AIDS and efforts of those who are working to combat the disease, TWU will donate proceeds from the matinee performance to the Mennonite Central Committee Christians & HIV/AIDS Program, as well as to other local AIDS organizations.

According to Angela Konrad, an instructor of drama at TWU and director of the production, “Being involved in the show has been an incredible experience for our actors. They’ve gone through a whole range of emotions as they’ve prepared for this performance, knowing that this story is about a real person.”

Rebecca Gibbons, a TWU dramatic arts scholarship winner from Langley, B.C., will take the title role, playing the part of Kimberly Bergalis whose case marked the first documented instance of an individual contracting HIV from a health care worker. The Bergalis family commissioned Lee Blessing to write the play while their daughter struggled with the political, physical, emotional, social and spiritual implications of living with an infectious, terminal illness.

“The play touches on the social reaction of North American society to this illness, and how people react when they don’t understand,” says Jean Rwomwijhu, who will also act in the production.

Rwomwijhu, who is from Uganda where AIDS is referred to as the common disease, has seen the effects of the illness in her homeland.

“This play has a powerful message,” she says. “It talks about the larger disease, which is people’s insensitivity towards those with AIDS, at a time when those people, who are suffering, need compassion the most.”

Konrad, who has also directed at Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre, adds, “Lee Blessing, who wrote Patient A, has done a remarkable job of exploring both the big picture and the personal implications of living, and dying, with the disease.”

Patient A runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 in Freedom Hall, RNT building on TWU’s campus. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m. The Dec. 1 matinee performance begins at 2 p.m. All tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door or at the TWU Bookstore. For reservations, call 604-513-2058.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2012-08-21
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