Friday, April 12, 2024

New play about gay scientists and AIDS years

Love + Science, a new play by scientist and writer David J. Glass, is playing until July 6 at New York City Center Stage II (131 W 55th St, Manhattan.

Set in New York City during the early 1980s, Love + Science centers on two gay medical students who connect while working in a retrovirology lab. When HIV erupts, the fallout upends their relationship as their response to the rising epidemic pushes them along different paths, raising questions about their values as scientists and doctors and their responsibilities as gay men. A sprawling drama spanning the decade, Love + Science explores the difficulties of love during a crisis, the realities of scientific progress, and how to maintain hope amid an epic struggle.

Jonathan Burke (The InheritanceChoir Boy) and Lortel-nominee Matt Walker (The Play That Goes Wrong) lead an ensemble of seven that includes Thursday Farrar (AidaParadeOnce Upon a Mattress), Adrian Greensmith (Netflix’s Metal Lords), Ryan Knowles (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), Tally Sessions (CompanyAnastasiaWar Paint), and Imani Pearl Williams (1776).

Directed by Allen MacLeod, Love + Science centers on two gay medical students who must navigate their love, careers, and loyalties at the height of the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis.

“The panic at the beginning of the COVID pandemic felt eerily similar to the beginnings of the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” said playwright David J. Glass. “This led me to return to playwriting after decades working in medical research. Love + Science is my attempt to shed more light on a tumultuous moment in New York history that is being forgotten.”

Love + Science is inspired by Glass’ time at New York Medical College, where he took care of HIV patients as a medical student, and at Columbia University where he conducted postdoctoral research on cancer in a laboratory that was focused on HIV and other emerging infectious diseases. As a native New Yorker, Glass witnessed first-hand how the HIV/AIDS epidemic radically changed the lives of gay men in New York.

Photos: Emilio Madrid

The creative team for Love + Science includes Zoë Hurwitz (scenic design), Camilla Dely (costume design), Reza Behjat (lighting design), Jane Shaw (original music & sound design), Dave Anzuelo (intimacy & movement director), and Merrick Williams (production stage manager).

Tickets, starting at $25, are now on sale at

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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