For one night, Studio 180’s production of The Normal Heart at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre was an event for uWaterloo alumni and students to come together to support a theatre company which got started right here at the university. Not only that, Studio 180 is also celebrating its’ 10th anniversary, so celebrating this milestone with the uWaterloo community was only fitting.
The Normal Heart is a thought provoking and heart wrenching play which chronicles protagonist, Ned Weeks, first-hand experience of the AIDS health crisis which was affecting the gay community in New York City in the early 80’s. Before the play began, Joel Greenberg – uWaterloo drama professor, one of the founders of Studio 180, and director of The Normal Heart – did a pre-show introduction where he explained that the show is based on true events and people. The play was intensely emotional and raw, and just knowing that it was based on real people’s lives, was even more moving and powerful.
During Joel’s speech, he also noted that the success of the group would not have been possible without the financial contribution of the university when the group first began. It was through the generosity of the university and its’ values of supporting entrepreneurship that helped Studio 180 get on their feet, and seeing how far the group has come, I would say that it was well worth it.
In the end, it was a great night and even greater performance. Kudos to all involved in the production, and thanks to all who attended.