HIV & AIDS have had profound impacts on the lives of gay men in America. In 1980, when the AIDS epidemic first appeared it stole the lives of thousands of gay men. The extreme number of casualties has been attributed to lack of urgency and care from the United States Government. While the government did play a substantial part in the neglect that those infected and affected experienced, there is a set of complex relationships that also aided in the neglect. One such conflict that I explore is the relationship between gay liberation and AIDS prevention efforts. I explore the way that that all of these factors are related by applying a multi-dimensional analysis to Larry Kramer's Tony Award winning play, The Normal Heart. Literature suggests that using theatre as an outlet to oppression is not a new strategy. Activists have been employing theatre for this task for centuries. I intend to discover how and why theatre was especially useful for AIDS awareness. With the help of social movement theories and content analysis of The Normal Heart, I am able to paint a picture that can begin to explain why Theatre was so influential in this movement.


Fitz Gibbon, Gibbon Heather


Sociology and Anthropology


Medicine and Health | Theatre History


aids, theatre, gay, social movements, identity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Jacqueline Naami Emefa Acolatse Narnor