He Asked for It
BY Amita Parashar
June 28 2009 11:00 PM ET
Rigby, who has a proclivity for barebacking and a fend-for-yourself attitude, agrees to give Ted what he "asked for" by sleeping with him. After his night with Rigby, Ted gets tested and finds out he is HIV-positive. Ted calls Henry with the news, only to hear that Henry has researched ways to keep him safe and wants to be with him regardless of his status. Henry is, of course, is baffled at Ted's act of desperation and self-harm and ends the relationship.
Director Neil Weiss, who also oversaw the play in its first run, says Ted's character strikes a chord with a younger audience. "People come to [Los Angeles] and are so desperate to find an identity, they'll turn themselves into anything they need to be to get what they think they want," he says.
Though Ted's choice to risk infection goes beyond rational judgment (one hopes), it raises tough questions surrounding the "how" and "when" of HIV status disclosure. The play speaks to a generation that, because it didn't live through the fear when HIV was first discovered, often feels either invincible in the face of the virus or removed from the reality of the disease.
Patterson, who developed the play over nearly four years, intended it to be a subtle nod to past plays about AIDS, such as Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Although he thinks these plays are very well written, "I'm not going to write that play," he says. "I didn't want to set any of the scenes in a hospital room, because that's not the world we live in right now. It's not 1980."
The audience maintains a connection to Ted's past through phone conversations with his younger sister, Sophie (Sarah Foret), his only tie to his family in Wyoming, from whom he is estranged. In the face of pressure from that family, his failed relationship with Henry, and his fledgling acting career (his homophobic, but ironically gay, agent is played by journalist Brian Unger, The Daily Show ), Ted's life completely unravels.
"The audience just falls in love with [Ted], and he breaks your heart," Weiss says.
- WATCH: The 12 Gayest Holiday Spectaculars Ever!
- 13 Classic Companies Top HRC's New Corporate Equality Index
- These Couples Prove Love Is Love
- Op-ed: What I Didn't Learn in Catholic School
- WATCH: We Wish Every Coming Out Got a Hug-a-Thon Like This
- Israel Again Deals Gay Couples, Families Legislative Setback
- Women New Family Ties: Meredith Baxter Marries Nancy Locke December 09 2013 8:01 PM
- Travel Spider-Man Will Welcome In 2014 In Times Square December 09 2013 7:52 PM
- Election Is Marriage Equality Still Politically Dangerous, Even in Mass.? December 09 2013 7:09 PM
- Entertainment News Tig Notaro Nominated for Best Comedy Album December 09 2013 6:08 PM
- HIV & AIDS Republican Pol: Gays Want Free Medical Care Because of AIDS December 09 2013 6:04 PM
- Parenting Israel Again Deals Gay Couples, Families Legislative Setback December 09 2013 4:10 PM
- Business America's Best Places to Work, According to HRC December 09 2013 3:49 PM