QUILT A Musical Celebration BACKGROUND An unusual look at an unusual subject, Quilt focuses on the universality of the AIDS epidemic with compassion, humour and anger and celebrates the courage of living and dying in the age of AIDS. A kaleidoscope of the varied emotions contained in stories for, from and about the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, this series of monologues and songs are threaded together by a volunteer's experience while making a quilt panel in memory of a friend. Few who have seen the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt can ever forget the experience or the powerful emotions evoked by this patchwork of panels celebrating the memory of a friend or family member who has died of this terrible scourge. This series of stories for, from and about the Quilt is threaded together by a volunteer's experience while making a panel in memory of a friend. In monologues and songs that bring the audience through the full range of emotions, “Quilt, A Musical Celebration” commemorates the victims and survivors of this disease and the ones left behind. “Quilt, A Musical Celebration” is a unique and affecting work dealing with a timely, contemporary subject. Its educational qualities have been embraced by many schools. Minimal band, set and cast requirements and a flexible running order make it perfect for theatres of any size, as well as for benefit or concert performances. • QUILT is a collage of stories for, from, and about The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, the, most powerful piece of spontaneous art ever created. As of the writing of the show the AIDS Quilt incorporates over 43,000 individual panels and is still growing. Each panel measures 3 x 6 feet. • QUILT examines one 32-panel Block of the Quilt in Song and Story. • QUILT is primarily about people who have created panels. Its structure is revue-like, with most characters appearing only once. But some characters and stories do recur and develop, giving the piece several simple through-lines. • QUILT has a cast that is multi-racial and represents ages 12-70. The cast can be large (over 30) or small (13) depending on the abilities of the actors to double and triple in roles as well as budget considerations. The original production had 22 in the cast. • QUILT is about change. About losses and gains. It looks at AIDS and its surrounding issues from many points of view. It celebrates life in the face of death. • QUILT is not a documentary. While it is based on real people and real situations, creative licence has been used, and stories and events have been combined, shaped, and altered. Please note: although performances of the complete musical are royalty bearing, selected segments of Quilt may be performed at AIDS benefits without payment of royalty and with a greatly reduced rental fee. Such benefit performances must be approved and licensed by Josef Weinberger on behalf of MTI. A portion of all royalties from Quilt is donated to various AIDS organisations, including the NAMES Project. SYNOPSIS ACT I A folded Quilt block is seen. A Reader enters and begins the opening, The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt ceremony - reading names shown on the panels that will be concerned in the show, in order of appearance. As the names are read, lights come up on eight Quilt unfolders dressed in white who perform the unfolding ritual with the Quilt Block.