News: "Love Alone: Elegies for Rog," Adapted from the Poetry of Paul Monette, Plays Dec. 3-5

Love Alone - Workshop 2020. Photo by Zaire Baptiste

The Tank NYC, a home for emerging artists, will present the first full production of Love Alone: Elegies For Rog at its theater at 312 West 36th Street in New York on Saturday December 3rd at 3 pm, and Sunday and Monday, December 4th and 5th at 7 pm. These performances will coincide with the observance of World AIDS Day. All performances are available for in-person viewing, while December 4th and 5th include the option for livestream viewing.

Love Alone: Elegies for Rog tells the story of Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz, partners for 12 years until Roger died of AIDS in 1986. In the five months that followed, Monette wrote an exquisite cycle of poems that traces an epic journey from grief back to the land of living, full of rage, humor, and a love that transcends death. Paul Monette was a noted memoirist, poet, novelist, and gay rights activist. In addition to his acclaimed books of poetry, he wrote the memoirs Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir and Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, which won the National Book Award. His novels include Halfway Home and Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, and he died of AIDS complications in 1995. Attendees at a 2020 workshop of Love Alone described the play, which is adapted from Monette’s poem cycle, as “riveting,” “powerful,” and “eloquent.”

Says Jonah Scott Mendelsohn, an actor, singer, and writer based in New York City who adapted and performs the work: “I started work on this piece in January 2020, moved by the love story between Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz during the calamity of the AIDS crisis in the ’80s. When COVID hit in March of that year, the poems transformed from history into prophecy. I have found Monette an incredible companion during COVID, and his words a tremendous source of compassion and insight during these challenging, polarized times.”

The play is intended to be performed annually as a living memorial to those lost to AIDS, to those who survived, and all who fought for the rights of those affected by the disease. According to director Floyd Rumohr, “AIDS transformed our society’s expectations for health care, research, and compassion for the dying. We are fortunate that Paul Monette rose to the occasion to chronicle that shift – especially now.”

Love Alone: Elegies for Rog, directed by Floyd Rumohr, also features Hisako Isutzu and Juan Guajardo and is the inaugural production of Sweet Pea Chamber Theater. The running time is 90 minutes; and tickets are $20 - $50 plus fees at thetanknyc.org.

To learn more about the play, visit https://www.lovealone-play.org/ or email info@lovealone-play.org.

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