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Local Writers and Actors Show Audiences the Many Faces of AIDS

Thursday, March 1, 2007

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Written by May Warren

Tonight, Friday and Saturday, audiences will be treated to an original play by local authors Jessica Fleming and Celene Haberkost, guaranteed to change the way you think about AIDS. Blood, Cum and Coffee, which was produced in association with the Wellness Centre as part of the years Guelph Project, attempts to show the many faces of HIV/AIDS by offering audiences an inside look at characters from all walks of life either infected or affected by the deadly virus.

Staring young University of Guelph talent, the play does an excellent job of breaking down stereotypes and barriers to how we view the virus. Chronicling the experiences of everyone from a group of drug using prostitutes to a young child telling the audience about all the pills she has to take because of her “bad” blood, the production is both tragic and hilarious.

A particularly poignant scene features drunken university students engaging in unprotected sex, which will hit home for many undergrads who assume AIDS is something that can’t happen to them.

A local spin is added to the issue in a scene which features Lucy Reid from the Multi-Faith Resource Centre playing Dr Anne-Marie Zajdlik, reading from her diary about her experiences with young AIDS orphans in Lesotho. Zajdlik is the founder of the Guelph-based Masai AIDS clinic and its sister clinic in Africa, where most of the profits from the three Guelph Project performances will go.

The play also features an ongoing dialogue between “AIDS” dressed in a tacky Hawaiian shirt and spouting outdated phrases like “rad” (after all he grew up in the eighties) and “The Cure,” who tells the audience she doesn’t exist yet but is out there, somewhere.

The production manages to explore this complex issue in an entertaining and creative way while showcasing the amazing work of its young actors, writers and directors. Ultimately it carries a message of hope and support for all those living with the virus, whoever and wherever they may be.

Blood Cum and Coffee will be preformed this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm, at War Memorial Hall on campus. Tickets for the Thursday night performance are 6$, and 7$ for Friday and Saturday. Proceeds will be divided up among AIDS related causes with most of them going to the Masai Centre.
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  1. Posted by: Leichik on Mar 1, 2007 @ 2:30pm

    This play is going to be amazing, so come out come out whoever you are!

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