Performances were July 22, 23, 24, 28, 30 and 31, 2022.

Thanks to those of you who attended the production, or who donated time, energy and money to make it happen. Make sure to sign up for our mailing list, so we can keep you in touch with what comes next!


Demoralized by the reelection of George W. Bush in 2004, Larry Kramer gave what he called ‘the most difficult speech I ever had to give.” Now, the United States faces a possibility of a different Republican being reelected. In this season of anti-trans legislation, looming supreme court decisions, and orders to ‘Don’t Say Gay”, we wondered ‘What would Larry Kramer say?’ 

Adapted/director David G Zak says “At the start of the Trump years, I re-read THE TRAGEDY OF TODAY’S GAYS and found it still vibrant and stirring. Kramer’s prophetic statements about the rise of the conservative movement, the development of viruses still unknown, and the sorrow and anger about AIDS that defined his life, THE TRAGEDY OF TODAY’S GAYS calls out to be shared in a new way even now, two years after his death.”

David Zak adapted the text working initially with Mr. Kramer. The spoken words are all from the speech. The staging features seven actors on a blank stage with a video wall to provide some context and commentary. There is a lot of history, a great deal about politics, some screaming, some great Kramerisms, and many tears. 

Zak directed the Chicago premiere of Kramer’s comedy about the Reagans JUST SAY NO, with Kramer in residence for rehearsals, in 1999 for Bailiwick Rep.

The cast features Tom Chiola, Keith Butler, Elijah Newman, Hailey Hance, Roberto del Rio, Alexandra Moorman, and Ryan Quade. The Projection Design is by Magdiel Carmona, and the Sound Design is by Elijah Newman. 

Upper: Alexandria Moorman and Keith Butler

Middle: Roberto del Rio, Tom Chiola, and Hailey Hance

Lower: Elijah Newman and Ryan Quade

THE KRAMER PROJECT is the first event for Open Space Arts, a new non-profit dedicated to works of social relevance. There are only six performances at Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted, Chicago. Ticket sales benefit Center on Halsted.  

Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.

Find out more information and donate in support of THE KRAMER PROJECT at Tickets will be on sale at starting June 15. VIP tickets are $30. General admission is $20 with $10 tickets for seniors and students.

Download the PRESS RELEASE. Download the PROGRAM.

Please donate to Open Space Arts, a new 501(c)3 non profit, Funds support the new theatrical adaptation of Larry Kramer’s speech THE TRAGEDY OF TODAY’S GAYS, adapted for the stage and directed by David G. Zak. The producer is Open Space Arts, a 501(c)3 non-profit presenting works of social relevance to both live and streaming audiences.

Donations can be made through using this link, or checks can be mailed to OPEN SPACE ARTS, 2215 W Giddings, Chicago, IL 60625 Attn David Zak


One response to “THE KRAMER PROJECT”

  1. John D'Emilio Avatar
    John D’Emilio

    Last night’s production was extraordinary. David Zak did an amazing job of transforming a speech into a dramatic production in which the dialogue – all words from Larry’s speech – speaks powerfully to the present moment.

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