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AIDS and the Theater

April 25, 1993

As a founding member of Incline, the Theatre Group, an actor in our AIDS play "Raft of the Medusa" and one of the driving forces behind the fund-raising for our show, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the exclusion of Incline from your article.

The play, written by Joe Pintauro, ran for 16 weeks under the Los Angeles 99-seat theater plan. None of the actors were paid, nor were any of the support staff. Many of us dedicated a year of our lives to it. I make this point only to emphasize our belief in, and commitment to, the hopeful message of the play--and more important, the messages and information we gave during our free "teen nights" every Wednesday, when members of various AIDS organizations spoke to the kids about prevention.

We were not a shadow. The play received many favorable reviews. The Times published a feature article by T. H. McCulloh and two reviews by Ray Loynd. Loynd's words were especially kind: "The show's community outreach program has made an impact." God, we thought so. This latest story left us dumbfounded.

Although the costs of continuing to produce a high-profile play on Melrose Avenue became prohibitive, the good news is that we are now slated to appear in several area high schools.

I believe with all my heart that no theater company in town has done more to create AIDS awareness and education than the selfless members of Incline.

STEPHEN HORNYAK

Los Angeles

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