The Normal HeartFollowing its Tony Award–winning Broadway debut in 2011, The Normal Heart, a semiautobiographical 1985 play by Larry Kramer, founder of ACT UP and Gay Men's Health Crisis, is coming to a stage near you. To kick off its national tour, Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, DC, will host the play this summer to coincide with the XIX International AIDS Conference. It's a homecoming of sorts, since Kramer drafted the play in DC while staying with Arena Stage supporters Joan and David Maxwell. Set in the 1980s, the drama follows Ned Weeks, the gay outspoken founder of an AIDS advocacy group in New York City, as he, his associates, friends and closeted lover contend with an unknown illness in the face of homophobia and political adversity. Go to for more information.