In an opening scene, a man dies an agonizing death from AIDS. The play itself is an explosive AIDS support group session, where the members discover the disease they share can divide as effectively as it conquers. The members of the group are a diverse lot, including homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals, conservatives and liberals, black, white and Hispanic, rich and poor. Some of them are philosophical, some are angry, and some resigned. As the evening's discussion progresses they discover that one member, Larry, a reporter, does not have AIDS, but is tape recording the sessions for an article. They attack him verbally and physically until Nairobi, a homeless woman in the group, stabs Larry with a dirty syringe, infecting him with the virus. The others are stunned and the reporter is hysterical, until Nairobi reveals that the needle was a clean one and that she would not give the disease to her worst enemy. The other members of the group then react with a kind of awe, asking the reporter what it feels like to experience the miracle of a "cure." The quick trauma brings them together, reaching for their own comfort while they search for unattainable answers.
A taut ninety-minute drama that drives home the reality of AIDS as a disease that we all must face. After a limited New York engagement, this play has been sought after by theaters across the country. "RAFT OF THE MEDUSA…is as disturbing as it is moving. RAFT is an absorbing work that careens from fierce anger to unabashed sentimentality. The play ultimately strips the alienated characters of their defenses, revealing the bond that is both their curse and their salvation." —Variety. "Joe Pintauro's RAFT OF THE MEDUSA…grabs, holds, and harrows us with the chilling facts and cold statistics of mortality in the Age of AIDS. The play unquestionably hits home and hits hard." —NY Post.