The Normal Heart

by  Larry Kramer, Larry Kramer

Full Length Play, Drama  /  8m, 1f

A searing drama about public and private indifference to the AIDS plague and one man's lonely fight to awaken the world to the crisis. Produced to acclaim in New York, London and Los Angeles,The Normal Heart follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist enraged at the indifference of public officials and the gay community. While trying to save the world from itself, he confronts the personal toll of AIDS when his lover dies of the disease.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 1f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades


    Tony, From Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Originally published in 1985 and celebrated in a passionate and eloquent 2011 Broadway revival, this definitive edition of the play features an updated version of the play, as well as notes on both the original production and the revival.

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  • Winner! 2011 Tony® Award - Best Revival of a Play
    Winner! 2011 Drama Desk Award - Outstanding Revival of a Play
    Winner! 2011 Drama League Award - Distinguished Revival of a Play
    Winner! 2011 Outer Critic's Circle Award - Outstanding Revival


"An angry, unremitting and gripping piece of political theatre." -New York Daily News

"Like the best social playwrights, Kramer produces a cross fire of life and death energies that illuminate the many issues and create a fierce and moving human drama."-Newsweek

"A spectacular and spectacularly moving revival." –The New York Observer

"If you see only one play this year, make it The Normal Heart!" –Backstage

"Run to The Normal Heart if you want to be reminded of how alive you are!" –The Village Voice

"Hits you like a jackhammer. A powerful example of theater at its most direct, passionate and urgent. Devastating." –AM New York

"Riveting theater!" – Newsday

"A stunning Broadway revival. This is essentially Ibsen for our times. The play's complexity is brought to pulse-pounding life! The entire company acts up a storm, and the production leaves you drenched. Raw, scary and galvanizing." –Time Out New York

"Scalding and poignant. It is a breathtaking achievement. Period." –Daily News

"The Normal Heart is breathing fire again! A great cathartic night at the theater!" –The New York Times

"One harrowing meltdown seems to incite another — a cascade of anguish as a terrifyingly unknowable killer bears down on a great metropolis… A theatergoer of any age or background can relate…You come to understand in the naked fury of The Normal Heart that the voices of history can, in fact, feel as if they are speaking directly to you" –The Washington Post


Looking Forward and Back: THE NORMAL HEART, A Story about Past, Present and Future 
by Ishanji Chatterji
April 27, 2016

LGBT Theater: A Samuel French Showcase
by Jack Smart
May 30 2013


  • 2011 Broadway Revival Highlights
  • "Accept me as your healthy equal, your brother."
  • 2013 TimeLine Theatre Trailer, Chicago
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Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance



  • Time Period: 1980s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The action of this play takes place between July 1981 and May 1984 in New York City. The office of Dr. Emma Brookner, Felix's desk at The New York Times, Ben's law office, Ned's apartment, Emma's apartment, a meeting room in City Hall, a medical examining room, Felix's hospital room, and other locations to be conveyed with a minimal but flexible set.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


8m, 1f

Craig Donner
Mickey Marcus
Ned Weeks
Dr. Emma Brookner
Bruce Niles
Felix Turner
Ben Weeks
Tommy Boatwrighthiram Keebler
Examining Doctor

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast



Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1981 with five friends, still one of the world’s largest provider of services to those with AIDS. In 1987, he founded ACT UP, the AIDS advocacy and protest organization, which has been responsible for the development and release of almost every life-sa ...

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Larry Kramer

Larry Kramer

The Normal Heart opened on April 21, 1985 at the Public Theater in New York City, New York; a New York Shakespeare Festival Production, it was produced by Joseph Papp. The performance was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. The revival of The Normal Heart opened on Broadway in April 27, 2011 at the John Golden Theatre in New York City, New York; it was produced by Daryl Roth, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment; in association with Gregory Rae and Jayne Baron Sherman/Alexander Fraser. The performance was directed by Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe.

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