REACTION PAPERon the play“The Normal Heart”By: Larry Kramer The Normal Heart stage play by playwright Larry Kramer held at USPF auditorium in lahug last February 24, 2017, directed by Emman Mante and brought to us by the Young Thespians of Cebu was based on the true story of the beginning of the AIDS crisis in New York City, and the gay men who fought with an entire political system to take their dangerous and unfortunate situation seriously. I personally did not like the play. It was not boring at all since the actors and actresses were so lively and were able to deliver their lines with great emotions (although a little bit exaggerated, but okay), but the play seemed to have lesser impact on the audience since maybe, first of all, the play has projected a lot of trivia or facts on the screen which diverts our thought about the play, it gives confusion whether or not the play is about how gay men fought for themselves in New York’s time of crisis or maybe the play is simply trying to tell us what is HIV, its causes, how it’s spread and the Philippine Law for this type of case when in the play, it was an unknown disease and the doctors don’t know what they were dealing with. What they know is that it is caused by the sexual intercourse of gay men. So which is which? As an audience, I need to let my focus revolve on a simple idea that would affect me much. Since the issue on HIV and AIDS has been striking us for the past few years now, it was not so new to me. It was like a “see memories” button on my facebook newsfeed which only reminds me of something and then nothing, nothing more of just reminding, it’s not giving a full intensity impact as the first time I knew that some phenomena called HIV or AIDS exists when I was in high school 5 to 9 years ago. Maybe the play should have not flashed trivias on the screen about HIV and AIDS to buy the audience’s time so they could prepare the stage for the next scene. They could have flashed the introduction or information about the next scene instead or maybe narrated it rather than flashing trivias to also prepare the audience’s mind to confirm what they have read in the screen as they watch the next scene. It will improve the audience’s focus on the play; Second, every actor and actress in the play has an aggressiveness to deliver the lines where they have exaggerated it. Even if I ran out of breath catching up with the speed of their talking, I could feel the emotions even if I was not able to understand some of what they were saying. Did they really have to talk that fast? Or I was just meant to not understand everything they were saying? Third, is it just me or the play was really not satisfying at all? I felt like I wasted my money and time thinking like it would be the same if whether or not I have watched the play. I did not affect me as an audience that much. I felt pity for the gay men. I felt like I was there to criticize the play. Maybe, I was not the target type of audience and it was obvious enough. The director of the play could have put a twist to it where everyone could relate. I understand that it was based on a true story, Okay! But as I was watching, I felt so safe since there was no part of the play where I can make myself feel guilty at all. I was thinking about how would the gay men watching the play right now feel? Are they going to feel proud or ashamed of themselves as they walk out of this auditorium after the play thinking that all eyes are at them since they were being judge by people with different opinions, the good or the bad ones as the play was going on. The thought of the audience of course, 100% goes to them, the gays, as the memory of the play stays on the audience’s minds even when they reach home.