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Readers React to ‘The Inheritance’: ‘We Are All Just Humans Looking for a Purpose’


As a gay millennial, I’ve never felt a piece of theater heal something in me and break me at the same time the way “The Inheritance” did. The storytelling reaffirms that less is more in an age when more is monotony. RYAN HAMMAN, Chicago

I’m a 31-year-old gay man, and I was interested in seeing the production based on word of mouth and the reviews from the West End. In the end, I had mixed feelings. I enjoyed the play when it was telling the story of Eric and Toby’s crumbling relationship, and was less interested in didactic scenes where the play felt to be in conversation with itself about (to me) well-known history and complaints about “young gays these days.” The end of Part One gave me hope, but Part Two felt to be more of the same: a mostly white, mostly handsome, 30-something perspective. While it was moving to be in a theater with many gay men a bit older than myself who seemed incredibly touched by the play, it didn’t work on me in the same way. KARL HINZE, New York

I am a 47-year-old woman from Texas. I was captivated from start to finish, even given the length. As someone who was young and not part of the community impacted by AIDS, I didn’t fully grasp the breadth of the suffering. As a mother, I was especially moved by Margaret’s telling of how she came to work at Walter’s home. Most parents can relate to saying things that they later regret and worry about the damage done by their words and actions. AMY HUFFORD, Austin, Tex.

Seeing “The Inheritance,” I felt a renewed imperative to open myself to love and to give my love to others, as tricky and scary and messy as that can be. It was no abstract, hypothetical power that the play exercised, either. It has had a direct effect on actions that I’ve taken since I saw it. I can’t say that for the vast majority of theater I have seen. JOSEPH MEDEIROS, New York

I’m part of the generation of gay men who survived the worst of the AIDS crisis, and frankly I was unprepared for the depth of feeling the play would generate in me. The end of Part One took my breath away, and, as the lights came up, a gentleman two rows ahead of mine turned back to the young men behind him and introduced himself, saying he just felt like he should “say hello, because of the play.” I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that in a Broadway, or any, theater. I won’t forget that moment. HARRY ALTHAUS, New York

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