“It’s about people living with, not dying from disease,” Shearin said. “People are trying to grab ahold of life with the little time they have left and live it to the maximum.”
Johnson’s set is a juxtaposition of the panic of the early AIDS epidemic tempered with hope. “It has a bohemian feel, there’s a lot of graffiti and posters on the back wall, a lot of layers, which represents the layers in the characters’ lives,” she said.
While it’s unusual for a student to be named set designer for a main stage production, Shearin said Johnson was ready for the challenge.