Michael Stuart Shere, an award-winning set and lighting designer for more than 25 years, died at the age of 47 on August 28, 1994, in Los Angeles of complications of AIDS.
His work on the Noel Coward play "Present Laughter" earned him Drama-Logue awards for sets and lighting.
Shere also wrote and directed plays, including "Conversation at Taormina" for Purple Stages and "The Outing of Tommy Morgan."
An activist as well, Shere served on the board and was chairman of the Response Committee of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in Los Angeles. He also worked with Artists Confronting AIDS, the Purple Circuit and the AIDS Service Center, for whom he staged the benefit performance of "Angels in the Square" in June.
At the time of his death, Shere was working on a historical music revue about Los Angeles' defunct Turnabout Theater.
Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press (January 14, 2004)
Amazon: Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality
The radical sexuality of gay American men in the 1970s is often seen as a shameful period of excess that led to the AIDS crisis. Beyond Shame claims that when the gay community divorced itself from this allegedly tainted legacy, the tragic result was an intergenerational disconnect because the original participants were unable to pass on a sense of pride and identity to younger generations. Indeed, one reason for the current rise in HIV, Moore argues, is precisely due to this destructive occurrence, which increased the willingness of younger gay men to engage in unsafe sex.
Lifting the'veil of AIDS,' Moore recasts the gay male sexual culture of the 1970s as both groundbreaking and creative-provocatively comparing extreme sex to art. He presents a powerful yet nuanced snapshot of a maligned, forgotten era. Moore rescues gay America's past, present, and future from a disturbing spiral of destruction and AIDS-related shame, illustrating why it's critical for the gay community to reclaim the decade.
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