A Poster of the Cosmos

Wilson, Lanford

Primary Category: Literature / Plays

Genre: Play

Annotated by:
Kohn, Martin
  • Date of entry: Jan-28-1997


A powerful one person/one act play set in a police station in Manhattan. Addressing a cop "who would be at the other end of the table," Tom, a 36-year-old baker suffering from "survivor guilt," has been accused of killing his lover Johnny who had been dying from AIDS. Throughout the interrogation Tom offers insight into his and Johnny's lives prior to and during their relationship. His story also is permeated with attacks on an uncaring and ignorant society, especially when he mocks the interrogator's derogatory refrain, "You don't look like the kinna guy'd do somethin' like dat."


This is an AIDS play which features atypical characters. Tom is a working class gay man. His lover, Johnny, was an occasional intravenous (IV) drug user. The play was included in Best Short Plays of 1989.

Primary Source

The Way We Live Now: American Plays and the AIDS Crisis


Theatre Communications Group

Place Published

New York




M. Elizabeth Osborn