Visual AIDS intern Alexandria (Ria) Deters responds to the recent run at the Gene Frankel Theatre of Lonely Planet, a stunningly written AIDS drama by Steven Dietz. Originally produced by the Barrow Group in 1994, Lonely Planet tells the story of Jody, a forty year old shop owner who has become a shut in and his younger friend Carl, a caretaker who has to convince him that not only is it okay to leave the shop, he must do so to take responsibility for his life. First, Jody has to come to terms with the fact that his community is being decimated by the AIDS virus and he must be tested before he becomes a casualty as well.

Lonely Planet, A Response Through Verse

by Alexandria Deters


How can just one chair represent a life?

How can multiple chairs represent an epidemic?

Can a flaw that you see actually be the true heart that was there all the time?

The love you have always had and finally now recognize?

This is all seen in the play Lonely Planet

The relationship of two men by coincidence

The path to each other


The play helped me see how even in tragedy there can be true bitter laughs

And humanity

I laughed, awkwardly chuckled, and cried

but the story helped show what seems like an




relationship representing the lives of many

Not just one community but all of us

In other words I enjoyed this play in this small historical theatre in the Bowery

With two actors able to capture attention with their interactions and banter

Alexandria (Ria) Deters is a researcher, artist, and curator based in Manhattan. Her research focuses on queer art history and collections. She is currently a Master of Arts Candidate in American Fine and Decorative Art Candidate at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York City.