About Face Theatre Celebrates Its 17th Year at WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS

Wednesday, April 3, 2:30 PM written by EmilyHaha

CHICAGO (April 2, 2013) – About Face Theatre celebrates its 17th year with a three-ring party of colossal entertainment and excessive elegance at WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8 pm (Ringmaster’s VIP Cocktail Party at 7 pm).  AFT’s premier fundraiser combines the surprising delights of the big top with the inspired grandeur of this year’s venue, Chicago’s Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. Hosted by About Face board members, Benjamin Sprunger and Billy Lullo, WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS offers a night of dazzling performances, decadent revelry and dancing, sumptuous dining and drink and tempting silent auction prizes. The annual gala also includes the presentation of the prestigious 2013 Leppen Leadership Awards and the About Face Youth Theatre MVP Award.  This year’s guests will be among the first to meet About Face’s new, soon-to-be-announced Artistic Director.  Tickets are currently available at or 773-784-8565.

About Face Theatre’s VIP supporters will be special guests at the exclusive Ringmaster’s VIP Cocktail Party beginning at 7 pm and hosted by AFT board members Drew Kent and Rob Abernathy. VIP guests will enjoy early access to the venue with an exclusive cocktail party, sumptuous culinary treats, special “sideshow” entertainments, the opportunity for early bidding at the silent auction and intimate access to the About Face leadership and artists. VIP supporters will also enjoy prime viewing of center-ring performances from the lavish Ringmaster’s Lounge exclusively reserved from 7 – 9 pm.

Proceeds from the WONKA BALL support About Face Theatre programming including its groundbreaking Youth Theatre, which creates critically acclaimed new work by and about LGBTQA youth and their allies.  The Youth Theatre has performed on major stages across the country, and, through its outreach tour, changes the lives of thousands of young people each year.  AFT also boasts its annual, award-winning main stage season and the ambitious XYZ Festival of New Works.

Named for About Face Youth Theatre supporter Michael Leppen, the annual Leppen Leadership Awards recognize those whose efforts on behalf of About Face Theatre and the LGBTQA community empower youth leaders to take action and encourage LGBTQA adults and youth to create intergenerational dialogue and understanding.  The About Face Youth Theatre MVP Award is given to an outstanding youth theatre ensemble member for exceptional service to the company and to the greater LGBTQ community. The recipient has proven herself or himself to be exceptionally dedicated to the mission of our work and has gone beyond her or his duties as an ensemble member to better the experience of other Youth Theatre participants.

Event:             WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS

Date:               Friday, April 26 at 8 pm – 11 pm;  Ringmaster’s VIP Cocktail Party at 7 pm

Location:      Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago

Details:           Featuring a silent auction, open bar, delicious food, music, dancing and performances.

Tickets:          $135 general admission. Ringmaster’s VIP Cocktail Party: $135 event ticket + $100 tax deductible donation.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For tickets, visit or call 773-784-8565.

The WONKA BALL 20113 Planning Committee includes: Billy Lullo and Benjamin Sprunger (Event Co-Chairs); Robert Abernathy and Drew Kent (VIP Party Co-Chairs); Amy Hutchison and Krista Kaza (Silent Auction Co-Chairs); and Andrea A. Cedusky (Event Consultant).

WONKA BALL 2013 Corporate Sponsors include: BMO Harris, Sidetrack and BlueCross Blue Shield of Illnois.

About Face Theatre is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity.  Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 45 world premieres by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.