Andrew’s Road Trip
As we prepare to welcome incoming Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff on June 1, we wanted to bring you a series of blog posts from him chronicling his journey – literally and metaphorically – to AFT and Chicago. Here’s Part I, in Andrew’s own words:
It was wonderful to meet so many of the amazing people that make up the About Face community at Wonka Ball this past weekend! Words cannot express how excited I am to be the incoming Artistic Director at AFT.
I’m writing to you as I careen across Massachusetts in a U-Haul. I’m beginning the first leg of my journey to Chicago…by heading to New England. A little roundabout I’ll grant you, but necessary before I head back to the Midwest. I’m so pleased to be returning to my roots in the Midwest. Since I grew up in Milwaukee, I’m thrilled to come back to the area: leading About Face feels like the natural next step in my life, a homecoming in more ways than one.
What makes About Face so special to me is how wonderfully multi-faceted it is. It stands as a shining example of a theatre that nurtures its relationships with the communities around it — relationships that I think are the most sacred thing in theatre. AFT has supported an extensive community of LGBTQA artists for almost two decades. I intend to lead the organization in a way that supports those artists’ voices and helps make the world a better place for all LGBTQ people. And AFT’s focus on giving youth a safe space to express themselves through artistic self-discovery is spectacular. I wish that there had been something like that available to me when I was growing up in Milwaukee. I see myself, therefore, as a steward not just of the theatre but also of these young artists. Through supporting those artists and through a commitment to new work – enlarging the canon of American theatre through enlarging the canon of LGBTQ theatre – About Face has shown that LGBTQ theatre is American theatre.
About Face is a vital theatre that generates new, innovative work, retains a relevant stake in its community by contributing to its artistic development and growth and advances the public dialogue on sexual identity and gender. What greater honor could there be than to serve such a theatre?
All right, I’ve got to get back on the road! Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
All the best,