Outreach and Engagement

Power in Pride banner


About Face Theatre presents the premiere of Power in Pride, an original touring show developed by About Face Theatre’s celebrated Education & Outreach Program. Power in Pride brings humorous and brave stories about gender & sexuality to spark conversations with students, educators, and community members of all ages. Written and performed by artists of color about their true life experiences, this play explores their dreams for the future and how understanding the role of LGBTQ+ people in history can change your life. Power in Pride invites audiences into positive dialogue to create more equitable and inclusive environments for all.

This program intentionally highlights the new Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Law, going into effect July 2020, and offers educators greater access to and inspiration for incorporating LGBTQ+ historical figures into lesson plans. It also centers the lives and narratives of LGBTQ+ people of color to increase awareness of multiple and intersecting identities.

When you say YES to AFT:

  • We consult with you to develop a program that fits for your school or organization.
  • We perform true stories that increase understanding of gender and sexual identities and expressions.
  • We facilitate a dynamic and honest conversation that encourages positive and inclusive action.
  • We connect with around 5,000 people each year through our touring program. We’d love to work with you!

For More Info and Booking Contact:
Amy Sheahan
Interim Education Manager

About Our Outreach Program

Transforming Communities through Stories and Conversation
About Face Theatre understands that exposure to the arts and opportunities to engage with professional artists supports well-rounded education and provides students with opportunities for emotional growth and community involvement.

For the last twenty years, About Face Theatre Outreach Ensemble has toured productions to schools and organizations around Chicago to deliver LGBTQIA stories and advocate for safe and equitable environments. About Face Theatre is committed to creating performance and dialogue programs that provide safe and brave spaces to talk about LGBTQIA equity and inclusion.

We reach around 5,000 people every year in the Chicagoland area, using our productions and programs to build community, allyship, and foster understanding of LGBTQIA expressions and experiences. We have a touring show, we can customize interactive workshops, and we have guest speakers. We can meet you at your school, workplace, community organization, faith group, business, or wherever you’re advocating for some positive change.

What is an Outreach event?

There are 3 steps to an About Face Theatre Outreach show or event. These steps are Consultation, the Performance or Workshop, and Evaluation of the event.

  • 1. Consultation
    Reach out to our Interim Education Manager Amy Sheahan at amy@aboutfacetheatre.com to request a consultation. A member of AFT Outreach will speak to you about your programming needs to plan an event that best targets your school or workplace environment. We will also request the contact information of a point-person at your institution who will support our process and stay in touch with us afterwards to evaluate our event.
  • 2. Performance or Workshop
    Whether a performance, workshop or guest speaker, our primary goals are to:Model community building and allyship through LGBTQIA representation and storytelling on stage.
    Increase understanding of evolving gender and sexuality experiences with regard to language, identities, and expressions.
    Embolden individuals and communities to identify actionable strategies for cultivating inclusion.We provide time and space for feedback and for answering questions. Additionally, we end our show with an invitation for youth to join our Youth Ensemble. Adults are encouraged to stay engaged with About Face Theatre by seeing our full productions or engaging with our board.
  • 3. Evaluation
    A point-person at your institution will follow up with us to take a survey after our event. This survey will help inform the work that we do, and will help reflect to you what the next steps might be to make your institution more inclusive of diverse gender and sexuality identities.

For more information, or to book a performance, please email to Interim Education Manager Amy Sheahan at education@aboutfacetheatre.com or call 773-784-8565 x105.

Program Testimonials

Audience reactions:

“I appreciated the self-care piece more than anything and it’s a really important thing to resonate with everyone in this room. I wish I had heard that and seen this when I was younger. It would have been a game changer.”

“When you were talking about losing your grandfather, I had something similar. My nana wasn’t a fortune teller but she was an Italian matriarch and she had her ways. Losing her 2 years ago was really hard for me because the rest of my family thinks being gay is wrong and she was the only one who was more flexible. It was nice to have something similar in your piece.”

“I’m glad I saw this because I can use some of these stories to talk to other people.”

“As a writer and performer, Looking Out//Looking in challenged me to be genuine in my vulnerability. Not just emotional. But genuine. I think that’s what kids respond to the most profoundly: honesty from an adult figure. Especially a queer person. It became so clear to me that these kids have so many unanswered questions that they don’t know where to begin until we start sharing ourselves. Then, the floodgates open and some of the most powerful and honest discussions about identity, confidence, self worth, and origins occur between audience and performers. Queer magic at its finest.”

-Xander, Outreach Ensemble Member 2018

Looking to meet learning standards for your school?

Meet your requirements for Social-Emotional Learning Competencies (SEL), Illinois Arts Education Standards in Theatre, and Common Core Standards for Social Studies (CCSS), all with additional learning related to culture, equity, and inclusion (CEI)!