About Face Youth Theatre

The cast of AFYT's 20/20

About Face Youth Theatre (AFYT) is a brave and creative space for queer youth to find and empower thier artistic voice in the performing arts. Our award-winning program provides rigorous training in devised theatre, lessons about social justice through history, and opportunities for leadership development and activism. To participate in the ensemble you must:

  • Audition to the ensemble in the fall (notices will be posted here!)
  • Identify as LGBTQIA+ or a dedicated ally
  • Be within the ages of 12-23

Ensemble members participate in 2 semesters of the Academy at AFT: A fall semester of training in professional theatre artist skills and a spring semester of creating a devised performance. All workshops are free, and take place on Saturday afternoons from 12-3pm at the AFT headquarters in Uptown.


The Academy at About Face Theatre is our place to train young queer artists in theatre, social justice, community-building and leadership. LGBTQIA+ professional teaching artists from all around Chicago participate in leading workshops dedicated to building specific theatrical skills and supporting our ensemble in the creation of new works.

The Spring Academy (2019 – 2020)

In the age of COVID-19, the Academy is going virtual! Ensemble members will meet every Saturday in April – May through our Zoom platform, receiving training from guest artists and completing challenges and exercises to help build a repertoire of new works. Our culminating performance will be in June, and will take the format of a KINSHIP-inspired showcase! Learn more about the KINSHIP program here. This showcase will present their developing artistic voices, experimenting with skills and formats from our workshops.

The Fall Academy (2019 – 2020)

Our workshops included the following topics and guest artists:

  • Nov 2: Diction for Actors feauring Sojourner Zenobia
  • Nov 9: Devising featuring the cast of About Face Theatre’s Power in Pride
  • Nov 16: Movement feauring Angelíca Grace
  • Nov 23: Audition Support feauring Catherine Miller
  • Nov 30: Comedy feauring Malic White
  • Dec 7: Playwriting feauring Jesse Alana Robkin
  • Dec 14: Devising feauring Bonsai Bermúdez and Black Pruitt of YEPP (Youth Empowerment Performance Project)


Upcoming performances

June 6, 2020: Showcase of Devised Work at Reunion, Chicago.

Recent Production: 20/20

A world premiere production celebrating 20 years of About Face Youth Theatre! Immersed in a timeless club atmosphere, 20/20 explores the resilience of chosen families, the generational impact of AIDS, and the evolution of gender. Inspired by true stories from today’s youth, program alumni, and master storytellers, this performance and all-ages party draws powerful lessons from the past to envision a vibrant, affirming future for queer lives.

Covered by the Chicago Tribune: About Face Youth Theatre’s ‘20/20’ is a living, breathing queer retrospective.

Previous AFYT Original Productions

About Face Youth Theatre has been devising original plays about LGBTQIA+ lives and building community with queer youth for over 20 years. These are some of our previous productions:

  • 20/20 (2018-2019)
  • Scary Stories to Save Your Life (2017-2018)
  • Brave Like Them: A Queer As Fuck Riot GRRRL Musical (2016-2017)
  • Ad Hoc Home (2015-2016)
  • 15 Breaths (2014-2015)
  • Checking Boxes (2013-2014)
  • What’s the T (Remount) (2012-2013)
  • What’s the T (2011-2012)
  • Queertopia (2009-2010)
  • Fast Forward (2007-2008)
  • The Home Project (2005-2006)
  • On the Record (2003-2004)
  • Up Until Now (2002-2003)
  • Inside Out (2001-2002)
  • In Real Life (2000-2001)
  • Raising Voices (1999-2000)
  • First Breath (1998-1999)