News

ABOUT FACE THEATRE ANNOUNCES 20TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

Monday, July 20, 10:15 PM written by About Face Theatre

World Premiere!
LE SWITCH
By Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins
Directed by Stephen Brackett

Chicago Premiere!
after all the terrible things i do
By A. Rey Pamatmat
Directed by Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff
Presented by Special Arrangement with Doug Nevin

Chicago Premiere!
THE SECRETARIES
By The Five Lesbian Brothers
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar

Plus:
A World Premiere Play by The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble,
OUT FRONT and First DrAAft Series of Public Readings and Workshops

CHICAGO (July 19, 2015) – About Face Theatre is pleased to announce its 20th Anniversary Season, featuring three productions new to the Chicago stage, plus a series of staged readings celebrating its two extraordinary decades in Chicago. The 2015-16 Season kicks-off with the world premiere romantic comedy LE SWITCH by Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins, directed by Stephen Brackett. The season continues with the Chicago premiere drama after all the terrible things i do by A. Rey Pamatmat, directed by Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff. The mainstage season concludes next spring with the Chicago premiere of the dark comedy THE SECRETARIES by The Five Lesbian Brothers, directed by Bonnie Metzgar. About Face is pleased to announce all three productions will be presented at its new resident theatre, Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago.

AFT’s 20th Anniversary programming will also include a yet-to-be-titled world premiere devised by the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble and the return of the OUT FRONT Series, a year-round line-up of workshops and readings. Planned for the fall and winter, this year’s OUT FRONT will be retrospective in focus, serving up readings of some of the most successful and pivotal plays in AFT’s 20 year history, including DREAM BOY by Founder Eric Rosen, PULP by Pat Kane and THE HOMOSEXUALS by AFT Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins, as well as a yet-to-be-chosen About Face Youth Theatre show from the past. AFT’s First DrAAft series, which spotlights the new work its Artistic Associates, will include a reading of THE HUNTED by AFT Artistic Associate Paul Oakley Stovall.

AFT’s On Demand Memberships – a flexible, year-round membership ticket package – for the 20th Anniversary Season will go on sale Monday, July 20, 2015. For plans and prices, please visit www.aboutfacetheatre.org. Single tickets for additional programming will go on sale at a later date.

About Face is also happy to announce the addition of Keira Fromm and Alex Weisman as its newest Artistic Associates.

“After our incredibly successful 19th season, it’s exciting to look forward to our 20th anniversary,” comments About Face Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff. “About Face Theatre has come a long way in twenty years, so when putting together this anniversary season’s programming, I created a season that celebrates our past yet still looks toward to our future. I want our audiences and supporters to be inspired, entertained and enlightened, yet still challenged and provoked. So, we’ve planned our season to take our audiences on a journey through some of the most exciting work in AFT’s history as well as some of today’s most compelling writers and a glimpse into what the next 20 years might hold. We’re proud to have been a theatrical voice for the LGBTQ community for 20 years and we’re looking forward to 20 more!,” adds Volkoff.

 

About Face Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Season includes:

January 15 – February 21, 2016
LE SWITCH World Premiere!
Written by Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins
Directed by Stephen Brackett
Presented by Special Arrangement with Doug Nevin

In the world-premiere romance LE SWITCH, marriage equality finally reaches the U.S. and commitment-shy David finds himself unsure how to react to the nation’s honeymoon phase. Nervous in the face of “wedding fever,” he retreats to his home full of unopened books and his grieving activist roommate. When his best friend’s bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he’s unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful young florist. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, what it means to be married and what it means to be queer.

LE SWITCH is presented by special arrangement with Doug Nevin.

 

March 11 – April 10, 2016
after all the terrible things i do Chicago Premiere!
By A. Rey Pamatmat
Directed by Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff

This gripping and intimate new play from one of American theatre’s rising stars explores the dark side of ordinary people, second chances and the price of forgiveness. Returning to his Midwestern hometown after college, Daniel, a young gay writer, takes a job at the local bookstore he knew as a child.  After he and Linda, the Filipina bookstore owner, begin working together, they discover they share a dark connection that goes much deeper than a love of literature.

 

May 6 – June 12, 2016
THE SECRETARIES Chicago Premiere!
By The Five Lesbian Brothers
Directed by Bonnie Metzgar
Featuring Artistic Associate Kelli Simpkins

Patty Johnson lands the job of her dreams at the Cooney Lumber Mill in Big Bone, Oregon. But it’s a comic nightmare when she discovers – amidst slim fast shakes, celibacy pacts and hotel rendezvous (with Magic Fingers, of course!) – that her secretarial pool are chainsaw-wielding lumberjack killers! Equal parts humor, horror and satire, THE SECRETARIES is Twin Peaks meets The Stepford Wives in a smart, campy (and bloody!) comedy.

 

July 21 – 31, 2016
A World Premiere by The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
at the Claudia Cassidy Theatre at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago

Each year, About Face’s acclaimed Youth Theatre devises a play through workshops, in depth interviews, theatre training and improvisation. Working with a professional writer and director, they produce plays that tackle challenging topics ranging from being undocumented and queer to anti-gay violence to safe spaces for youth in the LGBTQIA community. Next year, AFYT will tackle another pressing issue in the queer community and make another compelling piece of brand new theatre!

 

About the Playwrights

Philip Dawkins‘ work includes the world premiere of Miss Marx: Or The Involuntary Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre), which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work, as well as recent critically-acclaimed plays The Homosexuals and Failure: A Love Story, which both also received Joseph Jefferson nominations for New Work after their world premieres with About Face Theatre (2011) and Victory Gardens Theater (2012), respectively. His plays for young folks are published through Playscripts, Inc. A graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, Mr. Dawkins is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre and an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens. He teaches playwriting at Northwestern University, his alma mater Loyola University Chicago and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities.

Rey Pamatmat’s after all the terrible things I do began as a South Coast Rep commission, debuted at Milwaukee Rep and continued its life at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Rey’s play Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them began a rolling world premiere at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, earned a Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation and a GLAAD Media Award nomination, and continues to play across the U.S. Edith’s Spanish translation was featured at Guadalajara’s Semana Internacional de la Dramaturgia in June 2014. His other plays include Thunder Above, Deeps Below (Second Generation), A Spare Me (Waterwell), DEVIANT (Vortex Theatre Company) and High/Limbo/High (HERE). His plays are published by Samuel French and Playscripts. He is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, a Princess Grace Special Projects Grant, an NYFA Playwriting Fellowship and an E.S.T./Sloan Grant. He was the 2012-2013 Hodder Fellow in Playwriting, the 2011-2012 PoNY Fellow, and is the co-director of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab. He received his BFA from NYU and his MFA from Yale School of Drama.

The Five Lesbian Brothers are Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey and Tony Award-winner Lisa Kron (Fun Home). They create provocative lesbian theater for the masses through the fine feminist art of collaboration. The Brothers came together as a theater company in 1989 after performing together in various other combinations at the OBIE Award-winning WOW Cafe Theatre. Their repertoire includes four full-length plays, Voyage to Lesbos, Brave Smiles, The Secretaries and Brides of the Moon, as well as numerous event-specific showstopping acts. The Brother’s plays have been produced Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway and beyond by New York Theatre Workshop, The Joseph Papp Public Theatre, the WOW Cafe Theatre, Downtown Art Company, Performance Space 122, Dixon Place, La Mama, the Kitchen and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris. They have toured to London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Columbus, Seattle, Philadelphia, Boston and the deep woods of Michigan. Their plays have also been produced by other companies throughout the U.S. and, believe it or not, in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

About The Directors

Stephen Brackett is a New York City based director of new plays and musicals. NYC credits include: Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar (Rattlestick and Barrow Street Theaters/National Tour), Anton Dudley’s City Of (The Playwrights Realm), Lucas Kavner’s Carnival Kids (Lesser America), Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief (Theatreworks USA), Ken Urban’s The Correspondent (Rattlestick), Dan Fishback’s The Material World (Dixon Place), Micheline Auger’s American River (Lesser America), Bekah Brunstetter’s Nothing is the End of the World (Waterwell/PPAS), Chad Beckim’s After (Partial Comfort), Brunstetter’s Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova), The Tenant (Woodshed Collective), Rick Viede’s Whore (Summer Play Festival) and Bixby Elliot’s PN1923.45LS01 Volume 2 (Culture Project). Regional credits include: Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz’s Be More Chill (Two River Theater Company, World Premiere), David West Read’s The Great Pretender (TheatreWorks) and Kilroy Was Here: A Styx Rock Opera (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Stephen is a company member of Lesser America and Partial Comfort, and an alumnus of the Soho Rep Lab.

Andrew Volkoff (Director) joined About Face Theatre in 2013 as Artistic Director, where he has directed the Chicago premieres of Abraham Lincoln Was A F*gg*t and Brahman/i: A One-Hijra Stand Up Comedy Show. He is also a freelance director specializing in new and contemporary works and has directed numerous productions (including several world and regional premieres) in New York, across the U.S. and abroad. Andrew served as Associate Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in Massachusetts for five years and Genesius Theatre Group in New York City for three years. He also acted as the Co-Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre Lab for one season. Andrew has worked as the Associate Director on Ella for Rob Ruggiero at Dallas Theatre Center and other regional theatres, is a Drama League Directing Fellow, and an SDC member. Proud to be the first director chosen to participate in the U.S./Bulgaria Directors Exchange Project, Andrew directed the Bulgarian premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Lovesong in Sofia at the Nikolai Binev Theatre, where it is still in repertory. B.A.: Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.

Bonnie Metzgar is a playwright, director, dramaturg and producer. Recent directing credits include Let Me Down Easy at American Theater Company and Walk Across America for Mother Earth by Taylor Mac for Garage Rep at Steppenwolf. Currently, Metzgar is the interim Artistic Director at American Theater Company and is on the National Advisory Committee for Howlround. She served as Artistic Director of About Face from 2008-2013 where she directed numerous shows including The Pride and The Homosexuals at Victory Gardens.  Previously, Metzgar produced the 365 Festival with Suzan-Lori Parks and was Associate Producer at the Public Theater where she founded Joe’s Pub. She is a proud alum of the 2015 Goodman Theater Playwrights unit and received her MFA from University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

About Face Theatre (Andrew Volkoff, Artistic Director) creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world.

 

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