ABOUT FACE THEATRE presents the WORLD PREMIERE of
Written by Philip Dawkins
Directed by Stephen Brackett
By special arrangement with Doug Nevin
PRESENTED AT: Theater Wit | 1229 W Belmont Ave, Chicago
Previews: JANUARY 15th thru JANUARY 17th, 2016
Regular Run: JANUARY 21st thru FEBRUARY 21st, 2016
In Philip Dawkins’ world-premiere romantic comedy, 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. When his best friend’s bachelor party takes him to Montreal, he is unexpectedly swept off his feet by a beautiful, young florist. In the months that follow, David and his non-traditional family (his sister, grieving activist roommate and best friend) must decide for themselves what it really means to be committed, married, and queer.
Creating Le Switch
Join AFT Artistic Director, Andrew Volkoff and the cast of Le Switch for an exclusive post show discussion, “Creating Le Switch”. Get behind-the-scenes insight on the creative process and learn how LE SWITCH transformed from page to stage!
Gay Marriage: The New Normal?
Continue the conversation of Le Switch with our post show discussion, “Gay Marriage: The New Normal?” Jim Bennett, Midwest Regional Director of Lambda Legal, joins us as we discuss the historical journey of gay marriage, and the possible change our community faces.
Scenes from a Marriage
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something FABULOUS! Stay after the show for our discussion, “Scenes from a Marriage” with professional Wedding Planner, Heather Vickery. This discussion will explore questions like how ceremonies have changed with the legality of marriage, plus your questions for our expert panelist.
PHILIP DAWKINS (Playwright) is a Chicago playwright whose plays have been produced throughout the country and the world. His works include 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. Mr. Dawkins’ play, CHARM, received its world premiere this fall at Northlight Theatre. 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. Most of his plays, including his scripts for young performers, are available through Playscripts, Inc. and Dramatic Publishing.
STEPHEN BRACKETT (Director) is a New York based director focused on the development of new work. Recently he directed Jonathan Tolins’ BUYER & CELLAR (Rattlestick and Barrow Street Theaters/National Tour/London’s Menier Chocolate Factory). Select NYC: Bixby Elliot’s SOMMERFUGL (InViolet), Anton Dudley’s CITY OF (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), Chad Beckim’s AFTER (Partial Comfort), Bekah Brunstetter’s BE A GOOD LITTLE WIDOW (Ars Nova), THE TENANT (Woodshed Collective), and Rick Viede’s WHORE (Summer Play Festival). Select Regional: Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz’s BE MORE CHILL (Two River Theater), David West Read’s THE GREAT PRETENDER (TheatreWorks), and KILROY WAS HERE: A STYX ROCK OPERA (Williamstown Theatre Festival). He is a company member of Partial Comfort Productions and Lesser America.
HELEN COLLEEN LATTYAK (Stage Manager) Some of Helen’s credits include SUCKER PUNCH, SAMSARA and FAILURE: A LOVE STORY, at Victory Gardens Theater. MUTHALAND and THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT at Silk Road Rising, BRAHMAN/I: A ONE-HIJRA STAND UP COMEDY SHOW with About Face Theater and Silk Road Rising, ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A FAGGOT, and WE 3 LIZAS with About Face Theatre, Freedom, NY at Teatro Vista, Betrayal at Oak Park Festival Theater. Helen is a company member at TUTA Theater Chicago where she stage managed BAAL, THE WEDDING, and UNCLE VANYA with TUTA Theatre. Helen is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and a member of the Actors Equity Association.
GUS SCHLANBUSCH (Assistant Director) is a recent graduate of Northwestern University’s theatre program and is thrilled to be making his professional theatre debut assistant directing Le Switch at AFT. While at Northwestern Gus studied acting, directing, and playwriting, hoping that one of them would jump out as a clear favorite but instead falling in love with all of them. Favorite past projects include acting in THE GRAPES OF WRATH, RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS, THE HOMECOMING, AIMÉE AND JAGUAR, SAMPO, and REDEMPTION: TOURNAMENT OF HEROES, and directing Tom Stoppard’s ARCADIA. His produced plays include MOONSHINE, STRAIGHT SHOT DOWN THE RED LINE, and TICK TOCK. Many thanks to Philip and Stephen for this incredible opportunity, Ali for never letting him be lazy, and his parents for everything else!
ALEX BEAL (Assistant Stage Manager) is a Junior Theatre Major Loyola University Chicago and is very excited to be working on her first show with About Face Theatre. Originally from Boston, Alex has worked on the management teams of shows such as GALILEO, GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE and FML: HOW CARSON MCCULLERS SAVED MY LIFE at Loyola, A WORK OF ART at Chicago Dramatists, and the touring production of CRIME SCENE: BREATHE LIFE with Collaboraction. She would like to thank everyone at About Face for welcoming her with open arms, her family for their love and support, and the gal pals for the laughs.
STEPHEN CONE (David) is excited to be returning to About Face Theatre, where he was last seen as Michael in Philip Dawkins’ THE HOMOSEXUALS, for which he was named a Hot New Face in Chicago Theater by the Chicago Tribune. He has since also appeared in TimeLine Theatre’s critically-acclaimed 2013 production of THE NORMAL HEART. Primarily a filmmaker, Stephen’s films as writer/director include HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY (BAMcinemaFest, Chicago International), the Outfest-winning, New York Times Critics Pick The Wise Kids (Wolfe Video) and Black Box (Devolver Digital Films), all available (or soon to be) on DVD or VOD. As an actor/producer, Stephen starred in and produced film critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky’s narrative film debut Ellie Lumme (BAMcinemaFest), and has been featured on Showtime’s Shameless. Stephen teaches in the department of Radio / Television / Video / Film at Northwestern University and is also an instructor at Acting Studio Chicago.
COLLIN QUINN RICE (Benoit) is simply delighted to be making their Chicago debut at About Face Theatre. Collin recently received a B.A. from Northwestern University where some of their favorite credits include MERCURY FUR (Lola), THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Mephisto), HOW TO END POVERTY (Collaborator), and MY FAIR LADY (Cockney Quartet/Servants Chorus). Collin is proudly represented by Lily’s Talent, and would like to thank the generous network of support provided by their family and friends. collinquinnrice.com
*^ELIZABETH LEDO (Sarah) is thrilled to be back with her About Face family and the wonderful gift that is a Philip Dawkins play. Previous About Face credits include: SAY YOU LOVE SATAN, THE HOMOSEXUALS and the benefit reading of PULP this past November. Chicago credits include: CHARM and THE CHALK GARDEN at Northlight Theatre. THE SECRET GARDEN, TARTUFFE, THE MISANTHROPE, THE ILLUSION, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, TITUS ANDRONICUS, UNCLE VANYA and THE REAL THING at Court Theatre. ISAAC’S EYE and ARMS AND THE MAN at Writers Theatre. THE HOW AND THE WHY at Timeline Theatre. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, AS YOU LIKE IT, AMADEUS, FUNK IT UP ABOUT NOTHIN’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. BOLEROS FOR THE DISENCHANTED and three seasons of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Goodman Theatre. THE ODD COUPLE and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre. THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP at Lookingglass Theatre. Regional credits include RICHARD III, HAMLET, MERCHANT OF VENICE, THE COMEDY OF ERRORs and ROMEO AND JULIET at Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. ARCADIA at Indiana Repertory Theatre and over 25 productions with The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. TV credits include Boss, Chicago Fire and Doubt. As a voice over actress Elizabeth can be heard on numerous television and radio spots as well as over a dozen Twilight Zone Radio Dramas. She is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago.
*^MITCHELL FAIN (Frank) is excited to be working with this incredible group of artists. He first worked with AFT on THE GIFT way back in the pre-marriage equality 1990’s. He was recently seen in his stripey tights (8th year) in THE SANTALAND DIARIES at Theater Wit . He was also spotted as a landlord who ratted out Chief Boden on NBC’s Chicago Fire and also at The La Jolla Playhouse with The Second City and The Actors Theatre of Louisville in Lookingglass Theater’s production of LOOKINGGLASS ALICE. He has been seen on several ships, most recently The Norwegian Breakaway, as part of a Second City touring company performing improv/sketch comedy. Other Credits: STILETTOS, CIRCUS AND SOUL, HAMLET; THE MUSICAL, HENRY VI, HAMLET, COMEDY OF ERRORS, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, AS BEES DROWN IN HONEY, BITCHES, ASSASSINS, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD and The LYNCHING OF LEO FRANK. Mitchell is an Artistic Associate/Board Member of Chicago’s The Midnight Circus as well as About Face Theatre. He received his degree in English at the University of Rhode Island.
*LA SHAWN BANKS (Zachary) is thrilled to be back with About Face where he was last seen in EXECUTION OF JUSTICE. Recent Chicago credits include ISAAC’S EYE and THE LIAR at Writers Theatre and THE WHEEL at Steppenwolf. Regionally he has worked extensively with American Players Theatre. Favorite credits there include Edward Albee’s SEASCAPE, THE ISLAND, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, TWELFTH NIGHT, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA and OF MICE AND MEN.
ERIC LINDAHL (Understudy to Mr. Cone) is excited to work with About Face! Most recently he was seen as Harold in The Full Monty. Favorite credits include: Kokandy: Assassins (Booth) Jeff Nomination; BoHo: Side Show (Buddy) Jeff Citation and After Dark Award; Signal Ensemble: Six Degrees of Separation (Trent), 1776 (Courier); TATC: Footloose (Chuck Cranston); Circle Theatre: The Who’s Tommy (Capt. Walker) Jeff Nomination, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Adam), and Hayfever(Sandy). A special thanks to his family, friends and D.
ABBAS SALEM (Understudy to Mr.Quinn & Mr. Banks) is a Chicago actor and beyond thrilled to be working with About Face. He was last seen in WASHER/DRYER (Rasaka Theatre), PRINCESS MARY DEMANDS YOUR ATTENTION (Bailiwick Chicago), INVASION! (Silk Road Rising), and will be working on EVEN LONGER AND FURTHER AWAY with The New Colony next. He thanks his friends for their support and his mother for not naming him Anfernee. He is represented by Gill Hayes Talent. www.omerabbassalem.com
ALISON PLOTT (Understudy to Ms. Ledo) is beyond thrilled to be working with About Face! Chicago: Susie/WIT (Aston Rep, Chicago); Beatrice/MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (The Arc, Chicago); U/S The Woman/The Vandal (Steep); Hamlet/THE HAMLET PROJECT (Los Angeles and Chicago companies); Sabine/UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING (Creative Wellness). Regional: Maria/OR WHAT YOU WILL(Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Adriana/COMEDY OF ERRORS (New Swan Shakespeare Festival, CA); Belize/THE LEARNED LADIES and Celia/AS YOU LIKE IT (Texas Shakespeare Festival), Ellen/LITTLE DOG LAUGHED (Theatre Out, Los Angeles), Julia/THE WEDDING SINGER (SRT Rep, CA). She is a certified instructor in the Loui Movement Technique and teaches with Creative Wellness (www.createlivewell.com). Alison holds an MFA in Acting from the University of California, Irvine and a BA in Theatre from the University of California, Riverside.
RUS RAINEAR (Understudy to Mr. Fain) is very excited to be working with About Face for the first time, and thanks Andrew, Philip and Keira for the opportunity! Rus most recently understudied for Sideshow Theatre. Other theaters Rus has worked with include BoHo, Bailiwick Rep, Profiles, FWD, Theo Ubique, Circle, Kokandy, Porchlight, Lifeline,Timber Lake Playhouse and Bailiwick Chicago with which he is a company member. Rus is a two time Jeff winner for Best Ensemble.
*indicates member of Actor’s Equity ^indicates AFT Artistic Associate