Tag: Artistic Director

Thursday, May 2, 11:19 AM written by EmilyHaha

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,
Andrew

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Friday, April 19, 11:17 AM written by EmilyHaha

Andrew Volkoff Named New Artistic Director of About Face Theatre

The Board of Directors of About Face Theatre Company is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Volkoff as AFT’s new Artistic Director.  Volkoff, who has served as Associate Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts and Genesius Theatre Group in New York City, will succeed Bonnie Metzgar this spring.

“Following an extensive local and national search, Andrew Volkoff, a returning Midwesterner, emerged as the natural candidate to implement a new strategic vision for About Face,” comments About Face Board President Bill Michel. “With his asset-based, collaborative style of leadership, Andrew will draw upon AFT’s 17 years of artistic accomplishments, engage with our talented artists, administrators and youth, and help forge a new era of theatre and social advocacy for the LGBTQA community in Chicago – and beyond.  This is an exciting moment for About Face Theatre that honors our past, celebrates the present and charts a course for our future,” added Michel.

“I believe in theatre that serves its community,” comments new Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff. “In About Face, I saw an organization founded in strong LGBTQA tradition by Eric Rosen and Kyle Hall, strengthened under the leadership of Bonnie Metzgar and currently positioned for expansion and change. I look forward to collaborating with AFT’s talented group of Artistic Associates as well as other local and national artists to support and amplify AFT’s mission of creating new, innovative works that tell our numerous, diverse stories. Together, we will create inspiring and entertaining theatre of the highest caliber – theatre that will engage Chicagoans and encourage us all to participate in continual dialogue about our lives, our community and social change.  Additionally, I intend to expand the successful model of About Face’s unparalleled youth program, which provides young LGBTQA people a safe place to express themselves and create positive change through artistic discovery.  Finally, I will work with AFT to realize its long-awaited vision of a community-rooted space to house its expanded, year-round programming and activities.  I am truly excited to return to the Midwest and honored to become a part of the Chicago arts and LGBTQA communitie,” added Volkoff.

About Face Theatre will publicly introduce Andrew Volkoff at its upcoming gala and largest annual fundraising event, WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS, on Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8 pm (VIP Cocktail Party at 7 pm) at Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave.  For WONKA BALL 2013 tickets and additional information, visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com

About Andrew Volkoff

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Andew Volkoff served as Associate Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company (BSC) in Massachusetts for five years and of Genesius Theatre Group (GTG) in New York City for three years. He also acted as the Co­Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre Lab for one season. Volkoff was chosen as the first director to participate in the US/Bulgaria Directors Exchange Project and directed the Bulgarian premiere of John Kolvenbach’s Lovesong in Sofia at the Nikolai Binev Theatre where it is in its second year of repertory.

BSC directing credits include: The FantasticksUnderneath the LintelThis Wonderful LifeI Am My Own WifeFully CommittedSantaland DiariesThief RiverThe Shape of ThingsThe Laramie ProjectLove and Happiness and My Scary Girl.

In New York, Volkoff directed the premieres of Fair Game by Karl Gajdusek for GTG at Theatre Row and Savannah Bay by Marguerite Duras at Theatre for the New City; 8 Minute Musicals for NYMF; 365 Plays/365 Days at Joe’s Pub; Follies for The Blue Hill Troupe; WTC View by Brian Sloan in the NY Fringe and at 59E59; Bumping Heads at the Vital Theatre; and Christopher Oscar Peña’s play, untitled suicide piece, in a reading at NYTW.

Regionally, he directed Stupid Kids and regional premiere of The Wild Party at SpeakEasy Stage, Boston, MA; A…My Name Will Always Be Alice at Lyric Stage, Boston, MA; and The Thicket of the Lame and Blue Eyes, Black Hair at the Hangar Theatre; Woman Before a Glass and Vigil for Amphibian Productions in Fort Worth, TX; …Spelling Bee at Tri Arts in Sharon, CT; and Mauritius at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Volkoff also served as the Associate Director on Ella for Rob Ruggiero at Dallas Theatre Center and other regional theatres, is a Drama League Directing Fellow, and a proud SDC member.

Volkoff attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where he graduated cum laude with a double major in French and Dramatic Arts.  He is currently developing the musical Swish; or my quest to become the gayest person ever with the team of Joel Derfner, Tim Acito and Dan Marshall.

About Face Theatre is one of Chicago’s most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity.  Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 45 world premieres by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.

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