Tag: Checking Boxes

Wednesday, September 24, 10:14 PM written by About Face Theatre

CHECKING BOXES is a Chicago Artists Month Featured Event!

CheckingBoxes

You have another chance to catch About Face Youth Theatre’s original play, Checking Boxes! We are thrilled to announce that our most recent AFYT show is being presented again as one of Chicago Artists Month’s featured events.

Visit the Chicago Artists Month website to learn more about this event and read statement from our Director of Education, Ali Hoefnagel – one of CAM’s featured artists!

In this original play devised by the About Face Youth Theatre, characters explore the often overlooked intersection between immigration and the LGBTQIA experience. Through storytelling, spoken word and movement, these talented young artists share experiences of coming out, growing up and pursuing the American Dream. Inspired by the burgeoning “Undocuqueer” movement in the U.S., Checking Boxes is based on the true experiences of the ensemble members and other members of the LGBTQIA community.

WHEN & WHERE

Monday, October 13th @ 7:30pm
Jackalope Theatre at the Broadway Armory
5917 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL
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Join the Facebook event to stay in the loop!

CRITICS LOVE CHECKING BOXES!

“Talk about timeliness. With the issue of unaccompanied children from Central America entering the United States heating up, About Face Theatre Youth Ensemble’s “Checking Boxes,”… brings a sympathetic perspective to the stories behind the incendiary photos and headlines.”

“The script, developed by Shannon Matesky and the 14-member ensemble and directed by Ali Hoefnagel, fairly hums with a mix of desperation, defiance and idealism. ”

“When “Checking Boxes” keeps the focus on the intersection between … personal details and the larger national picture for those who currently “have to hide two parts of myself,” it provides its performers a passionate platform for expression.”
– Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune

Matesky and the AFYT through this piece urge us to see we have more power than we think to help the lives of others living in the margins. This piece reminds us that we have work to do, because from the looks of things, we aren’t there yet.
– Loy Webb, New City Chicago (read the full review)

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Monday, June 9, 10:22 PM written by boomerang

The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble Presents Checking Boxes

By Shannon Matesky & The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble

Directed by Ali Hoefnagel 

Part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out In The Parks

CHICAGO (May 23, 2014) – About Face Theatre, in association with the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative, is pleased to present the world premiere of Checking Boxes by Shannon Matesky in collaboration with the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble, directed by AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel and featuring Youth Ensemble members.  AFT’s annual youth production will play Thursday and Friday evenings July 10 – August 1, 2014 at parks across the City. All performances are FREE and open to the public. The press opening is Friday, July 11 at 7 pm at Washington Park.

In this original play devised by the About Face Youth Theatre, characters explore the often overlooked intersection between immigration and the LGBTQIA experience. Through storytelling, spoken word and movement, these talented young artists share experiences of coming out, growing up and pursuing the American Dream. Inspired by the burgeoning “Undocuqueer” movement in the U.S., Checking Boxes is based on the true experiences of the ensemble members and other members of the LGBTQIA community.

“The topic of Checking Boxes is one that our young ensemble felt very strongly about exploring,” comments AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel. “As issues within the LGBTQIA community grow more complex, it becomes vital to seek out the voices of young people who are fighting for change and growth in their society. ‘Checking Boxes’ refers to the simultaneous pride and limitation of the identities we often place ourselves in; we check boxes for our race, gender, age, sexual preference, ethnicity, etc.  Our tight-knit ensemble devised a play that explores the intersection of those identities to speak to the broken immigration system in America.  Shannon Matesky and I are honored to activate their beautiful stories in our beautiful parks this summer,” adds Hoefnagel.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 10 & Friday, July 11* at 7 pm
Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, Chicago
*Press opening

Thursday, July 17 & Friday, July 18 at 7 pm (outside, weather permitting)
Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st St., Chicago

Thursday, July 24 & Friday, July 25 at 7 pm
Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., Chicago

Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1 at 7 pm
Willye White Park, 1610 W. Howard St., Chicago

For additional information, visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com and www.nightoutintheparks.com.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Shannon Matesky (Playwright) is an artist, activist and educator. Her poetry has been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry, stages across the nation and imbedded in her first solo play She Think She Grown. Invested in peer based pedagogy, Shannon has taught with organizations including Youth Speaks, Young Chicago Authors, Step-Up Women’s Network, Kuumba Lynx, Depaul University and many other classrooms across the nation. A graduate of Depaul’s BFA Acting program, her recent theatrical credits include Quark (MPAACT), How Long Will I Cry? (Steppenwolf Theatre), The March (Steppenwolf Theatre), Hit The Wall (The Inconvenience, Steppenwolf Garage), Sophocles Seven Sicknesses (The Hypocrites, and Sonnets For An Old Century (UrbanTheater, Steppenwolf Garage). Shannon has also assistant directed with the likes of Charles Newell and Chuck Smith. She was the 2012 recipient of the Edes Foundation Prize and is a Theatrical Associate with The Inconvenience Theatrical Syndicate.

Ali Hoefnagel (Director) is an actor, arts administrator and teaching artist in Chicago.  As an artist and educator she is committed to embracing the complexity of the queer identity to create new and engaging ways to address LGBTQIA issues with the community at large.  She completed a James S. Kemper Foundation Internship in Arts and Theater Administration with Victory Gardens Theater and worked in Development with Steppenwolf Theatre Company before joining About Face as Education and Outreach Director in September  2013.  She received a BA in Theater and Women’s & Gender Studies from Lake Forest College.

The About Face Youth Theatre (AFYT) was created in 1998 as a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and allied young people to become activists and theatre-makers. Youth participants engage in an annual process of sharing stories, conducting interviews, writing a script, and developing performances to create a full-length production that is produced in About Face Theatre’s mainstage season.

About Face Theatre 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.

This program is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals   of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan.  In its second year, the 2014 Night Out in the Parks series will bring 1,000 events and programs to more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks safe havens and hubs of activity.  Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to peace rallies, movies, magic shows, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 50 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

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PRESS CONTACT: David Rosenberg
David Rosenberg Public Relations
david@drpublicrelations.com 

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Wednesday, May 28, 4:42 PM written by EmilyHaha

The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble Presents Checking Boxes

NOITPLogoRedesign_r1

About Face Theatre, in association with the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks initiative, is pleased to present the world premiere of Checking Boxes by Shannon Matesky in collaboration with the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble, directed by AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel and featuring Youth Ensemble members.  AFT’s annual youth production will playThursday and Friday evenings July 10 – August 1, 2014 at parks across the City. All performances are FREE and open to the public. The press opening is Friday, July 11 at 7 pm at Washington Park.

In this original play devised by the About Face Youth Theatre, characters explore the often overlooked intersection between immigration and the LGBTQIA experience. Through storytelling, spoken word and movement, these talented young artists share experiences of coming out, growing up and pursuing the American Dream. Inspired by the burgeoning “Undocuqueer” movement in the U.S., Checking Boxes is based on the true experiences of the ensemble members and other members of the LGBTQIA community.

“The topic of Checking Boxes is one that our young ensemble felt very strongly about exploring,” comments AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel. “As issues within the LGBTQIA community grow more complex, it becomes vital to seek out the voices of young people who are fighting for change and growth in their society. ‘Checking Boxes’ refers to the simultaneous pride and limitation of the identities we often place ourselves in; we check boxes for our race, gender, age, sexual preference, ethnicity, etc.  Our tight-knit ensemble devised a play that explores the intersection of those identities to speak to the broken immigration system in America.  Shannon Matesky and I are honored to activate their beautiful stories in our beautiful parks this summer,” adds Hoefnagel.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 10 & Friday, July 11* at 7 pm
Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr, Chicago
*Press opening

Thursday, July 17 & Friday, July 18 at 7 pm (outside, weather permitting)
Piotrowski Park, 4247 W. 31st St., Chicago

Thursday, July 24 & Friday, July 25 at 7 pm
Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St., Chicago

Thursday, July 31 and Friday, August 1 at 7 pm
Willye White Park, 1610 W. Howard St., Chicago

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truth

Thursday, April 24, 6:00 PM written by AFT Theatre

Where Are Your Papers?

We’re excited to start offering periodical blog posts from members of the AFT family, sharing thoughts in their own words.  Our first post comes from Nikki R. Veit, About Face Youth Ensemble ’14. […]

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Saturday, February 22, 11:00 AM written by AFT Theatre

Excitement Abounds in Education!

Outreach team performing at Francis W. Parker SchoolExciting things are afoot in the Education Department here at AFT!  A few weeks ago we held our first ever auditions for our Youth Ensemble and we are pleased to announce that 16 diverse young people will be joining our AFT family!  The ensemble will be working on devising our upcoming mainstage production of Checking Boxes.  We’ll be sharing much more about the ensemble members throughout this winter and spring.

Our Outreach Team is also currently hard at work, touring our original show It’s For Real to CPS and beyond!  This picture is from our recent show at Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park.  We performed the show and had a wonderful talkback with the students afterward.  Francis Parker is doing exciting work with their GSA and we had a great time dialoguing with them!  Stay tuned for more education updates as we move through the year!

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Wednesday, September 11, 11:56 PM written by EmilyHaha

Announcing About Face Theatre’s 2013-2014 Programming!

This spring, About Face Theatre is proud to present the Chicago premiere of Aditi Brennan Kapil’s stand-up comedy play, BRAHMAN/I: A ONE-HIJRA STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW, exploring gender, culture, mythology and puberty all through the lens of a hijra, an Indian intersex person.

In the summer, About Face Youth Theatre investigates the intersection of immigration and queer identity in the world premiere of CHECKING BOXES.

Our 2013-14 offerings also feature the OUT FRONT Series, a year-round line-up of workshops and readings of new and developmental works by LGBTQA playwrights, as well as a month-long PRIDE CABARET Music Series in June 2014.

Don’t miss a moment of this groundbreaking programming.
Memberships start at just $110.

Become A Member Today 

 

 

The About Face Theatre 2013–14 programming includes:

November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014
The Return of the Hit Holiday Musical
WE THREE LIZAS
Book and Lyrics by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Bradley
Music & Additional Lyrics by Alan Schmuckler
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson
Musical Direction by Aaron Benham
Choreography by AFT Artistic Associate Patrick Andrews
Featuring AFT Artistic Associates Scott Duff and John Francisco with Sharriese Hamilton, Mark David Kaplan, James Nedrud, Danielle Plisz (Jeff Award nominated), Bethany Thomas, Dana Tretta and Andrew Swan.
at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Fresh from a concert at Joe’s Pub in New York City with a revamped book and expanded score, last year’s sparkly, queer holiday hit is back… and better than ever!  Box maker Conrad Ticklebottom’s life has hit a block. Once, Conrad and his purple box ignited an entire movement in art and design, but now he finds himself alone, forgotten and teetering on ruin. The holidays bring three magical figures to his door – a trio of Liza Minnellis to escort him on a fabulous journey through what-was, what-could-be and what-the-f*?!, redeeming his lost promise and re-inventing a brand-new Conrad Ticklebottom.  A quirky holiday musical tale of hope, transformation… and the power of Liza!

March/April 2014
The Chicago Premiere of
BRAHMAN/I: A ONE-HIJRA STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW
By Aditi Brennan Kapil
Directed by Collective Artistic Director Andrew Volkoff
Location TBA

This hilarious stand-up comedy routine/play takes on history, mythology, gender roles and high school through the distinct comic lens of Brahman/i, an Indian intersex person – a hijra – tethered by neither gender nor culture, and wildly curious and inventive in their examination of both.

Aditi Brennan Kapil is a writer, actress and director of Bulgarian and Indian descent. She was raised in Sweden and resides in Minneapolis, MN. She performs extensively around the country and her writing has been produced nationally to critical acclaim. Her play Love Person received the 2009 Stavis Playwriting Award, and her play, Agnes Under the Big Top, a tall tale, was selected as a Distinguished New Play Development project by the NEA as administered by Arena Stage.  Her most recent work is the “Displaced Hindu Gods Trilogy,” consisting of the plays Brahman/i, The Chronicles of Kalki and Shiv.  Aditi is currently working on commissions with Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse and South Coast Repertory Theatre, and is a resident artist at Mixed Blood Theatre, an artistic associate at Park Square Theatre and a Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis.

About Face’s OUT FRONT Series
A year round line-up of workshops and readings of new and developmental works, including:
BILLIE AND BILLY by AFT Artistic Associate Paul Oakley Stovall
7:30PM – Saturday, November 16, 2013 and Sunday, November 17, 2013
American Theatre Company, 1909 West Byron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60613
Tickets are FREE!

The divide between different cultures and ethnicities, between men and women, between straight and gay in America can be a great one.  Using only two characters, Paul Oakley Stovall aims to present what seems to be a tiny little drama, set in a small city apartment and the empty flat across the hall.  As Billie and Billy form an unexpected bond, their lives begin to intersect in strange ways. The audience is invited to explore with them: our need for companionship, our desire to solve the mysteries of existence and the ways in which we see ourselves in the eyes of others.  Billie and Billy explores the similarities ignored, our common needs and desires and the mutual ground we walk upon.

January 25 & 26, 2014
when last we flew by Harrison David Rivers
Location TBA

Inspired by Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and a testament to the power of theatre, when last we flew is a moving and often humorous look at life in small town America from a contemporary teenage perspective.  After stealing his local library’s only copy of Angels in America, misfit teenager Paul locks himself in the bathroom to begin reading the landmark play. He soon finds that his life and the lives of those around him in his small Kansas town are about to take flight, and over the course of a seemingly ordinary day, extraordinary things start to happen…

June 2014
PRIDE CABARET SERIES
Location TBA

To commemorate Pride Month, every weekend in June, About Face Theatre will be hosting a series of cabaret performances celebrating every aspect of the LGBTQA community.  From showtunes and standards to comedy to new music to open mics, we’ll be serving up the fun as we invite our community to join with us in making Pride laugh, sing and sparkle!

July 2014
The World Premiere of
CHECKING BOXES
By the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
Location TBA

Every two years, About Face’s acclaimed Youth Theatre devises a play as the result of workshops, in depth interviews, theatre training and improvisation.  Working with a professional writer and director, they produce plays that tackle challenging topics ranging from anti-gay violence to safe spaces for youth in the LGBTQA community.  This year, AFYT turns its attention to an exploration of immigration in the queer community.  Building off the work that they created in this summer’s research filled Youth Intensive, they’ll be bringing this brand new play to Chicagoans in July 2014.

About Face Theatre (Andrew Volkoff, Artistic Director) 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 48 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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