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