Tag: Philip Dawkins

Saturday, August 22, 4:14 PM written by About Face Theatre

AFT Looks Back: THE HOMOSEXUALS (2011)

In honor of our 20th anniversary, we are reflecting on some of our most popular and pivotal shows from the last two decades. This week, we sat down with AFT Artistic Associate and cast member of THE HOMOSEXUALS, Elizabeth Ledo. Read on to learn more and stay tuned as we share AFT history every week throughout our 20th Anniversary campaign!
Help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 by August 31st in support of our 20th season!

homosIn 2011, Philip Dawkin’s play THE HOMOSEXUALS was a runaway hit. The show and its stellar cast enjoyed two extensions and has gone on to have many productions around the country. When you talk to people about THE HOMOSEXUALS, you find that they have a really special place for this genuine and incredibly human play. Elizabeth Ledo recalls the audience reaction at the time: “Everyone was just like ‘I just want to take this piece home with me. And what if we can found space like the Blue Man Group and you can just keep running it forever and ever?’ Nobody wanted it to end.”

ledoElizabeth Ledo was the only female in the cast and jokes, “I was the diamond among the aquamarines!” In a show that was primarily about gay men, it’s possible she could have felt like an outsider or like the story she was telling wasn’t really representative of her. Not so. She explains, “I wasn’t there to facilitate a story for gay men. I was there to tell a story about this guy’s life. My job wasn’t to be the ‘fag hag’ in this gay play, it was to be a friend to this guy that was going through this thing and I was one of the windows into that story. That’s human.”

2010-2011 homosexuals 2One of the truly remarkable things about this play (and really Philip Dawkins’ work in general) is that, while the title might suggest that this play might be exclusive, his way of story telling is incredibly inclusive. Ledo remarks, “You could sit in the theatre and just laugh at the absurdity and beauty of human behavior. And sure it spoke to the gay voice, but people could come who didn’t know anything about the gay experience and just be swept away by the great beauty and sometimes ‘ugh’ of human life.”

Philip Dawkins’ work is so representative of the kind of stories that AFT wants to put on stage now. The stories he tells are easy to relate to, genuine and representative of the queer voice as a whole and well-rounded voice in society. The queer experience in his hands is unique but also incredibly human. That was the magic of THE HOMOSEXUALS in 2011 and one of the reasons why we can’t wait to premiere LE SWITCH in our 20th season.


Help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 by August 31st in support of our 20th season!

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Wednesday, May 13, 10:40 PM written by About Face Theatre

Join us for “The ‘F’ Word” at Center on Halsted!

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Center on Halsted to host our an additional presentation of our Sunday Symposium discussion “The ‘F’ Word” outside of the theater! The opportunity to expand this discussion, inspired by our upcoming show ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A F*GG*T, is so exciting to us and we hope you’ll join us for this FREE event.



The “F” Word

Wednesday, June 10th – 7-8pm
@ Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted St. in Chicago

In this discussion between Bixby Elliot (playwright, ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A F*GG*T) and AFT Artistic Associate, actor and playwright Philip Dawkins (playwright, THE HOMOSEXUALS), we will explore the evolution of words and language as it pertains to the LGBT community. We will take a look in how the rejection and/or ownership of different words within a minority groups plays a role in the advancement of civil rights, power and acceptance. Additionally, we will discuss how contemporary queer theater is advancing the dialogue on language and visibility for LGBT stories.

Bixby Elliot with Bow Tie PhilipDawkins-252x300

Attendants of this discussion are invited to see the Chicago premiere of ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A F*GG*T and receive $5 their ticket! Additional info will be given out at the event – don’t miss it!


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Wednesday, September 4, 9:22 AM written by EmilyHaha

Danielle Plisz Nominated for a Jeff Equity Award!

Congratulations to Danielle Plisz, nominated for a Jeff Equity Award as “Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical” for her role as Liza Was in WE THREE LIZAS!!!

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968.  The Jeff Awards fosters the artistic growth of area theatres and theatre artists and promotes educational opportunities, audience appreciation, and civic pride in the achievements of the theatre community.  During the 2012-13 season, Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 143 Equity productions offered by 51 producing organizations, and from these openings, 109 productions were “Jeff Recommended” and eligible for award nominations.

Also receiving nominations are AFT Artistic Associates Philip Dawkins in the category of “New Work” for FAILURE: A LOVE STORY at Victory Gardens Theater and Elizabeth Ledo in the category of “Actress in a Supporting Role – Play” for the role of Dorinne in TARTUFFE at Court Theatre.

John Tovar – the Fight Director for THE PRIDE – was nominated in the “Fight Direction” category for his work on THE OPPONENT at A Red Orchid Theatre.

The 45th Annual Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area is Monday, November 4 at Drury Lane Oakbrook, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.  A complete list of nominees can be downloaded here.


Photo above: (left to right) Arturo SoriaDanielle Plisz and Sean Michael Hunt in About Face Theatre’s production of WE THREE LIZAS with book and lyrics by AFT Artistic AssociateScott Bradley, music and additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler and directed by AFT Artistic Associate Scott Ferguson. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

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Thursday, April 4, 2:00 PM written by EmilyHaha

Meet the Playwright: Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins

Get to know Artistic Associate Philip Dawkins, whose play CAST OF CHARACTERS premieres as part of this year’s XYZ Series of New Works.

Philip Dawkins’ critically-acclaimed play The Homosexuals received a Joseph Jefferson Nomination for New Work after its world premiere with About Face Theatre in the summer of 2011, under the direction of Bonnie Metzgar.  Further productions are planned for ManBites Dog Theater in North Carolina, and GayFest! 2013 in Philadelphia. His play Failure: A Love Story premiered in the fall of 2012 at Victory Gardens Theater under the direction of Seth Bockley, and will be produced at Azuka Theatre in Philadelphia and Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington-Normal this summer. His new play, Stutter, was commissioned by the Goodman Theater and received a staged reading in December, 2012. In the fall of 2011, his play Miss Marx or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living received a staged reading as part of Steppenwolf’s First Look Series.

Other credits:  Dead Letter Office (Dog and Pony Theatre); Yes to Everything! (Chicago, NY,CA, DC); Perfect (The Side Project); Ugly Baby (Chicago Opera Vanguard/Strawdog Theatre Company); A Still Life in Color (T.U.T.A. Company); Saguaro (Estrogen Fest; Estrogenius Festival, NY; 16th Street Theatre, Berwyn; Painted Filly, Ireland.).  His plays for young folks have been performed all over the world and are published through Playscripts, Inc.

A graduate of Loyola University, Chicago, Philip is an Artistic Associate of About Face Theatre, an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens, and a founding member, with artistic partner Eric C. Reda, of Chicago Opera Vanguard.  Philip teaches playwriting at Northwestern University and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities.  He also teaches Kung Fu to little, tiny, children through Rising Phoenix Kung Fu. Hi-Yah!

In CAST OF CHARACTERS, playwright Philip Dawkins creates a detailed, rich portrait of a family in stagnation through a simple recitation of the character list for a play we never see. Through the descriptions of each character, we become immersed and engaged in the lives of the “three and a half sisters.” An aging mother is confused, a brother feels isolated, sisters criticize and harp on each other, there’s water aerobics, infertility and a partner named Rod. Despite each of the characters’ determination to “do nothing,” they find themselves deeply intertwined in each others’ lives.

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