Tag: Timmy Samuel

Monday, May 6, 12:14 PM written by EmilyHaha

WONKA BALL 2013 Raises $85,000 for AFT Programming and Youth Theatre

About Face Theatre’s


Raises $85,000 for AFT Programming and Youth Theatre

CHICAGO (May 1, 2013) – Nearly 450 guests gathered for a three-ring party of of colossal entertainment and excessive elegance at About Face Theatre’s WONKA BALL 2013: CIRCUS MAXIMUS on Friday, April 26 at Chicago’s Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Lincoln Ave. The company’s 17th annual gala raised more than $85,000 for About Face Theatre programming, including its groundbreaking Youth Theatre.  Guests were also introduced to AFT’s newly-announced Artistic Director, Andrew Volkoff, who succeeds outgoing Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar this spring.

Greeted by fire dancers, stilt walkers, a swinging mermaid and other sideshow entertainers, guests made their way into the giant red and yellow Wonka Big Top. Following an exclusive Ringmaster’s VIP cocktail reception, partiers spilled into the playfully decorated venue for spirits and scrumptious samplings at tasting stations and an opportunity to bid on tempting silent auction items. Partygoers enjoyed non-stop entertainment, including opera tenor Scott Ramsay, a marching band, belly dancers, contortionists and more. Revelers capped off the evening with dancing to the tunes of DJ Swaguerilla.

The 2013 Leppen Leadership Awards were presented to Mary F. Morten and the Office of Alderman Cappleman and Uptown United.  Named for About Face Youth Theatre supporter Michael Leppen, the annual awards recognize those whose efforts on behalf of About Face Theatre and the LGBTQA community empower youth leaders to take action and encourage LGBTQA adults and youth to create intergenerational dialogue and understanding.

Nemo Serges was the recipient of the About Face Youth Theatre 2013 MVP Award, given annually to an outstanding youth theatre ensemble member for exceptional service to the company and to the greater LGBTQ community. The recipient has proven herself or himself to be exceptionally dedicated to the mission of our work and has gone beyond her or his duties as an ensemble member to better the experience of other Youth Theatre participants.

The WONKA BALL 2013 was co-chaired by board members Billy Lullo and Benjamin SprungerThe 2013 Planning Committee also included board members Robert Abernathy and Drew Kent (VIP Party Co-Chairs); board member Amy Hutchison and associate board member Kristen Kaza (Silent Auction Co-Chairs); and Andrea A. Cedusky (Event Consultant); and Barbara Lee Cohen (Creative Director for Talent).

Proceeds from the annual WONKA BALL support About Face Theatre programming including its groundbreaking Youth Theatre, which creates critically acclaimed new work by and about LGBTQA youth and their allies.  The Youth Theatre has performed on major stages across the country and, through its outreach tour, changes the lives of thousands of young people each year.  AFT also boasts its annual, award-winning main stage season and the ambitious XYZ Festival of New Works.

Wonka Ball 2013 Corporate Sponsors included: BMO Harris Bank, Sidetrack and BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.

Photo Copyright © 2013 Timmy Samuel

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