About Face Theatre Presents a Remount of
WHAT’S THE T?
By Sara Kerastas & The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
Directed by Artistic Associate Eric Hoff
May 19 – June 2, 2013
CHICAGO (April 11, 2013) About Face Theatre is pleased to present a remount of its wildly popular Youth Ensemble world premiere WHAT’S THE T? by Sara Kerastas and The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble, directed by Artistic Associate Eric Hoff, playing May 19 – June 2, 2013 at the Prince Charitable Trusts Rehearsal Room at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., in Chicago. The production features members of the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble. Tickets are available at www.aboutfacetheatre.com or at the door. The press performance is Sunday, May 19 at 3 pm.
Internet personality/trans activist/fierce community leader Ms. Ma uses her YouTube page to create community, serve glamour and spread the good word about queer safe spaces in Chicago. WHAT”S THE T? tells the story of Ms. Ma”s tangled web of connections, her struggle to stay positive and what happens to her community when she disappears. Inspired by issues of race, gender, age and class in Chicago’s “Boystown,” WHAT”S THE T? is based on true stories and interviews from LGBTQA youth and adults in and around Chicago.
WHAT’S THE T? began with the theme of trans identity, but after year-one, the youth ensemble chose to take it a step further by using this theme to address the significant tensions arising in the queer community. As such, the play examines issues of race, gender, class and age in the queer community, with trans characters at the heart of the story. For 13 years, the Youth Theatre has sought changes within the larger community through innovative thought, dialogue, and performance. AFYT hopes to move their ensemble from positions of marginalization into positions of inclusion and power.
“There’s a whole storyline in the play that takes place on the Internet – with two people documenting their lives through YouTube videos, and ultimately building a relationship in that digital elusive space,” comments playwright Sara Kerastas. “This play is so right now. The story speaks to how we communicate right now. How we build, how we own, and how we use space right now.”
The production team for WHAT’S THE T? includes: John Holt (set design/technical director), Mieka van der Ploeg (costume design), Jeff Glass (lighting design/production manager), Erik Roldan (sound design), Liviu Pasare (projections design), Nic K (choreography), Rupert Priniski (production coordinator) and John Rooney (stage manager).
||WHAT’S THE T?
||Sara Kerastas and The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
||Artistic Associate Eric Hoff
||About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble members
||Prince Charitable Trusts Rehearsal Room at Victory Gardens Theater
2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.
||Press Opening: Sunday, May 19 at 3 pm
||Regular Run: Friday, May 24 – Sunday, June 2
||Fridays at Saturdays at 7 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Note: there will an added 3 pm performance on Saturday, June 1.
||$15. $5 youth tickets; $25 AFYT Support Ticket.
||Tickets for WHAT’S THE T? are or at the door.
Sara Kerastas (Playwright/Creator) is the Education Programs Director for About Face Theatre, where she manages the Education Outreach program and directs the Queer Youth Theatre. She is also an Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. Across Canada, she has directed with Pi Theatre, The Havana, Le Cagibi, F4L Productions and Théâtre Ste. Catherine. In 2010 she received a Windy City Times 30-Under-30 Award for her leadership within and contributions to Chicago’s LGBT community. She is a founding member of the Pride Youth Theatre Alliance, and will be mentoring an emerging queer youth theatre program with Creative Action Theatre this year in Austin, Texas. She is a proud member of the queer performance collective GOLDMINE. She received her BA in English-Drama & Theatre and Women’s Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Sara is a regular storyteller and former Associate Artistic Director of 2nd Story, and is published in their new anthology, “Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck: Stories from 2nd Story,” with Elephant Rock Books.
Eric Hoff (Director) is a proud Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre, advancing the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity. For AFT, he directed WHAT”S THE T? in Summer 2012. Eric produced over thirty events for The Woyzeck Project, he served as dramaturg for Pony, and he co-conceived and will produce Revival this summer. Eric directed & developed Ike Holter”s Hit the Wall in Chicago at both The Steppenwolf Garage and Theatre on the Lake. He then directed the off-Broadway production at Barrow Street Theatre, just steps from The Stonewall Inn. Other Chicago credits: The Skriker, Ruby Wilder, (a)Symmetry Cycle. He has worked with Goodman, Court, Hypocrites, Steep, Playwrights Horizons, and NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Alumnus: Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Co-Founder: The Accidentals. Eric lives in Chicago and New York City.
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 a two-year 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 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.