Here’s the press release from About Face:
About Face Theatre announces success of “Face the Future Campaign”
Launches season with new artistic and administrative initiatives
CHICAGO– Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar and the About Face Board of Directors announce the success of the “Face the Future Campaign,” which earned over $200,000 for the company, erased debt and raised funds for artistic programming and the foundation of a new cash reserve. The success of the campaign has enabled the company to launch the upcoming season, including the all-newChicago XYZ Festival, a showcase for innovative artists presenting work at all stages of development, sponsored by the Boeing Corporation. The season will also feature the long-awaited What Once We Felt by . Sara Lee is the exclusive corporate sponsor of What Once We Felt.
In addition to new artistic programming, Metzgar announces a national search to replace Managing Director Rick Dildine, who is leaving to join Shakespeare St. Louis. Metzgar also announces the addition of Stevie Ball, community leader and former Director of Development for the Epilepsy Foundation and longtime head of Chicago House, as Development consultant and interim member of the staff. Ball replaces longtime About Face Director of Development Mollie Spear, who has recently joined the staff of Kansas City Repertory, now helmed by former About Face Artistic Director Eric Rosen.
“About Face Theatre is invigorated by our upcoming season and happy to be able to put the outpouring of support we received directly to work creating great theater for Chicago audiences,” Metzgar says. “We are honored that Stevie Ball is joining the About Face family. Mollie and Rick were dedicated in their service to the company and we will miss them both as we wish them great success in their new homes.”
“About Face is certainly well-poised to recruit a top-notch Executive Director and to flourish in coming seasons,” says About Face Board Chairman President William Michel. “The ‘Face the Future Campaign’ demonstrated that About Face is important to our Chicago audience as well as the national theater community. We are grateful to our supporters and we look forward to many more seasons of groundbreaking work.”
About the 2009/2010 Season
About Face’s 14th season begins in the fall with the CHICAGO XYZ Festival (September 21-November 10), a new showcase for innovative artists presenting work at all stages of development. The XYZ Festival will feature the return to Chicago of Obie-awardwinning playwright Adam Bock (author of The Thugs) with the world premiere of his brand new play, a love letter to the theater called The Flowers. This funny and heartbreaking play, about a gay couple who run a Chicago theater ensemble, will be directed by Trip Cullman and will run Oct 15 – Nov 8. Audiences will get an opportunity to attend open studio presentations of two workshop productions during XYZ: an interactive wedding project called Let Them Eat Cake by legendary performance artist and NEA Four activist Holly Hughes and About Face Artistic Associate Megan Carney on Oct 30 – Nov 1; and a new play called FLOAT by Patricia Kane (author of About Face’s smash hit Pulp), directed by Jessica Thebus. In addition, About Face will host a lesbian playwrights reading series supported by a grant from the NEA featuring new plays by Bonnie Metzgar, Sarah Gubbins, Christina Anderson and Madeleine George.
This winter, About Face will return to Center on Halsted for What Once We Felt by Ann Marie Healy. In May, About Face will present Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South by E. Patrick Johnson, a co-production with Jane Saks and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for Gender and Women in the Media at Columbia College Chicago. The season will conclude with Queertopia, a new performance work from About Face Youth Theatre in summer 2010.
About the “Out & About” Initiative
“Out & About” is a visibility campaign to bring home the idea that the LGBT community exists in all communities. The “Out & About” initiative will feature a variety of programming including events, walking tours and partnerships with gay-friendly businesses that will take About Face audiences into neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Building on the grassroots model of its successful “Face The Future” campaign, About Face is using this initiative to reach into the very communities and institutions that support its critical mission to make connections between artists, audiences and businesses all over Chicago. In addition to engaging patrons and members with local businesses by negotiating discounts and other special offers, About Face is recognizing business owners who are actively pursuing LGBTQA customers by inviting them to be a featured partner in the “Out & About” initiative. About Face supporters can identify these gay-friendly businesses by the yellow “Out & About” sticker in the window of participating businesses.
About the About Face Youth Ensemble
After a two-year creative process, About Face will produce Queertopia, a new theatrical investigation by About Face Youth Theatre. This oral history project will be comprised of collected stories ofdiscrimination, violence and exclusion of LGBTQ young people and their allies in Chicago schools and community settings. The project will aim to provide the city, legislators and CPS with a comprehensive picture of what is really happening to LGBTQA students at school, and to young people on our streets and in our community spaces. Members of the community can share their stories for the creation of Queertopia by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queertopia is made possible with the support and contributions of its community partners: the Goodman Theatre, Howard Brown, Genderjust, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance and the Center on Halsted, and will be performed in July 2010.
About the company
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 30 new plays 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.
Landmark world premieres include Doug Wright’s Pulitzer and Tony-winning “I Am My Own Wife”; Moisés Kaufman’s production of Tennessee Williams’ “One Arm” (a co-production with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Tectonic Theatre Project); Mary Zimmerman’s “M. Proust”, and, with Lookingglass Theatre, the famed “Eleven Rooms of Proust”; Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty’s “Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein” (a co-production with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Original Cast Album recorded by Jay Records); the multi-award winning musical “Winesburg, Ohio” by Eric Rosen, Andre Pluess, Ben Sussman and Jessica Thebus; and the cult hit “Pulp” by Patricia Kane.
In addition to its award-winning mainstage performances, About Face is known nationally for its ground- breaking Youth Theatre, which creates critically acclaimed new work by and about LGBTQ 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. Building on the success of the youth theatre model, About Face recently launched its corporate outreach program to provide diversity training and onsite workshops to the corporate community. 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.
About Face Theatre 2009/10 Season
CHICAGO XYZ FESTIVAL
Featuring local and national artists
September 21-November 10, 2009
Featured production of XYZ Festival
Written by Adam Bock
Previews begin October 15, 2009
Opening night October 23, 2009
Closing night November 8, 2009
WHAT ONCE WE FELT
Written by Ann-Marie Healy
The Sara Lee Foundation is the Exclusive Corporate Sponsor of “What Once We Felt”
Adapted by E. Patrick Johnson
Previews begin May 6, 2010
Opening night May 14, 2010
Closing night, May 23, 2010
QUEERTOPIA – Youth Theatre Project
Written by the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
Conceived by Paula Gilovich
For ticket information, please visit www.AboutFaceTheatre.com.