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Showing posts with label About Face Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label About Face Theatre. Show all posts

Thursday, September 1, 2022

About Face Theatre announces 2022-2023 Season Advancing LGBTQ+ Equity

AFT’s 28th season will include two world-premiere plays building on its mission to advance LGBTQ+ equity

About Face Theatre is excited to announce plans for its 28th season. Dedicated to advancing LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance, AFT will present two world-premiere productions at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park, as well as workshops and projects in development.

About Face’s 2022-2023 season will begin in November 2022 with the world premiere of Omer Abbas Salem’s new play Mosque4Mosque, directed by Sophiyaa Nayar. Mosque4Mosque is a family comedy about a queer Arab-American Muslim man navigating his first real relationship while his relentlessly caring immigrant mother tries to find the perfect man for him to marry. In May 2023 the company will present the world premiere of Gender Play, or what you Will, a new one-person performance co-created by Will Wilhelm and Erin Murray. Gender Play, or what you Will is a highly personal exploration of the works of William Shakespeare through a gender-imaginative lens.

Clockwise, from upper left: Omer Abbas Salem, Sophiyaa Nayar, Erin Murray, Will Wilhelm.  

Throughout the year, About Face Theatre will continue its commitment to leadership development, intergenerational collaboration, and learning opportunities. AFT’s Green Room Collective will enter its second full year supporting early career LGBTQ+ arts leaders with part-time staff roles. In addition, creative workshops will explore new possibilities for programs asking, "Who are we becoming? What are our collective dreams? How will we grow together?" Further details will be available on the website later this fall.

“Connect, grow, and find joy with us”, invites About Face Theatre Artistic Director, Megan Carney. “The stories in our upcoming season combine bravery and humor to deepen community connections and move us toward a more just world. These productions combined with signature About Face programs and new work development promise a year of visionary collaborations ahead.”

 

ABOUT FACE THEATRE’S 2022-2023 SEASON

Mosque4Mosque

Written by Omer Abbas Salem

Directed by Sophiyaa Nayar

 

November 17 - December 17, 2022  |  Press opening: Mon, Nov 21, 2022 @ 7:30pm

Typical showtimes: Thurs & Fri @ 7:30pm, Sat @ 3:00pm and 7:30pm, Sun @ 3:00pm

Check the calendar for schedule details around holidays. All performances will take place at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

 

Pay-what-you-can tickets ($5-$35) will go on sale in the coming weeks at The Den Theatre box office or About Face Theatre’s website.

Ibrahim is an average 30-something queer Arab-American Muslim who is constantly being reminded how unmarried he is by his relentlessly caring immigrant mother, Sara. Having helped raise his smart, popular, cheerleading hijabi younger sister, Ibrahim has always been comfortable sinking into the background. Normal job, quiet life, easy men. But on the precipice of finding what could be his first real relationship, Sara feels compelled to take Ibrahim's future into her own hands by attempting to find the perfect man for him to marry. Mosque4Mosque is a comedy about a normal Muslim American family that asks us to wrestle with what we believe normal to be.

Mosque4Mosque was workshopped and performed virtually through the Criminal Queerness Festival and Dixon Place in July 2020, directed by Sharifa Elkady. It was selected to be Steppenwolf Theatre's SCOUT Development play for 2020 and received a 30-hour workshop and a fully produced reading in March of 2021. This world premiere production at About Face Theatre will receive dramaturgical and community engagement support from Silk Road Rising.

Director Sophiyaa Nayar says “Activist and author adrienne maree brown describes visionary fiction as centering marginalized peoples, ‘aiming neither for utopia nor dystopia, but that harder, more realistic place in the middle.’ Mosque4Mosque does exactly that -- it reimagines what our relationship with religion, queerness, and family could look like. It dismantles stereotypes about Arab, Muslim, and immigrant families, which are often harmfully painted in the media as violent caricatures or side-plot comedic relief.

“I can see myself in Abbas’ work. I see my family in it,” she continued. “I see Arab friends I've grown up with and their families in it. He paints these characters with such concrete detail and infuses them with so much life that it’s hard not to root for them. A friend once talked about how you can smell his plays when you read them, and I think that holds especially true with Mosque4Mosque.”

 

Gender Play, or what you Will

Co-Created by Will Wilhelm and Erin Murray

Performed by Will Wilhelm

Directed by Erin Murray

May 4 - June 3, 2023  |  Press opening: Fri, May 12, 2023

Typical showtimes: Thurs & Fri @ 7:30pm, Sat @ 3:00pm and 7:30pm, Sun @ 3:00pm

at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago

Pay-what-you-can tickets ($5-$35) will go on sale in the coming weeks at The Den Theatre box office or About Face Theatre’s website.

The classic works of Shakespeare are filled with queerness: cross-dressing, homoeroticism, the fluidity of masculine and feminine gender roles, and so many phallic puns! In this one-person show, actor Will Wilhelm conjures the spirit of playwright William Shakespeare to examine the Bard’s works through their own queer perspectives and life experiences. Together, Will & Will propose a new reason to keep these old stories alive: not as a relic of what our society has been, but as a testament to seeing ourselves reflected in history. Gender Play, or what you Will invites guests to share a mystical evening of laughter, poetry, and tarot that coalesces into a celebration of queer joy.

Gender Play, or what you Will explores fresh, contemporary pathways into the classics. The play was developed with support from About Face Theatre, Island Shakespeare Festival, Northwestern University and the Arts Midwest’s Grow, Invest, Gather Fund.

“I love the conversation of Gender Play,” says director Erin Murray. “It is a smart exchange about how and why we continue to stage classic theatre that leaves the viewer feeling inspired and informed. Will Wilhelm is as vivacious as they are provocative.”

“And yet,” she says, “if you haven't picked up a play since your 9th grade R&J reading assignment, this show will happily carry you on its back and serve you a smile. It asks you to be gentle with yourself and those around you as it secures you into a wild ride through history and personal stories. In Gender Play, or what you Will, the audiences will find new peace in being once again part of a collective.”

 

LEADERSHIP AND EDUCATION

Leadership and education programming at About Face Theatre will include programs and workshops that combine storytelling and theatre making with wellness practices and community connections. Participants in the next cohort of the Green Room Collective leadership program will contribute in meaningful ways on projects throughout the season while strengthening their individual skills. The year ahead will also feature a unique play reading series that explores different models for production.

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Sophiyaa Nayar (she/her): Mosque4Mosque director

Sophiyaa is from New Delhi, India. She creates interdisciplinary and genre-bending work that centers (im)migrants. She is a member of the WP Lab 2020-22, 3Arts Make a Wave Grantee, a Definition Theatre ensemble member, a member of Directors' Lab Chicago 2017, and a resident in Milwaukee Rep’s 2017/18 season. Recent directing credits: MODERN WOMEN by Omer Abbas Salem (Playwrights Unit Reading, Goodman Theatre), PLURAL (LOVE) by Jen Goma and Haruna Lee (WP, Pipeline Festival), SHAKUNTALA by Lavina Jadhwani (Future Labs, Goodman Theatre). LOVE IN THE TIME OF JONESTOWN: A RADIO PLAY by Omer Abbas Salem (New Coordinates), GOOD YEARS by Ada Alozie (Film, Definition Theatre), PRETTY SHAHID by Omer Abbas Salem (Jackalope Theatre). Recent AD credits: SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE… with Cecily Strong (Leigh Silverman), NOLLYWOOD DREAMS (Saheem Ali). She was part of the SDC Foundation’s Observership Class, through which she worked on SOFT POWER by Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang at The Public. Her production of ETHIOPIANAMERICA By Sam Kebede (Definition Theatre) won Black Theatre Alliance Awards for Best Play, Featured Actor and Actress, and a Jeff award for Fight Choreography. She has developed work with Steppenwolf,  Center Theatre Group, The Shed, American Players Theatre, Writers Theatre, Jackalope, Milwaukee Rep, and MCC theatre. Her recent touring show, MOVEMENT LIVE is headed to Lincoln Center in 2023. More on sophiyaanayar.net.


Abbas Salem (he/him): Mosque4Mosque playwright

Omer Abbas Salem is a Chicago actor and playwright. As an actor, he's worked with Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The New Coordinates, Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Griffin Theatre, The House, Bailiwick Chicago, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Rep, Roundabout Theater, and The Atlantic Theater. As a playwright, his work has been developed and produced at Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, DePaul University, National Queer Theater, Definition Theatre, About Face Theater, and The New Coordinates. He is the winner of Steppenwolf's SCOUT Development Project (20/21), Definition Theatre's Amplify Commission (20/21), Goodman Theatre's Future Labs Development (21), The Cunningham Commission at DePaul Theatre School (21/22), Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit (21/22) and First Floor Theater's Blueprint Commission (21/22). He was an apprentice of the Actors Theatre of Louisville (17/18) and is also a proud ensemble member with Jackalope Theatre, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theater, and The New Coordinates. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the University of Chicago. During the day, he's a Client Strategist in new-tech. Abbas is represented by DDO Artist Agency and The Gersh Agency. More at omerabbassalem.com.


Will Wilhelm (they/them): Gender Play, or what you Will co-creator

Will Wilhelm is a Chicago-based actor, writer, and educator. They were most recently seen as Angel in RENT (Portland Center Stage). Select Chicago credits include MR. BURNS (Theater Wit), STRAIGHT WHITE MEN (Steppenwolf Theatre), NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI (Goodman Theatre), and MY WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY SUIT (Chicago Children’s Theatre). Other regional credits include OKLAHOMA!, AS YOU LIKE IT, and MACBETH (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), where they were the first non-binary company member in the festival’s history. With Erin Murray, they are also the co-creator of the video podcast series TEACAKES & TAROT, produced by Island Shakespeare Festival and HowlRound Theatre Commons. In 2020, Will wrote “Gender is Performance” for HowlRound and was featured in the Chicago Tribune. A proud Northwestern graduate, Will is represented by Gray Talent Group. WillWilhelm.com


Erin Murray (she/her): Gender Play, or what you Will co-creator

Erin has directed both nationally and internationally in her twenty-year directing career. In 2005, Erin directed the Irish premiere of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Best Production at the Speigeltent) which was remounted at Project Arts Centre in 2006. Erin was Staff Director for Ireland's Opera Theatre Company for three seasons and toured six fully staged English translation productions internationally. Favorite directing credits include Anne Washburn’s THE INTERNATIONALIST (Steppenwolf Garage), the Chicago premiere of Suzanne Heathcote’s I SAW MY NEIGHBOR ON THE TRAIN AND I DIDN’T EVEN SMILE (Redtwist), and the Seattle premiere of Annie Baker’s JOHN (ArtsWest). She was the Executive Producer on the sold-out 2012 world premiere of Ariel Zetina's PINK MILK: A MAGIC TRAGEDY BASED ON THE LIFE OF ALAN TURING at New York International Fringe and Chicago Fringe Festival. Erin has also adapted and created new work for audiences of all ages. She celebrated the world premiere of her adaptation, CYRANO DE BERGERAC: A QUEEROIC COMEDY WITH MANY ACTS, with Island Shakespeare Festival in July 2022; her adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's GHOSTS premiered in Chicago in 2018. Erin worked with Seattle artivist Ana Maria Campoy to adapt and direct Seattle Shakespeare Company's first bilingual school WA state tours TAMING OF THE SHREW/ LA FIERECILLA DOMADA (2017) and TWELFTH NIGHT/DUODÉCIMA NOCHE (2018). Additional collaborations with Will Wilhelm include the video podcast series TEACAKES & TAROT: CONVERSATIONS WITH QUEER FUTURISTS produced by Island Shakespeare Festival in 2020 and later in association with HowlRound Theatre Commons. Guests include Robert O'Hara, Bill Rauch, P Carl, and Lisa Wolpe with episodes available wherever you enjoy your podcasts.  Education: MFA Theatre Directing, Northwestern University; BA, Trinity College Dublin. ErinMurrayDirects.com.

ABOUT FACE THEATRE advances LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance. Learn more at aboutfacetheatre.com

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Chicago Premiere of THE MAGNOLIA BALLET Via About Face Theatre May 12 through June 11, 2022 at the Den Theatre

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

About Face Theatre Brings Local Playwright Terry Guest’s


THE MAGNOLIA BALLET 

To Chicago



About Face Theatre continues its 27th season with the Chicago premiere of Terry Guest’s haunting new drama THE MAGNOLIA BALLET, running May 12 through June 11, 2022, at the Den Theatre. Following the story of a young Black man in Georgia who finds a shocking discovery among his grandfather's letters, THE MAGNOLIA BALLET explores the need to tear down the rules that are killing us in order to finally live. Associate Artistic Director Mikael Burke premiered this new work in March 2022 at Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis and now brings the play to Chicago with playwright Terry Guest in the lead role. I'll be out for the press opening Friday, May 20th, so check back shortly for my full review. 

Pictured left - right: Terry Guest, Wardell Julius Clark, Sheldon D. Brown, Ben Sulzberger.


PERFORMANCE TIMES

Previews:  Thursday, May 12 – Thursday, May 19

Press Opening:  Friday, May 20

Performance Run: Saturday, May 21 – Saturday, June 11

Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm


TICKETS

Tickets are on sale now online at AboutFaceTheatre.com, by calling 773.697.3830, or in-person at the Den Theatre box office. Ticket prices range from $5 to $35.

AFT offers a ticket pricing system that allows each patron to decide the price that they can comfortably afford to pay for a ticket. Ultimately, About Face wants everyone who wants to attend a show to be able to do so. Please note, there are limited quantities available at each pricing level.

Left-right: Sheldon D. Brown, Terry Guest, Wardell Julius Clark. 

Photo by Nathanael Filbert


THE PLAY

Ezekiel is a Black teenager with a secret that threatens to destroy his already broken home. He’s haunted by the ghosts of racism, homophobia, and toxic masculinity–the same ghosts that have plagued men in Georgia for generations, including his emotionally distant father. But when he discovers a trove of forbidden love letters among his late grandfather’s belongings, Ezekiel  begins to believe that the only way to fight these multi-generational ghosts is to burn everything to the ground. The Magnolia Ballet is a Southern Gothic fable that melds high drama, dance, poetry, and spectacle to explore masculinity, racism, and the love between a queer kid and his father.

“As a queer Black man raised in the American south, this play is hugely important to me,” says director Mikael Burke. “No young person should ever be made to feel the way I did, like they are wrong simply for existing. This play forces all of us to reckon with the legacies of toxic masculinity and racism in this country. It’s a play that demands that we all wrestle with the ghosts of our prejudices and recognize where the rules we once set in order to survive have become the killers of a new generation.”


CAST

Terry Guest as Ezekiel “Z” Mitchell VI

Wardell Julius Clark as Ezekiel Mitchell V

Sheldon D. Brown as Apparition

Ben Sulzberger as Danny


PRODUCTION TEAM

Assistant Directing and Dramaturgy by Vic Wynter, Choreography by Jenn Freeman, Intimacy and Violence Choreography by Jyreika Guest, Scenic Design by Steven Abbott, Scenic Design Advising by Regina Garcia, Lighting Design by Eric Watkins, Sound Design by Brian Grimm, Costume Design by Jos N. Banks, Properties Design by Caitlin McCarthy, Stage Management by Lucy Whipp, Assistant Stage Management by Cecilia Koloski, Production Management by Audrey Kleine, Technical Direction by Becca Venable.


ARTIST BIOS

TERRY GUEST (he/him): Playwright, Ezekiel “Z” Mitchell VI

Terry Guest is a Chicago based playwright, actor and teaching artist. He wrote and starred in AT THE WAKE OF A DEAD DRAG QUEEN, which was the recipient of the 2018 Out Front Spectrum Series Grant and had its World Premiere in Chicago at The Story Theatre (directed by Mikael Burke). Other work includes: A GHOST IN SATIN (The Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Wardell Julius Clark), MARIE ANTIONETTE AND THE MAGICAL NEGROS (The Story Theatre), THE MADNESS OF MARY TODD (Goodman Theatre Playwrights Unit Commission), MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE DEVIL’S BOOK (Jackalope) and ANDY WARHOL PRESENTS: THE COCAINE PLAY. More in for at terrycguest.com

MIKAEL BURKE (he/him): Director

Mikael is a Chicago-based director and educator, and About Face Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre and Jeff Award-nominated director, Mikael’s most recently worked with Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, Windy City Playhouse, About Face Theatre, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, and The Story Theatre in Chicago, and regionally with Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, and Phoenix Theatre. For About Face, he has directed KICKBACK, an all-virtual play festival, and THIS BITTER EARTH. Other recent directing credits include the world premiere of THE MAGNOLIA BALLET by Terry Guest; FIREFLIES by Donja R. Love; MRS. HARRISON by R. Eric Thomas; WE ARE CONTINUOUS by Harrison David Rivers; KILL MOVE PARADISE by James Ijames; THE AGITATORS by Mat Smart. mklburke.com

WARDELL JULIUS CLARK (he/him): Ezekiel Mitchell V

Wardell is an award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist who hails from Fairfield, Alabama, but now calls Chicago home. He earned his BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Wardell is a Company Member with TimeLine Theatre. He is also an Ensemble Member at Sideshow Theatre. Select acting credits include GEM OF THE OCEAN (Goodman Theatre), FLYIN’ WEST (American Blues), SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (Raven), SILENT SKY (First Folio), OTHELLO (Theater at Monmouth), and THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JAMES (Victory Gardens). His television and film credits include PROVEN INNOCENT, SHAMELESS, and CHICAGO FIRE seasons 1 & 4. Wardell directed the world premieres of BLACK MOON LILITH, A GHOST IN SATIN, and DON'T GET GOT last summer as part of the Solo Play Festival Celebrating the Black Radical Imagination at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Select Chicago directing credits include KILL MOVE PARADISE (Timeline Theatre - 2020 Jeff Award Winner - Best Director, large), SHEEPDOG (Shattered Globe), HIS SHADOW (16th Street), THE SHIPMENT (Red Tape), DUTCH MASTERS (Jackalope), THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM -1963 (Chicago Children's Theatre), INSURRECTION: HOLDING HISTORY (Stage Left). Wardell was the Newcity Magazine 2020 - Player of the Moment, and a recipient of the 2021 3Arts Foundation Make a Wave grant! wardelljuliusclark.com

SHELDON D. BROWN (he/him): Apparition

Sheldon is overjoyed to return to About Face where he previously performed in THIS BITTER EARTH and TIME IS ON OUR SIDE. His other credits include the TRAGEDY OF OTHELLO THE MOOR OF VENICE, OEDIPUS REX, and MAN IN THE RING (Court Theatre); A WONDER IN MY SOUL (Victory Gardens Theatre), THE SHIPMENT (Red Tape Theatre); 1980 (Jackalope Theatre) and more. He also has numerous credits in Boston including THE GRAND INQUISITOR, directed by Peter Brook through ArtsEmerson. His film/screenwriting credits include CICADA (Spirit Award Nominated, Best First Screenplay), THE CANYONLANDS, and MY NAME IS ALEX. Sheldon is also a queer educator having taught with Steppenwolf, Northlight Theatre, and The League of Chicago Theatres. Sheldon received his BFA in Acting from Emerson College and is a proud Artistic Associate at About Face!

BEN SULZBERGER: Danny

Ben is thrilled to be making his Chicago theatre debut in THE MAGNOLIA BALLET. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2020 with a degree in theatre arts and cinema. Some of his favorite roles have included Christopher in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Flute in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and Jason in SWEAT.


ABOUT FACE THEATRE advances LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance. AFT envisions an affirming and equitable world in which all LGBTQ+ individuals are thriving and free from prejudice and discrimination. About Face Theatre is also dedicated to being an intentionally and increasingly anti-racist organization. Due to the intersectionality of our identities, we understand our work to advance LGBTQ+ equity as directly connected to movements for racial justice.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: Adult Night Out About Face Theatre Presents DADA WOOF PAPA HOT Through February 16, 2019 at Theater Wit

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List: Adult Night Out
Chicago Premiere!
About Face Theatre Presents
DADA WOOF PAPA HOT

By Peter Parnell
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm

Through February 16, 2019 at Theater Wit

Here at ChiIL Mama we know loving families come in many different configurations. Here in Chicago I personally have many gay friends who are raising their own or adopted kids and I have more friends currently looking to adopt. I've even had gay male friends father children for lesbian couples I know. If anything, these families are stronger and more stable than most of the straight families I know because most had to go above and beyond to create their chance to parent. I'm booked solid for most of February, but I'm trying to get over to Theater Wit to check this one out. AFT is a favorite of ours and I'm excited they're bringing the Chicago premiere of DADA WOOF PAPA HOT to the stage.




(left to right) Shane Kenyon and Bruch Thomas Reed in About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of DADA WOOF PAPA HOT. All Photos by Michael Brosilow.

About Face Theatre is pleased to continue its 2018-19 season with DADA WOOF PAPA HOT, a sexy comedy about gay parenting and modern families from Peter Parnell (The Cider House Rules), directed by Jeff Award-nominated AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm*. DADA WOOF PAPA HOT will play January 10 – February 16, 2019 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

DADA WOOF PAPA HOT features AFT Artistic Associate Benjamin Sprunger* with Jos N. Banks, Shane Kenyon, Keith Kupferer, Lily Mojekwu, Bruch Thomas Reed and Rachel Sullivan.


(left to right) Bruch Thomas Reed, Keith Kupferer, Lily Mojekwu and Benjamin Sprunger 


(front) Bruch Thomas Reed with (back, l to r) Shane Kenyon, Jos N. Banks and Benjamin Sprunger 


This tender, funny and very timely play introduces two gay couples and a circle of friends trying to find their way in the fast-paced high stakes world of modern parenting. As friendships deepen, vulnerabilities get exposed and the foundations of family and relationships – gay and straight – get shaken. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land, what happens next? And what gets left behind?


Comments Artistic Director Megan Carney, “Peter Parnell’s work has long captivated audiences in Chicago and around the country and this is a hilarious, forthright and deeply revealing play. The journey of Dada Woof Papa Hot connects people across many different experiences in the struggle to balance the delights of autonomy and independence with the comforts of coupledom and family. I love Keira Fromm’s vision for the production to illuminate how social pressures and personal longing impact couples.”


(left to right) Bruch Thomas Reed and Benjamin Sprunger 

Adds Director Keira Fromm, “Dada Woof Papa Hot is a funny and moving play about the challenges of modern-day marriage and parenting. It’s also a play about how becoming a parent impacts one’s sense of identity and individuality. I love how the play reaches into contemporary married life and examines its difficulties for straight and gay people alike. The play takes place today in our post-marriage-equality moment where gay relationships and parenting have been normalized in our culture. The way it explores the unique problems that Alan and Rob (the central couple in the play) encounter while raising their young daughter in the wake of marriage equality makes for incredibly potent and compelling theater.”


DadaWoof-8 (left to right) Benjamin Sprunger and Lily Mojekwu in About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of DADA WOOF PAPA HOT. Photo by Michael Brosilow.



The production team for DADA WOOF PAPA HOT includes William Boles* (scenic designer), Noël Huntzinger (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design, music composition), Jamie Karas (properties design) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate

This production is sponsored in part by a generous donation from Dr. Charles Rhee.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Jos N. Banks (Scott), Shane Kenyon (Jason), Keith Kupferer (Michael), Lily Mojekwu (Serena), Bruch Thomas Reed (Alan), Benjamin Sprunger* (Rob) and Rachel Sullivan (Julia).


(left to right) Benjamin Sprunger and Bruch Thomas Reed 



(left to right) Bruch Thomas Reed and Rachel Sullivan 

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, January 10 at 7:30 pm, Friday, January 11 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, January 12 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, January 13 at 3 pm and Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Friday, January 18 – Saturday, February 16, 2019.

Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will be an added performance on Saturday February 16, 2019 at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20 – $38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.


(left to right) Keith Kupferer and Lily Mojekwu in About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of DADA WOOF PAPA HOT. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Artist Biographies
Peter Parnell’s (Playwright, he/him/his) plays, including Sorrows of Stephen, The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket, Romance Language, Hyde in Hollywood, Flaubert’s Latest and An Imaginary Life, have been produced by the Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, the Mark Taper Forum, the Seattle Rep Theatre, the Old Globe and Center Stage in Baltimore, among others. His two-part stage adaptation of John Irving's The Cider House Rules won the American Theatre Critics Association Award, Ovation Awards, Joseph Jefferson Awards and Drama League nominations, and was produced at the Seattle Rep, the Taper, Trinity Repertory and the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York. His play QED was produced at the Taper and then on Broadway at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre. For television, he was a co-producer for The West Wing (NBC; two Emmy Award Citations, two Humanitas Awards), producer for The Guardian (CBS, GLAAD episode nomination), and Inconceivable (NBC). He has written television pilots for ABC and Fox. He has served on the Literary Award Committee in Playwriting for PEN, and been the recipient of Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, NEA and Fund for New American Plays grants. He has taught playwriting at Dartmouth and at the New School, and television writing in the Columbia University Film Division. His children’s book, And Tango Makes Three, co-authored with Justin Richardson, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2005, and is an ALA Notable Book, a Henry Bergh Award winner and was nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award as best children’s book of the year.

Keira Fromm (Director, she/her/hers) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, casting director and teacher based in Chicago. Some favorite recent directing credits include: Bull in a China Shop (About Face Theatre), hang (Remy Bumppo), Significant Other (About Face Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (Route 66 Theatre Company), Bright Half Life (About Face Theatre), The Columnist (American Blues Theater), How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), A Kid Like Jake (About Face), Luce (Next Theatre), Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog), The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre), Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is a proud Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA from DePaul University, her BFA from Boston University, is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and is a member of SDC, the professional directors union. Keira is a frequent guest director at DePaul, as well as Roosevelt University. She will be directing Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at TheatreSquared in Northwest Arkansas this fall. 


About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.


(front, l to r) Jos N. Banks and Shane Kenyon with (back, l to r) Benjamin Sprunger and Bruch Thomas Reed

Friday, October 26, 2018

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH Via About Face Theatre November 1 – December 8, 2018

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Chicago Premiere!
About Face Theatre Presents 
THIS BITTER EARTH
By Harrison David Rivers
Directed by Mikael Burke
November 1 – December 8, 2018 at Theater Wit


(left to right) Daniel Desmarais and Sheldon Brown in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH. Photo by Anna Gelman.

About Face Theatre is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with the Chicago premiere of the poetic and political romance THIS BITTER EARTH by award winning playwright and McKnight Fellow Harrison David Rivers, directed by Mikael Burke, recipient of the 2017 Princess Grace Award in Theatre. THIS BITTER EARTH will play November 1 – December 8, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

THIS BITTER EARTH features Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais.

This Bitter Earth reveals a deep love challenged by divisive political realities. Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud.

Comments Artistic Director Megan Carney, “Harrison’s brilliant play resonates so powerfully at this moment. This story reveals one distinct couple in a relationship shaped and propelled by both massive love and devastating violence. They are grappling with this mad world and fighting for their very lives. Harrison captures the intricacies of identities and impact with humor and passion. I can’t imagine a better pairing that Harrison and Mikael to bring this work to life in Chicago.”

Adds Director Mikael Burke, “This Bitter Earth is a beautiful and unflinching play about race and relationship in contemporary America – about the need for connection and the apparent differences that hold us back. Jesse is black, Neil is white, and against a backdrop of police shootings and Black Lives Matter rallies, this tale of interracial love and heartache asks us: How do we save one another in this tumultuous world? How do we save ourselves? How do we navigate love in a world with so much hate? What do we carry in order to survive that we must learn to let go of in order to live?”

The production team for THIS BITTER EARTH includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Bob Kuhn* (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Emma Cullimore (props design), Sasha Smith (intimacy design), Catherine Allen (production manager), Helen Lattyak (stage manager) and Andrea Enger (assistant stage manager),

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate


Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 pm, Friday November 2 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 pm, Sunday November 4 at 3 pm and Wednesday November 7 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run: Friday, November 9 – Saturday, December 8, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 22 at 7:30 pm (Thanksgiving); there will be added performances Saturday, November 24 at 3 pm and Saturday, December 8 at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

Artist Biographies
Harrison David Rivers (Playwright, he/him/his) resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he was recently named one of City Pages’ Artists of the Year. His plays include: When Last We Flew (GLAAD Media Award, NYFringe Excellence in Playwriting Award, NYFringe), Sweet (AUDELCO nomination for Best Play, NBT), And She Would Stand Like This (20% Theatre Company, The Movement Theatre Company), Where Storms Are Born (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination for Best New Play, Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Williamstown), A Crack in the Sky (History Theatre), Five Points (Theatre Latte Da) and This Bitter Earth (New Conservatory Theatre Center, Penumbra). Harrison has received McKnight and Many Voices Jerome Fellowships, a Van Lier Fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color Fellowship and New York Stage & Film’s Founders’ Award. He was the 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Harrison is an alumni of the Public Theater's Emerging Writers' Group, Interstate 73, NAMT and The Lincoln Center Directors' Lab. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect and a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center where he is also a member of the Board of Directors. Harrison received his BA from Kenyon College and MFA from Columbia School of the Arts. www.harrisondavidrivers.com

Mikael Burke (Director, he/him/his) is a Chicago-based director, deviser and educator. He serves as Creative Director of the Indianapolis-based Young Actors Theatre, and previously served as Associate Artistic Director of Indianapolis’ NoExit Performance. Michael is a 2017 Princess Grace Award Winner in Theatre and a recipient of the 2012 Robert D. Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He has most recently worked with American Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre Company and About Face Theatre in Chicago, and elsewhere with Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, GEVA Theatre Center in Rochester, New York and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis, to name a few. Michael received his MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago. Recent directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Native Son by Richard Wright, adapted by Nambi E. Kelley, Stupid F##king Bird by Aaron Posner, Still by Jen Siverman, Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen and Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl.

About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.
 
(left to right) Sheldon Brown and Daniel Desmarais in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Chicago premiere of THIS BITTER EARTH. Photo by Anna Gelman.

Monday, April 23, 2018

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of BULL IN A CHINA SHOP Via About Face Theatre at Theater Wit May 24 - July 1, 2018


Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

About Face Theatre 
Announces Casting for Midwest Premiere of
BULL IN A CHINA SHOP
By Bryna Turner
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm

May 24 – July 1, 2018 at Theater Wit


I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's About Face Theatre for the press opening on May 31st, so check back soon for my full review. I've enjoyed Keira Fromm's directing talent on many recent productions and I'm eager to see AFT's take on this true feminist love story.

About Face Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its Midwest premiere of Bryna Turner’s comedy BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, based on the true story of revolutionary academics and lovers Mary Woolley and Jeanette Marks. 

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP will feature AFT Artistic Associate Kelli Simpkins* with Aurora Adichi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar, Mary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.

Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm*, BULL IN A CHINA SHOP will play May 24 – June 30, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets now on sale at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP explores the fascinating lives of Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeanette Marks, two brilliant women who reimagined and revolutionized women's education at the turn of the twentieth century. This fast-moving feminist comedy chronicles the growth of the women's suffrage movement, as well as Mary and Jeanette's romantic relationship. It examines the strength it takes to find your voice, be brave and find yourself less at odds with the world.

“As a queer female director, I'm always excited by plays with gay narratives,” comments director Keira Fromm. “Plays that deal specifically with gay female stories aren't terribly common, so when I came across Bryna Turner's radical play, I was immediately taken with it. Bryna is an incredibly smart and savvy playwright. She has a way of writing words and characters that live in both the past and the present simultaneously. The play honors the past and present so beautifully. Mary and Jeanette's struggle to reform women's education and advocate for the suffrage movement echoes the fights that women still wage today – whether that fight be for equal pay, fair representation or for the protection of women's health initiatives. Ultimately the play is a unique meditation on bravery.”


The cast of About Face Theatre’s Midwest premiere of BULL IN A CHINA SHOP includes (top, l to r) Kelli Simpkins, Aurora Adichi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar (bottom, l to r) Mary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.


The production team for BULL IN A CHINA SHOP includes William Boles (scenic design), Mieka Van Der Ploeg* (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Jamie Karas (properties design), Helen Lattyak (production stage manager), Andrea Enger (asst. stage manager) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday May 24 at 7:30 pm, Friday May 25 at 7:30 pm, Saturday May 26 at 7:30 pm, Sunday May 27 at 3 pm and Wednesday May 30 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run: Friday, June 1 – Saturday, June 30, 2018
Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. 

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets now on sale at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

Artist Biographies
Bryna Turner (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Northern California. Her play Bull in a China Shop recently premiered at LCT3 (directed by Lee Sunday Evans). Her work has been developed with Abingdon Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Ensemble Studio Theatre, LCT3, Mount Holyoke College, Rutgers University and Rainbow Theatre Project. Other plays include: Carlo at the Wedding, Lights Over Philo, The Stand-In and How to Separate Your Soul from Your Body (in ten easy steps!). She is an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writer’s Group and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Rutgers University. www.brynaturner.com

Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: Significant Other, Bright Half Life and A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre), hang (Remy Bumppo), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital of New York City (Route 66 Theatre), The Columnist (American Blues Theater), How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), Luce (Next Theatre), Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog), The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre), Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is a proud Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA from DePaul University and her BFA from Boston University. She is a member of SDC, as well as the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Keira is a frequent guest director at DePaul, as well as Roosevelt University.



About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.


Help Out: Wonka Ball Benefit for About Face Theatre happens Friday May 11th



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE Via About Face Theatre at Theater Wit

About Face Theatre Presents the Midwest Premiere of
TIME IS ON OUR SIDE
By R. Eric Thomas
Directed by Artistic Director Megan Carney
March 1 – April 7, 2018 at Theater Wit



Following its sell-out hit Significant Other, About Face Theatre is pleased to continue its 2017-18 season with the Midwest premiere of R. Eric Thomas’ gleeful mystery TIME IS ON OUR SIDE, directed by Artistic Director Megan Carney, playing March 1 – April 7, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 


I'll be out for the press opening March 7th, so check back soon for my full review.

(left to right) Maggie Scrantom and Rashaad Hall in a publicity image for About Face Theatre’s Midwest premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE. Photo by Anna Gelman.

TIME IS ON OUR SIDE features Esteban Andres Cruz, Rashaad Hall, Riley Mondragon and Maggie Scrantom.

Besties Annie and Curtis struggle to produce a podcast that “queers history” until the discovery of a mysterious family journal launches them into a high stakes and hilarious investigation of the early LGBTQ rights movement. Hopping from the Underground Railroad to Rosa Parks, from the AIDS Quilt to Celebrity Jeopardy, the political gets personal.

“This is a hilarious and deeply personal story,” comments Director Megan Carney. “It brings together rich characters of different generations who share a longing to connect, which makes it such a perfect play for us at About Face Theatre. The play weaves a range of stories in which younger folks uncover their roots and elders pass on what they know. All together, a powerful story emerges revealing acts of resistance and queer magic through the decades.” 

The production team for TIME IS ON OUR SIDE includes José Manuel Diaz (scenic design), Robert Kuhn (costume design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Claire Sangster (lighting design) Blake Burke (properties design) Catherine Allen (production manager) and Dana Nestrick (stage manager).

Dates: 
Previews: Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 pm, Friday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, March 4 at 3 pm and Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Thursday, March 8 – Saturday, April 7, 2018
Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Friday, March 9.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.



Artist Biographies
R. Eric Thomas (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, humorist and the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. His play Time is on Our Side was the recipient of two Barrymore Awards including Best New Play and was named a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. Forthcoming productions include Mrs. Harrison at Azuka Theatre. He writes a daily humor column for Elle.com in which he “reads” the news. In addition to Elle.com and ELLE magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, W Magazine, Man Repeller, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and more. www.rericthomas.com

Megan Carney (Director) is a director, playwright, educator and the Artistic Director of About Face Theatre. Recent Chicago directing credits include Julie Jenson’s Winter, George Brandt’s Grizzly Mama, Danielle Pinnock’s Body/Courage and Lisa Dillman’s American Wee Pie and The Walls with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She was lead interviewer and playwright for Women at War, a multi-year performance and civic dialogue project about women in the military that continues to tour. Megan was a founding director of About Face Youth Theatre and served as Associate Artistic Director for several years while she created original ensemble plays. Carney’s work has been recognized with multiple After Dark Awards, the GLSEN Pathfinder Award, an APA Presidential Citation, induction in Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant and a GLAAD Media Award nomination. Megan served as the Director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2011-2017 where she created arts based educational programs for and about diverse LGBTQIA+ people and communities. She has a MFA in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech with a focus on Directing and Public Dialogue.



About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

REVIEW: Significant Brilliance at AFT and Theater WIT's Significant Other

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Midwest Premiere!
About Face Theatre and Theater Wit Present
SIGNIFICANT OTHER
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm

November 3 – December 9, 2017 at Theater Wit



(left to right) Alex Weisman, Cassidy Slaughter-Mason, Amanda Drinkall and Tiffany Oglesby in About Face Theatre and Theater Wit’s Midwest premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Photo by Michael Brosilow.



Review:
With a brand new Jeff Award in hand, for Best Actor in Victory Garden's smash hit, Hand to God, and a Broadway role secured for spring, Alex Weisman seems like the last guy in town to convincingly play a down on his luck, angry, depressed guy who's jealous of his friends. Yet, he hits the mark in spectacular fashion in Significant Other. Alex and the entire cast more than do justice to this witty script by Joshua Harmon. We enjoyed Theater Wit's production of playwright Joshua Harmon's acclaimed comedy, Bad Jews, and caught it several times, so we are excited to see more of his work hit Theater Wit this season. 

(left to right) Amanda Drinkall, Alex Weisman and Tiffany Oglesby 
Photo by Michael Brosilow.

The energy on stage is palpable, and the rapport between all four friends and between Alex and his grandma is quite believable and a joy to see. The characters are quirky and interesting, with a bond to each other forged from long term friendships full of shared past adventures, inside jokes, traditions, and often recounted stories. This makes the growing pains of aging and changing relationships all the more wrenching. I particularly loved the parallels of a young, gay man longing for a lifelong partner and a family, striking out in the relationship department, and his grandmother's loneliness as a widow, on the other end of the romance spectrum, a rarely examined theme.


Significant Other hit hilarious high notes of friendship, adventure, and love counterweighted with universal lows of rejection, fear, loneliness, jealousy and self hatred. Even the grey areas where multiple emotions coexist and collide, are explored with humor and heartfelt bravery. Alex Weisman is a standout as Jordan Berman, as is his trio of girlfriends, and his grandmother, Ann Whitney. There's also a sweet dose of eye candy in the shape of lust interests, Benjamin Sprunger and Ninos Baba.


 (left to right) Alex Weisman and Benjamin Sprunger 

Photo by Michael Brosilow

SignificantOther-4 (left to right) Alex Weisman, Tiffany Oglesby and Ninos Baba 
Photo by Michael Brosilow

For anyone who's ever longed for love, laughed with friends, or felt conflicted/angry/lonely at others' happy events, this is a must see. We highly recommend Significant Other, now playing through December 9th at Theater WIT.


(left to right) Alex Weisman and Amanda Drinkall
Photo by Michael Brosilow


About Face Theatre and Theater Wit are pleased to present the Midwest premiere of the romantic comedy 
SIGNIFICANT OTHER 
by Joshua Harmon, 
playwright of the hit comedy Bad Jews. 

Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm, SIGNIFICANT OTHER will play November 3 – December 9, 2017 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently on sale at aboutfacetheatre.com or theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. 

Significant Other is the last chance for Chicago audiences to see Alex Weisman as a local, albeit playing a New Yorker, before he actually heads out to New York and dons Hogwarts Robes for his new gig on Broadway! Get your tickets ASAP, before the run is sold out. This is sure to be a hot ticket.   

The cast of About Face Theatre and Theater Wit’s Chicago premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER (top, l to r) AFT Artistic Associates Benjamin Sprunger and Alex Weisman with Ninos Baba (bottom, l to r) Amanda Drinkall, Tiffany Oglesby, Cassidy Slaughter-Mason and Ann Whitney.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER features AFT Artistic Associates Benjamin Sprunger and Alex Weisman with Ninos Baba, Amanda Drinkall, Tiffany Oglesby, Cassidy Slaughter-Mason and Ann Whitney.

Jordan Berman is a single gay man in New York City. Mr. Right is nowhere on his horizons. As he's nearing his 30s, his close group of girlfriends begin getting married en masse. What happens when you feel like life is leaving you behind but you're still expected to be at the forefront cheering on your friends on their perfect wedding day? Significant Other is a bittersweet comedy about friendship, single-hood and hoping you're not the one choking on car exhaust as the "Just Married" sign disappears from view. 



(left to right) Alex Weisman, Benjamin Sprunger and Amanda Drinkall 
Photo by Michael Brosilow.


In 2015, Joshua Harmon's play Bad Jews hit Theater Wit and performed to capacity crowds for eight months. A breakaway playwright of his generation, Harmon's work offered a unique and searingly funny look at a new generation of American Jews. Now, with Significant Other he turns his compassion and considerable wit to marriage.

"This feels like the perfect moment to be bringing Significant Other to the stage," comments Director Keira Fromm. "On the surface, Significant Other is a very funny play about single-hood and friendship. On a deeper level, our protagonist, Jordan, is enduring an existential crisis. On the brink of turning 30 and recognizing that being gay today no longer means you're immune to expectations of marriage, Jordan is failing at the task of finding his soulmate. He begins to feel that life is passing him by and finding his way in the world starts to feel like a gargantuan undertaking. In our increasingly alienating world, I find that quest intensely moving and relatable.” 

"I am very excited to join About Face Theatre in presenting the Midwest premiere of Joshua Harmon’s newest work,” comments Theater Wit Artistic Director Jeremy Wechsler. “I think Josh is a remarkably original writer with a gift for showing us the utterly real and utterly unexpected. His plays are always about deeply human characters with a writerly perspective we've not seen previously dramatized, and Significant Other is no exception. Bad Jews was a legitimate theatrical event of 2015 – and Significant Other promises, in its writing and casting, to be another for 2017."


(left to right) Cassidy Slaughter-Mason, Benjamin Sprunger, Alex Weisman, Ninos Baba and Tiffany Oglesby

Photo by Michael Brosilow

The production team for SIGNIFICANT OTHER includes Jeff Kmiec (scenic design), Noël Huntzinger (costume design), John Kelly (lighting design), Christopher Kriz (sound design), Pauline Oleksy (props design), Catherine Allen (production manager) and Helen Lattyak (stage manager).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Friday, November 3 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, November 4 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, November 5 at 7 pm and Tuesday, November 7 at 7 pm.
Press opening: Wednesday, November at 8 at 7 pm
Regular run: Friday, November 10 – Saturday, December 9, 2017
Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 9 or Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving); there are added performances on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, Saturday, November 25 at 3 pm and Sunday, November 26 at 7 pm and Saturday, December 9 at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently on sale at aboutfacetheatre.com or theaterwit.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

Artist Biographies
Joshua Harmon’s (Playwright) play Bad Jews received its world premiere at Roundabout Underground and was the first production to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Best Play). It became the third most-produced play in the U.S. during the 2014-15 season and transferred to London’s West End after sell-out runs at Theatre Royal Bath and the St. James Theatre. His newest play, Significant Other, opened at Roundabout this summer. His work has been produced and developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, Ars Nova, and Actor's Express, where he was the 2010-2011 National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from MacDowell, Atlantic Center for the Arts, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the Eudora Welty Foundation. Joshua is a recent graduate of Juilliard and at work on commissions for Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center Theater.

Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: Bright Half Life (About Face Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital of New York City (Route 66 Theatre Company) The Columnist (American Blues Theater), How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre), Luce (Next Theatre), Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog), The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre), Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is a proud Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA from DePaul University and her BFA from Boston University. She is a member of SDC, as well as the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Keira is a frequent guest director at DePaul, as well as Roosevelt University. 

SIGNIFICANT OTHER was developed during a residency the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference in 2013. Preston Whiteway, Executive Director; Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director.

About The Theatres 
About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.

Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago. 

“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its seventh season at its home at 1229 N. Belmont, in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The company’s most recent hits include 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George, and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses. 

In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater. Theater Wit also brings together Chicago’s best storefront companies at its Lakeview home, including 2017-18 resident companies About Face, Kokandy Productions and Shattered Globe. 


(left to right) Amanda Drinkall, Alex Weisman, Tiffany Oglesby and Cassidy Slaughter-Mason in About Face Theatre and Theater Wit’s Midwest premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Photo by Michael Brosilow.


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