Showing posts with label Re/Generation Studio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Re/Generation Studio. Show all posts

Thursday, January 26, 2023

FREE With RSVP: Queer Theatre Workshops Via About Face Theatre every Saturday from January 28 – March 18, 2023, at The Den Theatre

  About Face Theatre to present

a public intergenerational workshop series 

Re/Generation Studio

charting the future of Queer Theatre

About Face Theatre continues its 28th season with Re/Generation Studio, a series of innovative, intergenerational workshops focused on new works and the future of queer theatre. The goal of the workshops is to bring together people of diverse ages and backgrounds to reconnect and imagine new ways of producing theatre. Each workshop will be grounded by staged readings of sections of new plays that invite conversation, collaboration, and creation in a shared space. Facilitators will offer key questions and considerations raised by the playwrights and directors and encourage participants to work together to brainstorm and develop creative solutions.

All workshops are free and open to the public. Workshops will be presented every Saturday from January 28 – March 18, 2023, at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, in Wicker Park (subject to change). More information can be found at

The artistic producer of Re/Generation Studio is theatre artist AJ Schwartz. Schwartz is a theatre director and producer who has previously worked with About Face on Time Is On Our Side and This Bitter Earth, as well as curating AFT’s OUT Front play reading series. They have also worked with Haven Chicago, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theatre, The New Coordinates, SideShow Theatre, and The Syndicate. The creative team for the series additionally includes casting director Catherine Miller and stage manager Rebecca Walker. Featured artists include Dionne Addai, Kirsten Baity, Mikael Burke, Roger Q. Mason, Derek Lee McPhatter, Lucky Stiff, and Steven Strafford.

“One of the major issues that has come up for theatre artists over the last few years is having regular shared space where we can collaborate,” said About Face Theatre Artistic Director Megan Carney. “We know we are stronger together. So Re/Generation Studio addresses that need. It is an invitation to gather across generations and explore the stories we want to tell going forward. This is just one of the ways About Face Theatre is dedicated to the future of the field. “

Re/Generation Studio

January 28 – March 18, 2023

Saturdays 2:00-5:00pm

All workshops are free and open to the public. 

Reservations are recommended and can be made at

This winter, About Face Theatre opens its doors for people across generations to gather in a series of public workshops exploring new plays and new models of play production. This will be a collective dreaming space for connecting with each other, learning about new plays, world-building, and exploring new production models. Each session will feature a new play and invite conversation, collaboration, and creation around key questions it raises. We’ll also have some food and time to catch up with each other.


Individual events:

Re/Generation Studio: Love and Nappiness

Saturday, January 28, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at About Face Theatre rehearsal studio, 5252 N Broadway Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Featuring readings from Love and Nappiness by Kirsten Baity, directed by Dionne Addai.

In Love and Nappiness, when Meraki’s girlfriend brings her to a queer owned hair salon as a bonding exercise, the experience quickly devolves into an exercise in dealing with micro-aggressions and the intricacies of interracial dating.


Re/Generation Studio: Lavender Men

Saturday, February 18, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Featuring readings from Lavender Men by Roger Q Mason, directed by Lucky Stiff.

Lavender Men is a genre-pushing play that courageously re-imagines one of America’s most beloved historical icons, President Abraham Lincoln, through a queer person of color’s storytelling lens. Taffeta, a self-proclaimed "fabulous queer creation of color," invades Honest Abe’s private world to confront issues of visibility, race, and LGBTQ+ inclusion that still challenge us today. Lavender Men is an embrace to every queer, fat person of color who has been ignored, neglected, or erased for being themselves unapologetically in this world. They are beautiful; they are essential; they are perfect - just the way they are.


Re/Generation Studio: The Model Congressman

Saturday, February 25, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Featuring readings from The Model Congressman by Steven Strafford, directed by AJ Schwartz.

In The Model Congressman, it’s 1994, and Kevin’s just a kid hoping to win a big scholarship and get enough money to go to the school of his dreams. It’s 1994, and Kevin’s just a closeted kid who secretly goes on adults-only chat rooms looking for men. It’s 1994, and Kevin’s just an ambitious, closeted kid who has to decide how far he’s willing to go to impress the man who can change or ruin his life. It’s time to go to the 1994 Model Congress!


Re/Generation Studio: underdrown

Saturday, March 4, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Featuring readings from underdrown by Derek Lee McPhatter, directed by Mikael Burke.

As climate catastrophe reshapes Chicago, a queer black intellectual confronts a lover, a computer, and a mysterious visitor on his quest for truth in virtual worlds. The lines between the digital world and “real life” blur as our blackademic grows obsessed with researching a problematic video game.


Re/Generation Studio: TBA

Saturday, March 11, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at  The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Featuring readings from a new play; title and director to be announced soon.


Re/Generation Studio: TBA

Saturday, March 18, 2023, 2:00-5:00pm

at The Den Theatre, 1331 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Featuring readings from a new play; title and director to be announced soon.



DIONNE ADDAI (she/they), Director (Love and Nappiness)

Dionne Addaiis a director, actor, writer, and teaching artist local to Chicago. Their artistic practice centers on educating in order to encourage political action and mutual aid. As a director, she’s worked on Meeting Our Desires, Botticelli, and Sexuality Out Loud. Recent acting credits include Nina Simone: Four Women (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), The Secret Yes (Filament Theatre), Eclipsed (Pegasus/Theater on the Lake), and We are Pussy Riot (Red Tape Theatre). She is represented by Actor’s Talent Group.

KIRSTEN BAITY (they/them), Playwright (Love and Nappiness)

Kirsten Baity is a Chicago-based playwright, deviser, and intimacy director. Their work mainly explores race and gender politics within queer spaces. Their plays include Forest Friends & the First Day of Spring (Theatre Between Addresses), This Is Normal (Quaranstream Theatre Festival), Rage Isn’t Free: A participatory play (Youth Empowerment and Performance Project), and Tonin Town, Minstrelsy 2.0 (Columbia College Chicago). They have devised plays with  Goodman Theatre's Playbuild and Intergen Ensembles, About Face Youth Theatre, For Youth Inquiry, and Free Street Theater. Kirsten is a proud member of the Intimacy Coordinators of Color cohort and an About Face Theatre Green Room Collective alum. For more info, check out

MIKAEL BURKE (he/him), Director (underdrown)

Mikael Burke is a Chicago-based director and educator and served as Associate Artistic Director with About Face from 2020 through 2022. A Princess Grace Award-winner in Theatre and Jeff Award-nominated director, Mikael’s worked with Goodman Theatre, About Face Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Raven Theatre, Jackalope Theatre Company, First Floor Theater, American Theatre Company, Chicago Dramatists, The Story Theatre, and Windy City Playhouse in Chicago, and regionally with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Phoenix Theatre Indianapolis. Recent credits include the American premiere of Routes by Rachel De-Lahay, The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler, Shakespeare’s Richard III, The Magnolia Ballet by Terry Guest (2022 Jeff Award Winner - Production, Short Run); Fireflies by Donja R. Love (Black Theatre Alliance Award - Best Direction of an Ensemble). |

ROGER Q. MASON (they/them), Playwright (Lavender Men)

Roger Q. Mason was dubbed by Theatre Mania as "a major voice in the theatrical vanguard."  Their playwriting has been seen on Broadway (Circle in the Square Reading Series); Off and Off-Off-Broadway; and regionally.  Mason's critically-acclaimed world premiere of Lavender Men was recently lauded by the LA Times as "a daring theatrical talent on display...evoking the mingled visions of Suzan-Lori Parks, Jeremy O. Harris and Michael R. Jackson."   As a filmmaker, Mason has been recognized by the British Film Institute, Lonely Wolf International Film Festival, SCAD Film Festival, AT&T Film Award, and Atlanta International Film Festival. Their films have screened in the US, UK, Poland, Brazil, and Asia.  Mason holds degrees from Princeton University, Middlebury College, and Northwestern University. They are a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Page 73’s Interstate 73 Writers Group, and Primary Stages Writing Cohort; the co-host of Sister Roger’s Gayborhood podcast; the host of This Way Out Radio's Queerly Yours: Portraits in Courage; and lead mentor of the Marsha P. Johnson Starship Fellowship, Shay Foundation Fellowship, and New Visions Fellowship.

DEREK LEE McPHATTER (he/him), Playwright (underdrown)

Derek Lee McPhatter is committed to new work at intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and technology. A 2021 Creative Capital Awardee, Derek is currently developing the NightQueen Performance Suite as a triptych of evening-length works spanning theater, music, opera, spoken word and new media.  The project has been supported by a 2022 Chicago Performance Commission from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, as well as additional residency and developmental support from Chicago Dramatists, Prop Thtr, Perceptions Theatre and Primary Stages. Derek served as librettist, book-writer and/or lyricist for five new music-theatre works with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as various theater projects with JACK, Hi-ARTS, and The Drama League, among others. His work has been supported by grants and prizes from the Jerome Foundation, the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, the Puffin Foundation, the Propeller Fund, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the United States Embassy in the United Kingdom, to name a few. He is a native of Pickerington Ohio and currently splits his time between Chicago, NYC and Los Angeles.

AJ SCHWARTZ (they/them), Artistic Producer / Director (The Model Congressman)

AJ Schwartz is a theatre director and producer in Chicago, making work focused on queerness, relationships, and the fall of the American Empire. You may have seen their production of How You Kiss Me Is Not How I Like To Be Kissed by Dan Giles at Haven Chicago. They have also worked with storefront companies in Chicago including About Face Theatre, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theater, The New Coordinates, Sideshow Theatre Company, and The Syndicate. In their free time they enjoy photography and hosting dinner parties.

LUCKY STIFF (they/them), Director (Lavender Men)

Lucky Stiff is a trans and nonbinary director, writer, and performer working in Chicago and New York. They build original experiences that combine nightclub culture and performance art which have been featured at the Museum of Con­temporary Art Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Blue Man Group Chicago, Boy Friday Dance Company, and Bushwig Festival of Drag, among many others. They hold an MFA in Directing for Theater from Northwestern University and have lectured in performance and directing at UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, Northwestern University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

STEVEN STRAFFORD (he/him), Playwright (The Model Congressman)

Steven Strafford is grateful to be a part of this festival and to return to working with About Face Theatre where he performed his award-winning solo play, Methtacular! He has performed that show across the country for a long time now, and he loves it every single time. Methtacular! was recorded at Steppenwolf Theatre’s 1700 Space in 2019. His play Small Jokes About Monsters won the New American Voices Contest in 2016, was a semifinalist for The O’Neill, and won the 2022 Ready-to-Publish Award and will be published and licensed by Broadway Licensing later this year. Small Jokes About Monsters was produced at Landing Theatre in Houston (Nominated, Outstanding New Play), 16th Street Theater in Chicago, and at Lamb Theatre in Sioux City. His play The Match Game won the 2022 Jackie Demaline Award at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. His play Greater Illinois was semifinalist at The O’Neill in 2021. The play was an official selection of Tantum East’s New Play Development, MATC, Great Plains Theatre Conference, and received a workshop with The Road Theatre in Los Angeles in 2022. His essays have been published on various sites and in the book The Anatomy of Silence. He has an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University.  As an actor, he's been across the globe on fancy and less fancy stages. He has been on TV, in commercials and movies, and one time played Hepatitis A for an industrial, which is a performance he still receives emails, go figure.

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.

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