Since its founding in 1995, About Face has been dedicated to developing new work in Chicago and supporting LGBTQ+ artists at different stages in their process and careers. To date, About Face has presented 48 world-premiere plays, which have won critical acclaim and major recognitions including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award for Best Play, and 16 Joseph Jefferson Awards.
The cast of About Face Youth Theatre’s production of 20/20. Photo by Michael Brosilow
About Face educational programs combine learning techniques of theatre as a means of activism with a brave space for LGBTQ+ community building. About Face Youth Theatre, now in its 22nd year, provides free theatre training, leadership development, and opportunities for developing and performing in new plays for public audiences.
About Face recently took its commitment to education and the community even further when it announced its new Green Room Collective, which is a paid mentorship program for early-career LGBTQ+ arts leaders. And in June 2021, AFT awarded grants to two local LGBTQ+ playwrights to support their creative work. The playwrights each received $2,000 grant awards for use in their art-making processes.
Scott Bradley in Packing. Photo by Nathanael Filbert
All AFT programs are designed to empower people of all generations within the LGBTQ+ community and its Equity mainstage productions speak to the political urgency of this moment by addressing challenging social problems. The work onstage as well as auxiliary programs reveal community strategies for persistence and joy, acknowledge specific ways that social inequalities impact LGBTQ+ people, and strengthen networks of support.
The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation (PMAFF) has been a proud supporter of About Face Theatre (AFT) since 2015. AFT currently receives general operating support from PMAFF. Past support has included production-specific funding so AFT could share LGBTQ+ stories such as Audrey Cefaly’s THE GULF and R. Eric Thomas’ TIME IS ON OUR SIDE.
Kelli Simpkins and Deanna Myers in The Gulf. Photo by Michael Brosilow
For more information, visit aboutfacetheatre.com