About Face TheaterCreating Inclusivity in the Community and Beyond.

The power of theatre to unify as well as change hearts and mind is very compelling, says Andrew Volkoff, creative director at About Face Theater (AFT) based in Chicago.  Since 1995, the company’s put forth over 60 plays, and built a national reputation for nurturing new LGBTQ work,  giving community members a literal stage to advance their ideals and identities.

Volkoff said AFT’s goal is to use theatre to encourage the national dialogue about gender and sexual individuality.

“I feel like this has always been at the heart of the company’s creation,” he said, “seeing a need for more visible and well-rounded representation of our community on stage.”

Big recent  AFT hits include The Pride, directed by Bonnie Metzgar, a smart and intense piece exploring how far the LGBTQ community has come by contrasting the closet of the 50’s with the unfettered abandon of the present day.  The company’s also had great success with two solo shows recently including Brahman/i, a play about an Indian intersex stand-up comedian exploring visibility, “otherness”, love, and comedy, and Methtacular!, featuring  a  man’s personal journey through meth addiction, told with stories, songs and (of all things) a game show.

“I think people really gravitate toward the virtuosity and vulnerability of one person shows,” says Volkoff.  “Plus the one-on-one relationship between the actor and audience makes the experience intimate and special.”

The company also boasts  their About Face Youth Theatre, a group of fearless LGBTQ youth who work to create unique and powerful plays that they write and perform themselves.

“What we do as an organization – allowing queer youth to find their voices in a safe space through theatre and the support of their peers – is a real gift,” says Volkoff.  “We use art to have a positive impact on these young people’s lives and to share with them the possibility theatre has to promote social change.”

If you’re in town, don’t miss A Kid Like Jake, running through March 15,  about two parents whose efforts to get their son into the high powered world of a New York City  kindergarten become complicated when he starts exhibiting gender variant behavior. Later in the Spring, catch Abraham Lincoln Was a F*gg*t, the story of young Cal embarking on a journey to prove to his family that Abraham Lincoln was gay.

For more info see http://aboutfacetheatre.com/