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About Face Theatre announces plans for 20th anniversary season

Written by
Kris Vire

About Face Theatre, Chicago's most prominent LGBT-focused theater company, today announced plans for four full productions and a good deal of supplemental programming for its upcoming season—the theater's 20th.

The mainstage season begins just after the new year with Le Switch (January 15–February 21), a timely world premiere by Chicago playwright Philip Dawkins about a commitment-shy queer man unsure how to respond to the arrival of full marriage equality in the U.S. It's to be staged by Stephen Brackett, a New York–based director whose credits include Buyer & Cellar, seen here last year on tour.

Next is the Chicago premiere of A. Rey Pamatmat's after all the terrible things i do (March 11–April 10), a drama about a gay college grad confronting past trauma that premiered at Milwaukee Rep in 2014. Pamatmat's Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them was seen here earlier this year in a fine First Floor Theater production. About Face artistic director Andrew Volkoff will helm terrible things.

Former About Face artistic director Bonnie Metzgar will return to direct The Secretaries (May 6–June 12), by the New York–based theater collective The Five Lesbian Brothers (a group that includes recent Tony winner Lisa Kron). The play is described as a campy comedy about a lumber mill where the ladies of the secretarial pool are also serial killers. Finally, the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble will present its latest devised work July 21–31. The first three productions will all be staged at Theater Wit, with the AFYT show at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Also on tap is the company's Out Front reading series, which in honor of the anniversary will actually look back with readings of past About Face world premieres including Eric Rosen's Dream Boy, Patricia Kane's Pulp and Dawkins's The Homosexuals. In the works for About Face's First DrAAft series, developmental readings of works-in-progress by the company's artistic associates, is The Hunted by Paul Oakley Stovall. About Face also said that Keira Fromm and Alex Weisman have joined the ranks of its artistic associates.

Next up starting this month is the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble's 15 Breaths, a devised examination of generational disconnects within the queer community. It plays the Greenhouse Theater Center July 23–26 before touring the following two weekends to Humboldt Park and Chase Park.

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