Bonnie Metzgar Is About Face's New Artistic Director

News   Bonnie Metzgar Is About Face's New Artistic Director Award-winning producer, director and playwright Bonnie Metzgar has been named artistic director of About Face Theatre, the respected Chicago theatre that produces work that explores gender and sexual identity.

Metzgar replaces company co-founder, Eric Rosen, who is now artistic director of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in Missouri. Rosen will have an ongoing artistic relationship with About Face.

"Bonnie Metzgar is a creative visionary who has been at the forefront of creating innovative, new theatrical works on a national scale and whose work boldly and uniquely tackles the complexity of the human condition," stated Bill Michel, president of the About Face board of directors. "She is a multifaceted theatre professional with incredible vision and energy and we look forward to her leadership. We believe her years of experience will be instrumental in the continuing development and growth of About Face Theatre."

Metzgar leaves her post as a professor and director of the graduate playwriting program at Brown University where she was also artistic director of Brown's New Plays Festival for the past three years with Paula Vogel. From 2004 to 2007, Metzgar served as associate artistic director of Curious Theatre Company in Denver. Metzgar also served as associate producer of the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival from 1995 to 2003 and was founder of the internationally renowned venue Joe's Pub. Metzgar has received multiple awards including The Denver Post's 2006 Colorado Theatre Person of the Year and the 2006 Paul Green Foundation Award.

Metzgar is perhaps best known for being co-creator and producer of the acclaimed 365 Festival based on the year-long play cycle 365 Days/365 Plays, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning-playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. The 365 Festival featured the work of hundreds of theatres throughout the U.S. and abroad, including 52 companies in Chicago last year.

"In its extraordinary 13-year history, About Face has gained a national reputation for creating bold new theatrical works that explore the borders of sexuality and gender," Metzgar said in a statement. "I am honored to join the vibrant Chicago arts community and look forward to partnering with the Center on Halsted as a leader in the LGBT community." In 2008 About Face will continue its residency at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at the Center on Halsted located at the corner of Halsted Street and Waveland Avenue on the city's northside. This partnership "provides a space and programming opportunities which will facilitate increased community outreach and new partnerships within the neighborhood and beyond."

About Face has 30 world premieres to its credit and is nationally recognized as a resource for the creation and development of new plays. About Face's 2006 hit production of Clay, co-produced with Lookingglass Theatre, just completed a successful run at the Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles and will open at Lincoln Center in New York this fall. Most notably, About Face developed and produced the internationally acclaimed hit I Am My Own Wife, which was the most produced play in the country in 2006.

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About Face Theatre is "a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity." Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 30 new plays by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards. Landmark world premieres include Moisés Kaufman's production of Tennessee Williams' One Arm (a co-production with Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Tectonic Theatre Project); Mary Zimmerman's M. Proust, and, with Lookingglass Theatre, the famed Eleven Rooms of Proust; Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty's Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein (a co-production with the Museum of Contemporary Art, original cast album recorded by Jay Records); the multi-award winning musical Winesburg, Ohio by Eric Rosen, Andre Pluess, Ben Sussman and Jessica Thebus; and the cult hit Pulp, by Patricia Kane.

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