Chicago's About Face Postpones Show, Launches Emergency Fundraising Campaign

News   Chicago's About Face Postpones Show, Launches Emergency Fundraising Campaign
 
About Face Theatre, the Chicago company devoted to sexual identity and gender issues, will postpone its spring 2009 world-premiere production of What Once We Felt, and its leaders announced an emergency money-raising campaign to keep the theatre open.

What Once We Felt by Ann-Marie Healy will be bumped to October-November 2009. But due to the economic downturn, the theatre — like other regional not-for-profit troupes — is in trouble.

Artistic director Bonnie Metzgar and managing director Rick Dildine announced on Feb. 25 that the About Face Theatre board of directors has launched a national "Face the Future" campaign to save the organization by raising $300,000.

According to a statement, "The board and senior leadership are asking for immediate financial contributions in order to keep its doors open, staff paid, and youth theatre program intact."

About Face staged an early developmental production of the later Tony Award-winning, Pulitzer Prize-honored I Am My Own Wife.

"The recent economic downturn is having a devastating effect on the arts community nationwide and About Face is under intense financial strain," Metzgar said. "We have taken bold action by cutting budget and programming, but it is not enough. About Face must survive in order to continue our important mission to present world-class theatre about sexuality and gender to Chicago audiences and to support About Face Youth Theatre so that queer youth in our community can thrive as leaders and artists." "The Board of About Face remains confident that supporters around the country will join us in ensuring the future of this important cultural institution," says About Face Theatre Board President William Michel. Donations can be made at www.aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling (773) 784- 8565, or by mailing a check to the theatre at 1222 W. Wilson, 2nd Floor West, Chicago, IL 60640.

"Artistic contributions are encouraged as well, as About Face organizes a web-based video forum for creative response to our current economy and to the vitality of this organization in today's society."

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Currently, About Face Theatre is running its critically-acclaimed production of Stupid Kids. Directed by Metzgar in collaboration with Megan Carney, the production features adult actors as well as current members and alums of About Face Youth Theatre.

Stupid Kids runs through March 8 in the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted.

Tickets are available at www.aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (866) 811-4111.

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About Face Theatre is one of Chicago's most acclaimed theatre companies, and 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 Doug Wright's Pulitzer and Tony-winning I Am My Own Wife; 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 and Clay that went on to be performed at Lincoln Center and Center Theater Group; 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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