New Take on Stupid Kids Adds Technology and "Shadow" Cast, Starting in Chicago Feb. 4

News   New Take on Stupid Kids Adds Technology and "Shadow" Cast, Starting in Chicago Feb. 4 The late John C. Russell's Stupid Kids gets reinvented in a "dynamic, multimedia adaptation" co-directed by Bonnie Metzgar for About Face Theatre starting Feb. 4 in Chicago.

Directed by About Face artistic director Metzgar and About Face artistic associate Megan Carney, the production plays the Center on Halsted at the Hoover Leppen-Theatre, 3656 N. Halsted Street, in Chicago, to March 8. Press opening is Feb. 12 & 13.

"Though set in the late '80s, our production incorporates very contemporary, interactive elements that kids are using today to express who they are — blogging, social networks, texting, personal video," stated Metzgar. "In fact, we will encourage audience members to leave cell phones on during the show and become a part of the action. We wanted to create a live collage of images and impressions from both eras to build a mash-up of these two generations."

According to About Face, "Set in a suburban high school during the late '80s, Stupid Kids is a classic tale of young love in the churning world of adolescence."

This production features adult actors playing high school students trapped in the 1980s, accompanied by a "shadow" cast of current high school students. "Using a mix of music, video, slam poetry and dance, the production explores questions of sexuality and gender in high school of the '80s and today."

The cast features Patrick Andrews, Erin Neal, Whitney White, Tony Clarno, Zavier Hairston, Scott Jaburek, Rebecca "Pookie" Lorek and Joey M. *

Russell, an award-winning playwright and friend of Metzgar, died of AIDS in 1994. Metzgar and Russell met at Brown University while Russell was a graduate student studying with Paula Vogel. Russell went on to become a member of the New Works project at BACA DOWNTOWN in Brooklyn, NY, where Metzgar was artistic director. Metzgar planned to produce a play of Russell's, but the collaboration never came to fruition before his death in 1994. The About Face production of Stupid Kids is "Metzgar's way of making good on her promise," according to About Face notes. "Before beginning the project, Metzgar reached out to Russell's parents to get their blessing for this new examination of Stupid Kids."

This production represents new artistic director Metzgar's directorial debut at About Face Theatre, the troupe devoted to work exploring gender and sexual identity.

Co-director Carney stated, "This is an exciting opportunity to investigate the ways that technology shapes how today's young people form their identities and relationships. But, at the same time we're discovering how much being a teenager, especially a teenager in love, stays the same."

For tickets and more information visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com or call Ovationtix at (866) 811-4111.

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To celebrate stupid stories about high school, About Face has launched the Stupid Kids Stuff Blog (http://stupidkidstuff.blogspot.com/), "providing an opportunity for visitors to share their personal stories about being a 'stupid kid' and to participate in the Stupid Kids Multimedia Art Contest." Winning submissions will be featured in performances of the show and artists will receive complimentary tickets.

About Face was one of the theatre's that developed I Am My Own Wife on its way to winning the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.