Pony, The Homosexuals and Float Will Be Staged by Chicago's About Face Theatre

News   Pony, The Homosexuals and Float Will Be Staged by Chicago's About Face Theatre
About Face Theatre, the Chicago company devoted to new work exploring gender and sexual identity, will present the world premiere of Sally Oswald's Pony, among a number of other emerging plays, in its 2010-11 season.

Artistic director Bonnie Metzgar and executive director Jason Held announced details of the 15th season on July 7.

In Pony, according to About Face notes, playwright Oswald offers "a vast horizon of gender identities in order to explore and explode one of the great tragic stage dramas of the 20th century, Büchner's Woyzeck. A transgendered man moves to a poor remote town at the edge of a forest to start a new life. But when he falls for a woman obsessed with the town's recent murder, he is suddenly all too close to the brutal violence that sets her imagination on fire." A response to the classic unfinished Woyzeck, Pony "is a stark fable where class, gender, and violence intersect at the margins of society."

Directed by Metzgar, Pony will be featured as part of The Woyzeck Project, a city-wide festival hosted by About Face Theatre, The Hypocrites and Collaboraction in which artists around the city will produce hybrid works inspired by the classic anti-war play. Pony will play the Chopin Theater in spring 2011.

About Face's second XYZ Festival, in the fall, will feature Float, a new play written by About Face Theatre (AFT) artistic associate Patricia Kane and directed by 500 Clown founder Leslie Danzig with dramaturgy by Jessica Thebus. It focuses on "the bonds between six women in a small Midwestern town as they grapple with religion, identity, sexuality, each other — and the building of the holiday parade float." The all-female cast includes Wendy Robie, Adrianne Cury, Peggy Roeder, Rengin Altay and AFT artistic associate Amy Matheny.

Float will run Nov. 11-Dec. 12 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont. The fall XYZ Festival will also include a workshop production of Tiny Rooms by Carson Kreitzer. The play concerns two Chicago socialite women at the turn of the 20th century. They are obsessed with "building miniature spaces for different reasons: one wants to bring beauty to the rest of the world and the other is reconstructing violent crime scenes for forensic research."

From the hundreds of scripts received for the XYZ Readings Series, four new plays by acclaimed emerging playwrights will round out the festival.

The October readings are:

  • The Truth Will Out by Chicago native Jordan Seavey. It explores "the media's responsibility and role in the 'mainstreaming' of homosexuality via the story of a closeted gay cable news journalist."
  • Bird in Hand by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, who was recently the first Cuban-American playwright to be produced in Havana. It deals with "the connections between immigrant identity and sexual identity, particularly how characters are contested and hybrids of various identities."
  • The Arvesto Parasite by David Myers. It "challenges societal expectations of gender by using a hermaphrodite prostitute as the main character, through a mix of comedy, heartbreak, and violence."
  • A Twist of Water, co-written and co-created by Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss, is this year's People's Choice script, selected by an open reading and voting process. The play "tells the story of a gay man and his daughter during the year following the death of his longtime partner…[challenging] the idea of what makes a family, paralleling the narrative with a history of Chicago." About Face Theatre's 15th season will conclude in June-July 2011 with The Homosexuals by Chicago playwright Phillip Dawkins, starring Patrick Andrews, at Victory Gardens Studio. The play "presents the interwoven lives, friendships, and relationships among six homosexual men over six years," according to About Face. "Set today in a Midwestern city, Dawkins' comedic and heartbreaking work examines the fears, doubts, and hope among the gay community in a 21st century perspective on the queer classic, The Boys in the Band."

    For ticket information, visit www.AboutFaceTheatre.com.

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