About Face Theatre Announces Casting For Midwest Premiere of “BULL IN A CHINA SHOP”

About Face Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its Midwest premiere of Bryna Turner’s comedy BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, based on the true story of revolutionary academics and lovers Mary Woolley and Jeanette Marks. 

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP will feature AFT Artistic Associate Kelli Simpkins* with Aurora Adichi-WinterAdithi ChandrashekarMary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.

Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm*BULL IN A CHINA SHOP will play May 24 – June 30, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale March 19 at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.

The cast of About Face Theatre’s Midwest premiere of BULL IN A CHINA SHOP includes (top, l to r) Kelli Simpkins, Aurora Adichi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar (bottom, l to r) Mary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP explores the fascinating lives of Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeanette Marks, two brilliant women who reimagined and revolutionized women’s education at the turn of the twentieth century. This fast-moving feminist comedy chronicles the growth of the women’s suffrage movement, as well as Mary and Jeanette’s romantic relationship. It examines the strength it takes to find your voice, be brave and find yourself less at odds with the world.

“As a queer female director, I’m always excited by plays with gay narratives,” comments director Keira Fromm. “Plays that deal specifically with gay female stories aren’t terribly common, so when I came across Bryna Turner’s radical play, I was immediately taken with it. Bryna is an incredibly smart and savvy playwright. She has a way of writing words and characters that live in both the past and the present simultaneously. The play honors the past and present so beautifully. Mary and Jeanette’s struggle to reform women’s education and advocate for the suffrage movement echoes the fights that women still wage today – whether that fight be for equal pay, fair representation or for the protection of women’s health initiatives. Ultimately the play is a unique meditation on bravery.”

The production team for BULL IN A CHINA SHOP includes William Boles (scenic design), Mieka Van Der Ploeg* (costume design), Claire Chrzan (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Jamie Karas (properties design), Helen Lattyak (production stage manager), Andrea Enger (asst. stage manager) and Catherine Allen (production manager).

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate

Artist Biographies

Bryna Turner (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Northern California. Her play Bull in a China Shop recently premiered at LCT3 (directed by Lee Sunday Evans). Her work has been developed with Abingdon Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Ensemble Studio Theatre, LCT3, Mount Holyoke College, Rutgers University and Rainbow Theatre Project. Other plays include: Carlo at the WeddingLights Over PhiloThe Stand-In and How to Separate Your Soul from Your Body (in ten easy steps!). She is an alum of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writer’s Group and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Rutgers University. www.brynaturner.com

Keira Fromm (Director) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: Significant OtherBright Half Life and A Kid Like Jake (About Face Theatre), hang (Remy Bumppo), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital of New York City (Route 66 Theatre), The Columnist (American Blues Theater), How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), Luce (Next Theatre), Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog), The How and the Why (TimeLine Theatre), Broadsword (Gift Theatre) and Fallow (Steep Theatre). Keira is a proud Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA from DePaul University and her BFA from Boston University. She is a member of SDC, as well as the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Keira is a frequent guest director at DePaul, as well as Roosevelt University.

About Face Theatre creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre and educational programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, and challenges and entertains audiences in Chicago and beyond.