About Face Youth Theatre Presents SCARY STORIES TO SAVE YOUR LIFE July 14-22

The About Face Theatre Youth Theatre Ensemble is pleased to present the world premiere of SCARY STORIES TO SAVE YOUR LIFE, horror-inspired tales informed by the social and political anxieties facing today’s LGBTQ+ youth, devised and performed by members of the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble and directed by Associate Director of About Face Youth Theatre Donny Acosta and special guests. SCARY STORIES will play July 14 – 22, 2018 at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Tickets for ($20 or pay-what-you-can) go on sale Monday, June 18, 2018 at aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (773) 784-8565. 

Need an antidote for your increased anxiety since the 2016 Presidential election? The award-winning About Face Youth Theatre presents an original horror play that will shock you right back into your senses. In a world of disappearing protections and increased violence against LGBTQ+ youth across the country, AFYT is serving up a collection of real life stories of survival, resistance and victory against the dark side.

Associate Director of About Face Youth Theatre and director Donny Acosta comments, “The ensemble this year was ready to tackle this heavy topic of anxiety through a horror lens. This play, or shall I say collection of scary stories, will bring the fear this summer. Walking home late at night with friends, experiencing cyberbullying, being misgendered at the hospital, and other scenarios crack open some really deep fears for LGBTQ youth and ultimately, fear is something we all have in common.”

Via Haman in a publicity image for About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble’s world premiere of SCARY STORIES TO SAVE YOUR LIFE. Photo by Alexis O’Connor.

Adds About Face Artistic Director Megan Carney, “The youth ensemble is passionate about tackling tough subjects head on. Many young people are feeling especially vulnerable in this political climate and that is showing up in an increase of anxiety. With all of the ways to handle that – mindfulness, medication, you name it – the creative process can also be an antidote. This ensemble is working on transforming anxiety by facing it directly and taking action through choreography, storytelling, writing, performance, accessing resources. I think they’ve made a smart, at times wildly funny, horror show for everyone who ever feels scared and wants to be brave”

The production team for SCARY STORIES TO SAVE YOUR LIFE includes: Via Haman (costume/make-up design), Claire Sangster (lighting design), Spencer Meeks (sound design) and Jenna Meyers (stage manager).

About the Director

Donny Acosta a queer performance artist from Orange County, California. He started working with About Face as a youth ensemble member and an outreach actor. He has devised and performed his work all over the city including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Stage 773, Chicago Actors’ Call To Action (CACTA) and Salonathon. He is a proud ensemble member of the Drinking and Writing Theatre and artistic associate of the Wild Atlas Theatre Company.

The About Face Youth Theatre (AFYT) was created in 1999 as a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and allied young people to become activists and theatre-makers. Youth participants engage in an annual process of sharing stories, conducting interviews, writing a script and developing performances to create a full-length production that is produced in About Face Theatre’s mainstage season. AFYT seeks to empower and enrich the lives of LGBTQIA young people through art and social justice. LGBTQIA youth and their allies ages 14-23 explore and expand the boxes we use to define our intricate intersections of race, nationality, gender and sexuality. AFYT is free and participants are provided with rigorous artistic training, critical dialogue about social justice frameworks, leadership training access and professional mentorship from LGBTQ and artists and activists and intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue on the most pressing issues facing queer youth and their allies.

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.