About Face Theatre Kicks-Off OUT FRONT SERIES Free Public Readings & Workshops
About Face Theatre Company is pleased to kick-off its new OUT FRONT SERIES, a year-round collection of free public readings and developmental workshops. This month, AFT presents BILLIE AND BILLY by AFT Artistic Associate Paul Oakley Stovall, with original music by Brad Simmons and directed by Krissy Vanderwarker, playing November 16 and 17, 2013 at American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St. in Chicago. BILLIE AND BILLY will feature Tony Award winner Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet) and Kristina Valada-Viers. In December, OUT FRONT continues with THE GOOD PRIVATE by AFT Artistic Associate Tanya Saracho, featuring songs by Tamara Roberts and directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, playing December 14 and 15, 2013 at The National Pastime Theater in the Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago.
BILLIE AND BILLY
By AFT Artistic Associate Paul Oakley Stovall
Original music by Brad Simmons
Directed by Krissy Vanderwarker
Featuring Tony Award-winner Levi Kreis and Kristina Valada-Viers
Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm
American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago
The divide between different cultures and ethnicities, between men and women, between straight and gay in America can be a great one. Using only two characters, Paul Oakley Stovall aims to present what seems to be a tiny little drama, set in a small city apartment and the empty flat across the hall. As Billie and Billy form an unexpected bond, their lives begin to intersect in strange ways. The audience is invited to explore with them: our need for companionship, our desire to solve the mysteries of existence and the ways in which we see ourselves in the eyes of others. Billie and Billy explores the similarities ignored, our common needs and desires and the mutual ground we walk upon.
THE GOOD PRIVATE
By AFT Artistic Associate Tanya Saracho
Featuring songs by Tamara Roberts
Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 1 pm
The National Pastime Theater in the Preston Bradley Center, 4th Floor,
941 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago
The Good Private is a fictionalized musical composite inspired by the real life of Civil War soldier Albert Cashier, who was born Jennie Hodgers but who enlisted as a male soldier in the 95th Illinois Infantry. After being a prisoner of war for two years and serving his time in the field, Cashier went on to lead a quiet life as a male in Central Illinois, until he was discovered in his old age. Due to lack of documentation of Cashier’s very private life, The Good Private is part reimagining of and part homage to a truly remarkable Illinoisian.
About The Playwrights
Paul Oakley Stovall has been writing since the age of 16 when his first volume of poetry, another piece of hope, was published by Trail Press. His first play, Love Rules, (which he also directed) received its world premiere at the Theatre School of DePaul University. His second play, As Much As You Can has been produced to acclaim in Chicago at Dog and Pony Theatre Company, at New York’s International Fringe Festival, at Celebration Theatre in Los Angeles (Hendel Productions and David Tarlow, Producers –2009 GLAAD Media Award nomination) and at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego. A revised version is now titled Immediate Family, which had a critically acclaimed run at the Goodman Theatre in summer of 2012 produced by Paul Boskind, with Steve and Ruth Hendel, who also commissioned Paul to write the adapted screenplay with writing partner Laura Eason. Paul’s play, APE, received its world premiere at Dog and Pony, and a staged reading in Los Angeles at Celebration. His work has been developed at About Face Theatre and San Francisco Playhouse. His musical, CLEAR, was featured at the 2010 Tony Award winning O’Neill National Music Theatre Conference, at the XYZ Festival in Chicago, at Joe’s Pub, at Dixon Place in NYC, and at City of Chicago’s IN THE WORKS program at Pritzker Pavilion. As an actor, Paul has appeared in Shortbus (dir, John Cameron Mitchell), the late Robert Altman’s The Company, Hustler WP (dir, Craig Cobb – editor, Sex and the City) and Lighthouse Lili (dir, Tonya Pinkins), among others. At the O’Neill, Paul has appeared in Grammy winner Marcus Hummon’s American Duet and Better (Cabaret Conference), and Red Eye of Love, MYTH, Max Understood, and .22 Caliber Mouth (O’Neill NMTC); Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Lincoln Center world premiere), Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci (2ST). Regional appearances include Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court (Chicago), About Face, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, LaJolla Playhouse, Huntington, Penumbra, KCRep, Rep of St. Louis, Prince Music Theatre, Syracuse Stage, McCarter, among others. National tours: RENT, Once On This Island. International: Otonari No Dasso-Hei (Kinokuniya Hall-Tokyo). Paul’s cabaret show with Brad Simmons, The Next Best Thing To Love, has toured the country, playing most notably at 54Below and Joe’s Pub in NYC. Paul currently serves as a White House Advance Associate for First Lady Michelle Obama. Affiliations: Artistic Associate at Dog and Pony Theatre Company and About Face Theatre in Chicago.
Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México. She’s a playwright, director, actor and current TV writer for HBO’s upcoming gay-themed show “Looking.” Named “Best New Playwright of 2010” by Chicago Magazine, Saracho is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre, a new ensemble member at the Tony Award winning Victory Gardens Theater, a resident playwright emerita at Chicago Dramatists, a Goodman Theatre Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, the founder of the Ñ Project, the producer and director of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theater Artists) and founder and former Artistic Director of Teatro Luna: Chicago’s All-Latina Theater. Produced at: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theatre and 16th Street Theater. Play include: The Tenth Muse, Song for the Disappeared, Enfrascada; El Nogalar (inspired by The Cherry Orchard); an adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf; Our Lady of the Underpass ; Surface Day; Jarred (A Hoodoo Comedy); Kita y Fernanda, and Quita Mitos. Saracho is a winner of the Ofner Prize given by the Goodman Theatre, a recipient of an NEA Distinguished New Play Development Project Grant with About Face Theatre and a 3Arts Artists Award. New work developed at: Sundance Theater Lab 2012, Crossing Borders Festival at Two Rivers, Hedgebrook Women’s Playwright’s Festival 2012, Ucross/Sundance 2011, Martha’s Vineyard Arts Project 2011, Superlab with Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizon, Ignition Festival at Victory Gardens Theater, Latino Mixfest at Atlantic Theater, and XYZ Fest at About Face Theatre. Saracho was named one of nine national Latino “Luminarios” by Café Magazine and given the first “Revolucionario” Award in Theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art. Tanya is currently working on two Mellon Foundation commissions for Steppenwolf Theatre, an original work for Denver Theatre Center, and a historical fiction about a transgendered civil war soldier titled The Good Private for About Face Theatre. Commissions: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, About Face Theatre, Teatro Vista, Denver Theater Center, South Coast Rep. Tanya is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and a new member of the Writer’s Guild.
For additional information, visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com.
About Face Theatre (Andrew Volkoff, Artistic Director) 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 48 world premieres 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.