Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-03-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER About Face Youth's 'Stories' examines everyday horrors
by Catey Sullivan
2018-07-11

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Forget werewolves, aliens zombies and creatures from the black lagoon. The real monsters are lurking within and among us. With Scary Stories to Save Your Life, About Face Youth Theatre taps into horrors more terrifying than anything your basic scary movie franchise is apt fo crank out.

"There [are] no witches, no Frankensteins, no exorcisms," said youth ensemble member Via Haman, a freshman theater/psychology major at the University of Illinois, Chicago. "When I was writing my piece for the show, I was thinking about the day after the 2016 presidential election." Haman's "Help"—one of 12 playlets in the production—centers on a young person abandoned to the locked ward of what could be a "conversion therapy" unit.

Opening Saturday, July 14, at Center on Halsted, the Scary Story one-acts run about 10 minutes each. The 13-to-24-year-old playwrights set their stories in banal places: Hospitals, high schools, offices, homes. What transpires in these ordinary settings will leave you with a sense of unease ranging from pleasantly tingly to pass-the-Xanex.

Director Donny Acosta, 27, began working with the 10-member ensemble last October, leading weekly three-hour workshops that segued into rehearsals as the months went on. He started with a writing prompt.

"I asked everyone what their anxiety would look like if it were a monster," the Orange County native and veteran queer performance artist said. "If you could write a letter to your anxiety what would you say?" Acosta said.

Given the topics at hand, making the rehearsal room a safe space was an imperative.

"There's no room today to be uneducated about what's going on around us," said Haman. "But being educated can be scary, and we got really deep into some really scary things. There was a lot of hugs and a lot figuring out how to do self-care," they said.

Peruse the script and the necessity of a debriefing process becomes clear. In "Trust," social media takes a turn for the profoundly sinister. In "Red," life in an office turns bloody. In "Skin" a superficially "revitalizing and noble" political slogan is stripped down to its weaponized, deadly bones.

In sharing, the youths found solace and common ground. Haman, for example, related to "Red" and its take on traditional business culture.

"I had a job at the East Bank Club," they said of the upscale River North sports/spa/dining facility. "I was one of two out queers in 600 employees. We'd complain to each other about the gendered bathrooms and feeling invisible. We were working in a space that wasn't meant for us. That can make you anxious."

Acosta can relate. "Before I came to About Face full-time I worked as a shift supervisor for an online grocery delivery service. The atmosphere was super masculine and misogynistic. I had to be super careful about how I acted, what I said," he said.

Haman has been writing on Scary Stories' themes long before getting involved with the production. Their college entry essay was about being a non-binary person in a binary world. Haman's not one for labels. "I have never felt a connection to womanhood or manhood," they said. "There is So. Much. In. Between. I'm a person. I feel great as a human."

"I hope the play starts a dialogue," they said. "I hope it makes people more aware. It's like 'hey, there are humans being marginalized oppressed. What are you going to do about it?'"

Within the horrors of Scary Stories, Acosta said, there is truth and power. "As queer performers, we aren't represented a lot. Or when we are, it's as the sassy gay best friend. Or the tragic guy with Aids. The chance to tell our own personal stories through our lenses is empowering. "

And all the right kind of scary.

Scary Stories to Save Your Life runs July 14-22 at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Tickets are $20 or pay-what-you-can; visit AboutFaceTheatre.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Hands on a Hardbody 2019-03-20 - Playwright: Doug Wright ( book ), Amanda Green ( lyrics ), Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green ( music ) At: Mason Hall in ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW How to Live on Earth 2019-03-15 - Playwright: MJ Kaufman At: Chimera Ensemble at the Flatiron, 1573 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: ChimeraEnsemble.com; $23. Runs through: March 24 Those ...


Gay News

eta seeking executive director 2019-03-14 - The board of directors for the eta Creative Arts Foundation is seeking an experienced executive director with a strong background in African-American arts ...


Gay News

Ravinia Festival Experience Center, immersive-experience theater, to open 2019-03-14 - HIGHLAND PARK, IL — Ravinia Festival will open a major addition to the park, the RaviniaMusicBox Experience Center, later this summer. The new ...


Gay News

Women In Comedy to host "A Love Letter to Myself, A Chicago Variety Show" 2019-03-13 - Chicago, Illinois — On Monday March 25, Women in Comedy hosts "A Love Letter to Myself" from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revolution ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Remember the Alamo 2019-03-13 - Playwright: Nick Hart At: The Neo-Futurist Theatre, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets: neofuturists.org; $25 ( pay-what-you can Thursday nights ). Runs through: April ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Bridges of Madison County 2019-03-13 - Authors: Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown At: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 721 Howard St., Evanston. Tickets: www.theo-u.com or 773-347-1109; $39-69. Runs through: ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Southern Comfort 2019-03-13 - Authors: Dan Collins ( book/lyrics ) and Julianne Wick Davis ( music ) At: Pride Films & Plays, 4139 N. Broadway. Tickets: 866-811-4111; ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The Man Who Was Thursday 2019-03-12 - Playwright: adapted by Bilal Dardai from the story by G.K. Chesterton. At: Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. Tickets: LifelineTheatre.com and 773-761-4477; ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-03-12 - On Clover Road, American Blues Theater at Stage 773, through March 16. The unplanned Steven Dietz festival continues with this twisted desert-cult psychological ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.