About Face Theatre is pleased to present the world premiere of BRAVE LIKE THEM, a punk-infused exploration of the underground “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s, devised and performed by members of the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble and co-directed by AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel and Education Coordinator Kieran Kredell. BRAVE LIKE THEM will play seven performances only, July 26 – August 6, 2017 at the Pride Arts Center (The Buena), 4147 N. Broadway in Chicago. Tickets for BRAVE LIKE THEM ($20 or Pay-What-You-Can) are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (773) 784-8565. The press opening is Friday, July 28 at 7 pm.
This year, the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble, ages 13-23, investigates how systems of oppression function within queer subcultures – specifically the underground “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s that gave rise to bands such as Bikini Kill, Bratmobile and Sleater-Kinney. While the music and literature of this movement sought to forge a space for all girls – typically characterized by an unapologetic expression of female power and an aggressive dismantling of the patriarchy – the voices at its forefront were almost exclusively white and middle-class. BRAVE LIKE THEM aims to celebrate the “riot grrrl” movement for all the good that came out of it – but also dissect its inherent racial and class discrepancies.
Comments Co-Director Ali Hoefnagel, “This play is loud, sweaty and unapologetically queer as we shock ourselves with our own honesty, get messy with the truth and be brave like them.”
The production team for BRAVE LIKE THEM includes: Scott Penner (scenic design), Jeanine Fry (costume design), Kaili Story (lighting design), Brandon Reed (sound design), Meghan Erxleben (props design), Erin Kilmurray (movement direction), Nick Davio (music direction), Donny Acosta (asst. director), Liv Haman (asst. costume design), Kasey Trouba (stage manager) and Serena Dully (asst. stage manager).
Title: BRAVE LIKE THEM
Devised and performed by: About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble
Co-Directors: AFT Education and Outreach Director Ali Hoefnagel and Education Coordinator Kieran Kredell
Location: Pride Arts Center (The Buena), 4147 N. Broadway. Chicago
Dates: Previews: Wednesday, July 26 at 7 pm and Thursday, July 27 at 7 pm
Press opening: Friday, July 28 at 7 pm
Regular run: Saturday, July 29 – Sunday, August 6, 2017
Curtain Times: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 7 pm; Sunday at 3 pm
Tickets: $20 or Pay-What-You Can. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com or by calling (773) 784-8565.
About the Director
Ali Hoefnagel is a performer, arts administrator and teaching artist based in Chicago. As an artist and educator, they embrace the complexity of the queer identity to create new and engaging ways to explore LGBTQIA life within Chicago communities. Ali currently serves as the Education & Outreach Director and the Interim Artistic Director of About Face Theatre Company where they have devised and directed
Checking Boxes, 15 Breaths, and co-directed the world premiere of Ad Hoc [Home] for About Face Youth Theatre. Ali was a 2014 Chicago Artist Month Featured Artist, recently received a 30 under 30 award from the Windy City Times for contributions to the queer community in Chicago, and has been a lead teaching artist with Steppenwolf For Young Adults for several years. Ali is an active board member for The Pride Youth Theatre Alliance, a cohort of activists representing Queer Youth Theater programs from across the U.S. and Canada. Their weird solo work has been seen in several places around Chicago, most recently being seen working with their friends, The Dilettantes, as a part of Steppenwolf's multi-genre performance series LookOut. They have taught theatre activism classes and workshops with numerous organizations and universities in Illinois, including Illinois State University, Columbia College, University of Illinois at Chicago and Lake Forest College, where they hold a B.A in Theater and Women’s & Gender Studies.
Kieran Kredell is an educator, theatremaker, and comedian. As an educator, he uses storytelling tools to foster self-identity and community. As an actor, he has worked with local companies Dog & Pony, Adventure Stage Chicago, Redmoon, Red Tape, Collaboraction, the Inconvenience, the Dilettantes, as well as About Face (Oklahomo, The Flowers). This is the fourth AFYT show he has worked on alongside his close friend and hero, Ali Hoefnagel.
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.