Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alums and students are in the cast and creative team of About Face Youth Theatre‘s new ensemble-devised comedy Gayme Changers, running June 18 through 24 at the Den Theatre, located at 1331 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
Kirsten Baity ’21, who graduated Summa cum Laude with a BA in Theatre with a Playwriting concentration, is the lead writer of the play, which was created collectively by the About Face Youth Theatre ensemble.
The show’s cast, all members of the About Face Youth Theatre ensemble, includes Columbia College alum Pen Wilder and Columbia College Theatre Department students Elena Avila, Edgar Flores, and Lily Rubin. The production’s stage manager, also an AFYT ensemble member, is Columbia College alum Hannah Weiss ’21, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Theatre BA program with a concentration in Stage Management.
About Face Theatre’s artistic director is Columbia College Theatre Department faculty member Megan Carney. And the company’s operations and production manager is Columbia College alum Audrey Kleine ’17, a graduate of the Theatre Department’s Technical Theatre BA program.
The production takes the form of a reality television show in which contestants compete to be America’s next Social Justice SuperstarTM, until one team uncovers a billion-dollar truth hidden behind the spectacle. Ticket prices range from $5 to $35. About Face Theatre‘s pricing system that allows each patron to decide the price that they can comfortably afford to pay for a ticket.
Baity was featured in the 2022 Pride Issue of the Chicago Reader, published June 9. The article describes Gayme Changers as “an immersive comedy about climate change activism that functions as a call to action.” To read the article, click here.
As previously reported in this blog, Baity was selected as one of the inaugural members of About Face Theatre’s Green Room Collective, a new program for early career LGBTQ+ arts leaders. The program will help advance the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders in their theatre-related career and educational goals and represents a bold investment in the future of the LGBTQ+ community and the arts. All participants are paid a sustainable wage to collaborate on artistic and administrative projects that are at the heart of AFT’s work. They receive dedicated and individualized support from AFT staff and artists to cultivate skills in areas of their choosing, including devising new works, producing, development, and marketing.