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  WINDY CITY TIMES

About Face Theatre to premiere Bull in a China Shop
From a press release
2018-04-28

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CHICAGO ( April 26, 2018 ) — About Face Theatre is pleased to present the Midwest premiere of Bryna Turner's comedy BULL IN A CHINA SHOP, based on the true story of revolutionary academics and lovers Mary Woolley and Jeannette Marks. Directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm*, BULL IN A CHINA SHOP will play May 24 — June 30, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com by calling ( 773 ) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. The press opening is Thursday, May 31 at 7:30 pm.

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP features AFT Artistic Associate Kelli Simpkins* with Aurora Adachi-Winter, Adithi Chandrashekar, Mary Beth Fisher and Emjoy Gavino.

BULL IN A CHINA SHOP explores the fascinating lives of Mary Woolley and her partner, Jeannette Marks, two brilliant women who reimagined and revolutionized women's education at the turn of the twentieth century. This fast-moving feminist comedy chronicles the growth of the women's suffrage movement, as well as Mary and Jeannette's romantic relationship. It examines the strength it takes to find your voice, be brave and find yourself less at odds with the world.

"As a queer female director, I'm always excited by plays with gay narratives," comments director Keira Fromm. "Plays that deal specifically with gay female stories aren't terribly common, so when I came across Bryna Turner's radical play, I was immediately taken with it. Bryna is an incredibly smart and savvy playwright. She has a way of writing words and characters that live in both the past and the present simultaneously. The play honors the past and present so beautifully. Mary and Jeannette's struggle to reform women's education and advocate for the suffrage movement echoes the fights that women still wage today — whether that fight be for equal pay, fair representation or for the protection of women's health initiatives. Ultimately the play is a unique meditation on bravery."

The production team for BULL IN A CHINA SHOP includes William Boles ( scenic design ), Mieka Van Der Ploeg* ( costume design ), Claire Chrzan ( lighting design ), Eric Backus ( sound design ), Jamie Karas ( properties design ), Helen Lattyak ( production stage manager ), Andrea Enger ( asst. stage manager ) and Catherine Allen ( production manager ).

*Denotes AFT Artistic Associate

DETAILS:

Title: BULL IN A CHINA SHOP

Playwright: Bryna Turner

Director: Keira Fromm

Cast ( in alphabetical order ): Aurora Adachi-Winter ( Pearl ), Adithi Chandrashekar ( Felicity ), Mary Beth Fisher ( Dean Welsh ), Emjoy Gavino ( Jeannette Marks ) and Kelli Simpkins* ( Mary Woolley ).

Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday May 24 at 7:30 pm, Friday May 25 at 7:30 pm, Saturday May 26 at 7:30 pm, Sunday May 27 at 3 pm and Wednesday May 30 at 7:30 pm.

Press opening: Thursday, May 31 at 7:30 pm

Regular run: Friday, June 1 — Saturday, June 30, 2018

Curtain Times: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20-$38. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com, by calling ( 773 ) 975-8150 or in person at Theater Wit Box Office.

Artist Biographies

Bryna Turner ( Playwright ) is a Brooklyn-based playwright originally from Northern California. Her play Bull in a China Shop recently premiered at LCT3 ( directed by Lee Sunday Evans ). Her work has been developed with Abingdon Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, Colt Coeur, Ensemble Studio Theatre, LCT3, Mount Holyoke College, Rutgers University and Rainbow Theatre Project. Other plays include: Carlo at the Wedding, Lights Over Philo, The Stand-In and How to Separate Your Soul from Your Body ( in ten easy steps! ). She is an alum of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writer's Group and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Rutgers University. www.brynaturner.com

Keira Fromm ( Director ) is a Jeff Award-nominated director, a casting director and a teacher based out of Chicago. Favorite recent directing credits include: Significant Other, Bright Half Life and A Kid Like Jake ( About Face Theatre ), hang ( Remy Bumppo ), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital of New York City ( Route 66 Theatre ), The Columnist ( American Blues Theater ), How the World Began ( Rivendell Theatre Ensemble ), Luce ( Next Theatre ), Charles Ives Take Me Home ( Strawdog ), The How and the Why ( TimeLine Theatre ), Broadsword ( Gift Theatre ) and Fallow ( Steep Theatre ). Keira is a proud Artistic Associate with About Face Theatre. She received her MFA from DePaul University and her BFA from Boston University. She is a member of SDC, as well as the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. Keira is a frequent guest director at DePaul, as well as Roosevelt University.

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.


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