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About Face Theatre Announces Green Room Collective Members

Green Room Collective is a program to support LGBTQ+ leadership development in the arts.

About Face Theatre Announces Green Room Collective Members

About Face Theatre announces theatre artists Theo Wampusyc and Pen Wilder as the 2023 members of its Green Room Collective, a program for early career LGBTQ+ arts leaders.

Wampusyc (he/they) is a trans actor, podcaster, and entertainer with a special focus on audio, activism, and joy, and Wilder (they/them) is a playwright and artist focusing on queer theatre. They follow the inaugural members of the Green Room Collective, Kirsten Baity and Sharon Pasia, who were GRC members for the 2021-2022 season.

"The Green Room Collective's inaugural year was a great success," said AFT Managing Director Logan Jones. "This season, we're proud to build on the GRC's achievements and continue About Face's commitment to lifting up emerging voices. Pen and Theo have so much to offer the artistic community. I'm so glad that About Face will be part of their continued journey."

About Face Theatre launched the Green Room Collective in 2021 to support early-career LGBTQ+ arts leaders in their theatre-related career and educational goals. The program is built on over two decades of leadership work at AFT. The program is named for the "green room" in a theatre, a backstage area where artists prepare for performance. The green room is a space for camaraderie and community, vulnerability and questioning. The Green Room is often the last stop before you take the stage. The Green Room Collective program embraces these aspects to create a supportive platform to springboard young leaders in the LGBTQ+ community toward the advancement of their goals.

To ensure that this opportunity is equitable, all participants are paid a sustainable wage to collaborate on artistic and administrative projects that are at the heart of AFT's work. The Green Room Collective will serve in vital roles in About Face Theatre's upcoming programming, including public workshops and the summer world premiere of GENDER PLAY, OR WHAT YOU WILL by WIll Wilhelm and Erin Murray. Additionally, they will each 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.

About Face Theatre established itself as a place for LGBTQ+ youth leaders over 20 years ago with the creation of the About Face Youth Theatre. Over the years, AFT's nationally recognized education program grew to include the organization's community engagement and touring shows as well as the Youth Task Force. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Megan Carney and Managing Director Logan Jones, AFT is continuing to provide a supportive experiential learning environment for young people to explore and expand their leadership skills as part of the company's mission to advance LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance.

ABOUT THE 2023 GREEN ROOM COLLECTIVE MEMBERS

Theo Wampuszyc (he/they)

Theo is a trans-masc actor, writer, and entertainer. He works as a clown for Vaudeville Chicago, a company that brings circus and variety comedy to senior living facilities with a focus on dementia and memory care. He has worked as a peer educator for both the LA and Chicago branches of Sex. E Education, a program that uses comedy and performance to educate college Greek life about sexual wellness, consent, and resources for survivors of sexual violence. Last year he made his queer standup debut at Gender Fucked Production's COALESCENCE: A QUEER, TRANS STORY HOUR, followed closely by his role as the host of Phantom Moon Production's BLOODLESQUE. Offstage, Theo voice acts, podcasts, and publishes video essays on coffee and other topics on Youtube.

Pen Wilder (they/them)

Pen is a writer and artist with a focus in queer storytelling. Along with their job as a gallery attendant, they work as a writer for various literary publications and have been seen in journals such as Mulberry Literary and the ChillFiltr Review. In their free time, they also can be seen performing as part of indie rock group Cowboy Neal. They are currently working on their next full-length play, SWITCH HITTA.

About Face Theatre advances LGBTQ+ equity through community building, education, and performance. AFT envisions an affirming and equitable world in which all LGBTQ+ individuals are thriving and free from prejudice and discrimination. Learn more at aboutfacetheatre.com.



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