Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

About Face Theatre Names Mikael Burke Associate Artistic Director

Article Pixel
About Face Theatre Names Mikael Burke Associate Artistic Director

About Face Theatre welcomes Mikael Burke to its staff in the role of Associate Artistic Director to lead AFT's education and new work development programs. Burke has been working with AFT since 2016 when he directed for the AIDS On Stage reading series. In 2018 Burke directed a production of Harrison David Rivers' THIS BITTER EARTH for the mainstage and in 2019 he became an About Face Artistic Associate. His staff position begins in August 2020.

"I'm thrilled to welcome Mikael to the leadership team at About Face," stated Megan Carney, AFT's Artistic Director. "As a theatre company dedicated to advancing dialogue about gender and sexuality, our work takes many forms. When I joined About Face as the Artistic Director, we committed to fostering more diverse queer voices, to building a sustainable financial foundation, and to bringing education to the center of the organization. Our education programs are layered and experimental. They are constantly changing to reflect community needs and use a variety of tools from devising to leadership development. I'm looking forward to all the ways we'll be growing with this new staff structure and with Mikael's vision. This is a joyful moment and an investment in the future."

Burke stated, "I'm honored and grateful to begin this new chapter with AFT. I recently learned that our name, About Face, represents "a turning of the tide." What an apt description of the current movement in our industry and in our country to dismantle white supremacist systems. The outrage I share with so many over the continued oppression of Black people-- most pressingly the murder of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly, and Myles Cosgrove,

who have yet to be charged or arrested--makes one thing clear: as artists, we have an undeniable responsibility to do our part in turning the tide to bring about necessary change. This is the part of About Face's legacy that inspires me the most. As a queer Black artist and educator, I am dedicated to building spaces for learning and creating that decenter whiteness and embrace the full spectrum of experiences and identities. As I take up the mantle of fostering young queer artists and new queer voices with AFT, this is the lens and personal mission I bring to the work. I look forward to AFT's future and our work to turn the tide."

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You