About Face Names Megan Carney Artistic Director

One of the theatre’s founding directors, she will take the helm this fall.

CHICAGO: About Face Theatre (AFT) has named Megan Carney to be its new artistic director. She will begin in the fall, succeeding Andrew Volkoff in the position.

Megan Carney.

“Megan Carney is the perfect person to lead us into and through this tricky, terrifying and opportune time in history,” said artistic associate Philip Dawkins in a statement. “Her dedication to queer youth, women, people of color, theatre, and community organizing is exactly the perfect mélange of skills needed to further and continue About Face’s dedication to dialogue around gender and sexuality. She is bold, creative, and smart, but above all she leads with a spirit of generosity, one which I think will be a beacon of queer leadership in our communities. I am excited for this new era at About Face under Megan’s very qualified leadership.”

Carney currently serves as the director of the Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was one of the founding directors of AFT, and has served on the company’s honorary board. Her recent directing credits include Winter, Grizzly Mama, Body/Courage, and American Wee Pie and The Walls at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She also co-created Women at War, a multi-year performance and civic dialogue project about women in the military.

Carney has also served on the LBTQ Giving Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women and with the Chicago Restroom Access Project of Pride Action Tank. Her work has been recognized with multiple After Dark Awards, the GLSEN Pathfinder Award, an APA Presidential Citation, induction in Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP Grant, and a GLAAD Media Award nomination. She has a MFA in Theatre Arts from Virginia Tech with a focus on directing and public dialogue, and a BA from Kalamazoo College.

“I am so excited to join this team at About Face Theatre,” said Carney in a statement. “Throughout the organization, from the board of directors to the staff and artistic associates, to the members of the Youth Theatre ensemble, there is an alignment of values to support projects that advance both artistic excellence and social justice. I believe that theatre created with such a focus has the power to open hearts and minds in unique and powerful ways and encourage us to imagine—and then create—a better future. Together we’re going to champion new play development, support fresh LGBTQIA+ voices, center the work of education and expand our circle of partnerships. I’m looking forward to the collaborations ahead.”

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