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The Aboutface Theatre Company
xxx Broadway, Suite XXX
New York, NY 100xx

Mission Statement


Production History


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Mission Statement

The Aboutface Theatre Company generates, develops and produces new plays and adaptations that explore and reinterpret American myth and ideology through popular entertainment forms and styles.

We take high art approaches to Low Art genres (Sci-Fi, Women in Prison, Silent Movie, Buddy Picture, Grand Guignol, Horror, Pirate Adventure, Burlesque, Western and more) and uniquely energetic low art approaches to High Art (like The History of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy patterned after Shakespeare's Henry IV).

At Aboutface "lowbrow" doesn't mean unchallenging pablum for the lowest common denominator and "highbrow" doesn't mean arcanely exclusive for the culturally elite. Our goal is to merge the opposites and present intelligent and theatrical entertainment. By working in popular genres, our hope is to make theatre that, while serious in intent, has the potential to entertain and appeal to a diverse audience. We believe that popular genres are our society's expression of myth and experience of ritual. Who are our heroes and villains? What problems are we acting out on the stage and how are we resolving them in our lives? These are the questions we ask ourselves when we approach these genres. The answers have personal, social and political ramifications, in addition to providing fertile soil for the creation of exciting theatre.

The Aboutface Theatre Company was founded in 1985 by Sean Burke (Artistic Director) and Allison Jones (Managing Director) to produce new American plays that explored American myth and ideology. We produced one new mainstage play (Strike of '92, City Seas, Lo! the Mighty Hunter) each season through 1988 when we moved into the Nat Horne Theatre. Since then, we have moved work to larger venues in New York City (The Grand Guignol transferred to Off-Broadway's Playhouse 91), regionally (Just War: A Modern Living Newspaper on the Panama Invasion) was subsequently shown at The Federal Theatre Project Festival in Fairfax, Virginia) and overseas (Cowboys Abroad was staged at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, and City Seize toured Hanau, Frankfurt, Hamburg and West Berlin in (then) West Germany); produced over ninety new plays ranging from short one-acts to musicals to large-scale history plays The History of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Part One, structured after Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1); worked with over 300 young playwrights, including Erin Wilson and more recently, Russel Lees (author of Nixon's Nixon).

Additionally, AF has worked with hundreds of actors, directors and designers; and currently provides a home for several professional theatre artists with credits ranging from television and independent films to Broadway. Our mission is unchanged and we have grown from an ad hoc producer with an annual budget of only $15,000 to a seasonal producer with over a $90,000 budget in only four years.
From our inception to today, Aboutface sees its approach to its work as not very different from that of Shakespeare, Moliere or Brecht: using popular entertainment forms to make seriously entertaining theatre that can appeal to a diverse audience; dedicating ourselves through our working methods both to our continued growth as artists and to the business of making theatre. We strive to create theatre for a democracy, rather than an elite; without pandering, patronizing or factoring for a "lowest common denominator".

Sean Burke
Artistic Director, Playwright

Was born in Boston and raised there, in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Was educated at Bethany College (West Virginia: English and Philosophy); Oxford (Shakespearean Studies); and the University of Iowa (MFA from the Playwrights Workshop). Co-founded Aboutface in 1985 following a production of The Strike of '92. Over 25 plays produced in New York, Berlin, Pittsburgh, Iowa City, Edinburgh, London, Frankfurt, Hanau and Hamburg including The Final Torture, Just Do It!, The Strike of '92, The History of JFK, Part I, City Seas, Orgy in the Air Traffic Control Tower (with Steve Nelson), Caged Hunger (with Michael Mejias) and many others. Received a Playwriting Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts (The Strike of '92) and has also written for television. He is currently working on a musical with Resident Director Martin Fluger.

Allison Jones
Managing Director, Actress

Co-founded the Aboutface Theatre Company in 1985, and has served as Managing Director since 1987. During that time she has performed in over thirty AF productions, including the 1985 and 1992 productions of The Strike of '92, Bunny Blanc in City Seize (German Tour), Patrice in Orgy in the Air-Traffic Control Tower (sole survivor in the original Grand Guignol), Shockaw in Shockaw, Shaman of Meritok (The Comic Book Show), Luella in Luella Miller, Eunice Kennedy in The History of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Part I, Jenny (new babe on the cell-block) in Women in Prison, and most recently as Andrea in The Fine Art of Flesh. Allison is a graduate of The Boston University School of Theatre Arts.

Martin Fluger
Resident Director, Composer, Playwright

Joined the Aboutface Theatre Company in 1989, directing the one-act Dr. Love, in AF's first Grand Guignol show. He became Resident Director in 1990. Additional AF credits include: Shockaw, Shaman of Meritok (comic-book play); Just War (living newspaper play about the U.S. invasion of Panama); Luella Miller (writer and co-director); Just Do It! (horror play); The Strike of '92 (direction and music); Caged Hunger (women-in-prison play); and sets for Prison Light, Children of Z, and The History of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Part I (co-design). New York credits previous to AF include direction and music for Brecht's The Exception and the Rule, Mrozek's Vatzlav, and Rice's The Adding Machine. In Boston, Marty acted in many productions, including the U.S. premier of Ostrovsky's Balziminov's Wedding and his own play The Legend of the Villian Bastio; and wrote an original score for Brecht's The Good Woman of Setzuan. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied with the late Wilford Leach (Principal Director of the New York Shakespeare Festival), Marty has studied at Riverside Shakespeare and was a member of Musical Theatre Works' first Librettists Workshop. He heads AF's new Klassix Project program and, with Sean Burke, is developing a new musical.

Michael Mejias
Literary Director, Playwright

Is from the Bronx, was educated at Hunter College, and has been a member of Aboutface since the 1989-90 season. As a playwright, he authored Above Houston, staged by AF in December '90. Most recently, he co-scripted Caged Hunger (a Women-in-Prison play), with Sean Burke, produced by AF in October '93. Currently, Michael is the Company's Literary Director.