Season 34

LeapFest 9

May 15 – June 3 2012

See what’s next in Chicago theatre – LeapFest’s first eight years have so far graduated fourteen plays to world premiere productions in Chicago and beyond, with three of these receiving the Jeff Award for Best New Work. Join us for a 9th smash year, when five new plays “take the leap” in development in this three week festival of politically-minded new work. Each play will be presented in rotating repertory, and performances are followed by a discussion with the playwright and director.

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The Plays

Agreed Upon Fictions
by Shayne Kennedy   ♦   directed by Megan Shuchman
Every neighborhood has its characters—the mischievous kid, the gossipy widow, the dog walker, the jogging mom. When one of the most vulnerable characters in the neighborhood turns into one of the most threatening, how does the community respond?

Keys of the Kingdom
by Penny Penniston   ♦   directed by Meghan Beals McCarthy
Irene Hoff is an ultra-liberal New York artist married to another woman. When she gets a commission to paint a ceiling in an evangelical mega-church, she can’t imagine how or why she was chosen for the job. She arrives in Kansas to discover that the church leader believes she has been chosen by God.

The Interview
by Alex Lewin   ♦   directed by Artistic Director Vance Smith
Hoping to volunteer as a “big brother,” aspiring filmmaker Jake Selzler arrives for what he expects to be a routine screening interview.   But the interviewer, Sheila Miller, knows more about Jake than she lets on, and the resulting confrontation has surprising and immediate consequences for them both.

by Barabara Lhota   ♦   directed by Jason Fleece*
Two Chicago police officers give a ride home to a young, drunk twenty-something. Several hours later, the young woman emerges from her apartment screaming rape. Influenced by the film Rashomon, Warped presents the contradictory stories from each character’s perspective and asks the question: Is the truth constant, or is it as malleable as our own perceptions?

Witches Vanish
by Claudia Barnett   ♦   directed by Scott Bishop*
In a series of stylized, highly visual vignettes employing puppetry, poetry, and surrealism, the Weird Sisters from Macbeth explore the stories of women who disappear, whether by choice or force. Inspired by history, astronomy, and Shakespeare, Witches Vanish examines the nature of change and the value of human life.

*Stage Left ensemble member

The Playwrights

Click picture for bio.

Claudia Barnett

Shayne Kennedy

Alex Lewin

Barbara Lhota

Penny Penniston

The Schedule


WITCHES= Witches Vanish; KEYS= Key of the Kingdom; INTERVIEW= The Interview; FICTIONS= Agreed upon Fictions


First Night: Festival Kick-off Event
Tuesday, May 15th @ 7pm

Coopers, 1232 W Belmont (on the patio)
Come mingle with the artists of LeapFest and enjoy previews of the five LeapFest shows! (free admission and light snacks, cash bar)

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Play Show # Day Date Time
Thirst 1 Saturday 6/18 7:30pm
Q2Q – June 6th, 6:30 – 11 Sunday 6/26 2:00pm
Dress – June 11, 10 am – 3 pm Thursday 6/30 7:30pm
The News All the Time 2 Thursday 6/16 7:30pm
Q2Q – June 7th, 6:30 – 11 Saturday 6/25 7:30pm
Dress – June 12, 10 am – 3 pm Sunday 7/3 2:00pm
Underneath 3 Sunday 6/19 2:00pm
Q2Q – June 8th, 6:30 – 11 Thursday 6/23 7:30pm
Dress – June 11, 5 pm – 10 pm Saturday 7/2 7:30pm
Blessed Assurance 4 Sunday 6/19 7:30pm
Q2Q – June 9th, 6:30 – 11 Friday 6/24 7:30pm
Dress – June 12, 5 pm – 10 pm Friday 7/1 7:30pm
Make Sure It’s Me 5 Friday 6/17 7:30pm
Q2Q – June 10th, 6:30 – 11 Sunday 6/26 7:30pm
Dress – June 15, 6 pm – 11 pm Saturday 7/2 2:00pm