Season 34

LeapFest XII

July 13-31, 2015 

See what’s next in Chicago theatre – LeapFest’s first eleven years have so far graduated twenty 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 12th smash year, when four 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.

at Theater Wit, 1229 W Belmont

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The Plays

The Bottle Tree
by Beth Kander directed by Amy Szerlong°
Years after a tragic school shooting, the small town of Maple, Mississippi, is still traumatized– no one more so than Alley, the sister of the shooter.  Young love, old guilt, laughter, and lingering scars all keep the girl, the town, and Alley’s “bottle tree” on the verge of shattering.
The Bottle Tree was developed in part through one of our Downstage Left Playwright Residencies in the fall of 2014. 

Byhalia, Mississippi
by Evan Linder ♦ directed by Andrew Hobgood
Jim and Laurel Parker are about to become new parents. When their overdue child finally arrives, the couple is faced with the biggest challenge of their lives: Laurel has given birth to a black baby boy, the result of an affair the previous year. The lives of their family and friends are thrown into turmoil in Byhalia, Mississippi, a town with a racially-charged past that still affects its present.

good friday
by Kristiana Colón ♦ directed by Tara Branham
The ricochet of bullets breaks the hush of academia’s ivory halls and four students and a teacher are trapped in a classroom. Attempts to remain calm are shattered by each new wave of terror and tension coils to the point of asphyxia. And then, the shooter enters the room. good friday is a fast-paced, emotionally wrenching thriller with a twist sure to give you whiplash.

Love in the Time of Bumblehive
by Jeff Tabnick ♦ directed by Emmi Hilger
Phil suspects his wife Allison is cheating on him. Luckily, Phil works for the NSA. Phil tricks Allison into calling a suspected terrorist so that he can get a warrant to read her e-mails and listen to her phone calls. When Allison figures out what Phil is up to, she plots her revenge and things quickly spin out of control.

°Stage Left Artistic Associate

The Playwrights

Click picture for bio.


Kristiana Colón


Beth Kander


Evan Linder


Jeff Tabnick

July 2015
LFXII calender