Season 34

LeapFest XIV

July 9-July 26, 2017 

See what’s next in Chicago theatre – LeapFest’s first thirteen years have so far graduated 26 plays to world premiere productions in Chicago and beyond, with five of these receiving the Jeff Award for Best New Work. Join us for a 14th 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

Bad Date
by Liam Fitzgerald ♦ directed by Drew Martin°
Rachel woke up bruised and hungover, next to a man she barely remembers meeting. To him, it was nothing special. To Rachel, it was rape. Everyone else, isn’t quite sure what they think happened, and feels in no rush to make a decision. In an academic world that can barely admit to the occurrence of rape, Rachel finds herself fighting an uphill battle to convince her community, her friends, and even her attacker of the truth.

by Joe Zarrow ♦ directed by Stage Left Theatre Co-Artistic Director Jason A. Fleece°
A beloved comic book superheroine is finally getting her own feature film, but some fans are very unhappy with the casting. A universe-hopping play about geek culture, race, and keeping your story straight.

The Displaced
by Isaac Gomez ♦ directed by Jo Cattell
Marísa and Lev have just moved into their new Pilsen apartment in hopes of rekindling a spark that’s long been extinguished. While looking for the circuit breaker in the attic, a mysterious coconut appears, leftover from the previous tenants with a dark history inside it. The Displaced explores the wake of pain and yearning left behind when gentrification forces people out of their homes and the kind of vengeance that can come from it.

Em ’N’ Nam
by Dana Lynn Formby ♦ directed by Chicago Dramatists Artistic Director Meghan Beals
All Em wants is to make the best egg sandwich in the history of egg sandwiches. When she enlists her culinary professor Nam to teach her how she learns that everything in the food arts must be done with a purpose. As she tries to figure out how to learn correctly it ends up costing her something she didn’t know she had.

The Other Instinct
by Sam Chanse ♦ directed by Emmi Hilger
Tara serves as a gestational surrogate in a Gujarat clinic for Denise, thousands of miles away in California. Each woman is set on realizing her dreams in a rapidly changing world, but complications only intensify as a deeply personal experience becomes a global transaction.

°Stage Left ensemble member  ^Stage Left artistic associate

The Playwrights

Click picture for bio.

Sam Chanse
  Liam Fitzgerald
Dana Lynn Formby Isaac Gomez
Joe Zarrow


Bad Date

Sun 7/9, 8pm

The Displaced

Mon 7/10, 8pm

The Other Instinct

Tue 7/11, 8pm

Em ‘N’ Nam

Wed 7/12, 8pm


Sun 7/16, 5:30pm

The Other Instinct

Sun 7/16, 8pm

Em ‘N’ Nam

Mon 7/17, 8pm

The Displaced

Tue 7/18, 8pm

Bad Date

Wed 7/19, 8pm


Sun 7/23, 5:30pm

The Displaced

Sun 7/23, 8pm

Em ‘N’ Nam

Mon 7/24, 8pm

Bad Date

Tue 7/25, 8pm

The Other Instinct

Wed 7/26, 8pm

Performances at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W Chicago Ave

These performances feature basic technical elements and cost $11 for admission. You can also see all five for $22 with a LeapPass.

We could not produce LeapFest without the generous support of these organizations:

Cedars Legacy Fund dgf-logo