October 15 – November 20, 2016
a world premiere
Five years after a school shooting, Alley, the struggling, smart-mouthed teenage sister of the shooter, wrestles with forgiveness, moving forward, and the lingering questions left in the wake of her brother’s crime. Another decade later, as an adult, finding satisfying answers proves no easier. Will she ever find an opportunity for hope and healing, or will the ghosts of her past forever haunt her? The Bottle Tree is an exploration of American gun culture that is at once heartfelt, humorous, and heartbreaking.
The Bottle Tree was developed in part through Stage Left’s Downstage Left Playwright Residencies 2014-2015, then in LeapFest 2015. The script also received development at the 2015 Ashland New Plays Festival, and received an Honorable Mention on The Kilroys List for the past two years.
January 7 – February 12, 2017
The celebrated Cuban-American writer María Irene Fornés’s play, What of the Night?, is about sex, power, institutional failure, human frailty, betrayal, dreams and madness. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, it follows an extended family whose lives are intertwined even as they try to escape the ties that bind them. When the just-married 14-year-old Birdie leaves her impoverished home to seek a better life, she unwittingly sets in motion a sprawling epic told in intimate vignettes that spans across time and geography. Rainbow finds love. Charlie finds solace in loyalty. Ray finds the trappings of success. Though their yearnings are briefly rewarded, the lyrical story lays bare the difference between the hunger of the soul and the hunger of the ego.
our annual festival of new plays
See what’s next in Chicago theatre – LeapFest’s first thirteen years have so far graduated twenty six plays to world premiere productions in Chicago and beyond, with four of these receiving the Jeff Award for Best New Work. This annual new play development festival features workshop productions of exciting new plays in rotating repertory.
*Stage Left ensemble member