LezPlay 2015 Features 5 New Works!






Pride Films and Plays is delighted to announce the results of our LezPlay contest. The judges have named five finalists, including a teleplay and four stage plays. and these writers will have their scripts presented as staged readings during LezPlay Weekend, which runs September 11-13 at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre of Center on Halsted.

LezPlay honors excellence in scripts written by women in which lesbian characters and themes – past, present, and future – are central. In these works you will meet an assassin-for-hire, a community college professor, a movie-obsessed teen, a young woman crippled with fear, and a turn of the century woman with a secret.

The scripts will be presented as enhanced staged readings.


The performance schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, Sept 11, 7:00 pm Black-Hearted Bitch, a teleplay by Lynn Kear, directed by Eileen Tull
  • Saturday, Sept 12, 2:00 pm The Patron Saint of Dead Dogs, a stage play by Katie Grotzinger, directed by Kate Leslie.
  • Saturday, Sept 12, 7:00 pm Resolution, a play by Nancy Nyman & Heather McNama, directed by Charlie Marie McGrath.
  • Sunday, Sept 13, 2:00 pm Missed Connections, a play by Hallie Palladino, directed by Lexi Saunders.
  • Sunday, Sept 13, 5:00 pm The Terror Fantastic, a play by Nicole Jost directed by Lindsay Bartlette Allen

Tickets can be purchased at the door on a pay-what-you-can basis, with at $10 suggested donation. A portion of all ticket sales supports the Center on Halsted.

Meet the scripts and their scribes

Black-Hearted Bitch by Lynn Kear (teleplay)

Kell, an assassin-for-hire, is brutally betrayed by her oldest friend and newest lover. When she is sent to Atlanta for a routine hit, it turns into an ambush, and she becomes a pawn in a complicated con game involving a sister Kell never knew she had.

Lynn Kear is a former communications professor and current award-winning writer. Her work ranges from crime fiction novels to nonfiction books about actresses in early Hollywood. Visit her at lynnkear.com.

Missed Connections by Hallie Palladino (play)

Avery, a shy community college writing instructor, has a crush on Layla, a newspaper editor who is poised, self-possessed, and stylish―all things that make her completely unattainable. Until the day Avery asks her students to write a story inspired by a missed connection ad in a local Chicago paper. When Avery sees an ad seemingly written by her crush, she is emboldened to make a move. The only problem is the ad was printed before they met. Soon more ads start predicting future events and throwing their lives into upheaval.

Hallie Palladino is delighted to be included in LezPlay. Her previous plays include Dry Lightning, Imaginary Nostalgia, and Trick of the Light. She has also worked on the literary side of theatre. Highlights include several seasons serving on the play selection committee of the Ojai Playwrights Conference and a season as Literary Manager of Greenway Arts Alliance in L.A. Here in Chicago, she reads scripts for Stage Left Theatre and co-founded “Tuesday Funk,” a monthly reading series at Hopleaf. Recently, her play Sunrise: Ardmore Beach was featured in the 2015 Something Marvelous Festival. Hallie lives in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Visit her at halliepalladino.com.

The Patron Saint of Dead Dogs by Katie Grotzinger (play)

A mob movie-obsessed teenager accidentally runs over her bully’s precious dog and must decide between telling the truth and risking expulsion from her posh Catholic school or keeping it a shameful secret. There’s enough drama in these girls’ lives to plague a saint (or two).

Katie Grotzinger went to an all-girls Catholic high school and lived to tell about it. She is currently earning her MFA in Screenwriting at DePaul University.

Resolution by Nancy Nyman & Heather McNama (play)

In the Gay Nineties, Jack and Hannah Buchannon are a happily married couple. But when their maid discovers their long-held secret and resolves to turn them in to the authorities, the couple must dissuade her or pursue their own resolution to the problem. Will this turn-of-the-century drama take a turn for the better or the worse?

Based in Los Angeles, Nancy Nyman and Heather McNama create, communicate, and collaborate. Two kick-ass chicks with somethin’ to say, they have written Social Work (TV), Family Storey (Disney Channel), and The Untitled Meryl Streep Project (feature film). Visit them at twogirlsunleashed.com.

The Terror Fantastic by Nicole Jost (play)

Iz is a young gay woman plagued by crippling anxiety, courtesy of a creature who is her constant companion: the First Monster. She finds relief when she slips through a door into the world of her own erotic fiction, where she transforms into a brazen ne’er-do-well, free from her real-life fears. But no matter how far she runs, the Monster is never far behind, and as it pursues her, the fairytale takes on a dark new life.

Nicole Jost is a playwright, teaching artist, producer, and director from Washington, DC. Nicole has worked with The Inkwell, dog & pony dc, Forum Theatre, Round House Theatre, and the DC Queer Theatre Festival. She received her BA in Theatre and Cultural Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is also an alumna of the In-School Playwriting Program of Young Playwrights’ Theater, where she now serves as Artistic Director. Nicole has been recognized by the Washingtonian as a “Woman to Watch.”

About the review process

Allison Fradkin, LezPlay’s Literary Manager, assembled a reading team of forty-three theatre, film, and television professionals who served as adjudicators for the contest, evaluating the scripts for structure, plot, dialogue, and character development.

This year’s reading committee comprised:

  • Alex Dilks Pandola, Founder + Artistic Director of Green Light Productions
  • Ali Hoefnagel, Education + Outreach Director of About Face Theatre
  • Allison Hendrix, Co-Artistic Director of Kokandy Productions
  • Angela Alise, Artistic Director of Prologue Theatre Company
  • Basil Kreimendahl, Playwright
  • Caridad Svich, Playwright
  • Cassandra Snow, Co-Executive Artistic Director of Gadfly Theatre Productions
  • Claire Dowie, Performance Artist
  • Donna Hoke, Playwright
  • Etta Worthington, Screenwriter / Film Producer
  • Fawzia Mirza, Writer / Film Producer / Performance Artist
  • Florencia Manovil, Filmmaker / Founder of Mynah Films / Creator of the web series Dyke Central
  • Francesca Peppiatt, Artistic Director of Stockyards Theatre Project
  • Gina Young, Playwright / Theatre Director
  • Heather Dean, Comedienne / Creator of the web series Rent Controlled
  • Jenna Harris, Playwright / Founder of Discord and Din Theatre / Director of Production for Studio 180 Theatre
  • Jennifer Decker, Artistic Director of Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company
  • Jenny Seidelman, Playwright / Screenwriter
  • Jessica Eisenberg, Creator + Curator of 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project
  • Jill Valentine, Co-founder + Executive Producer of Chicago Women’s Funny Festival
  • Julie Proudfoot, Founding Artistic Director of Artemisia: A Chicago Theatre
  • Kelly Yacono, Artistic Associate at Babes with Blades and GayCo
  • Lauren Sivak, Storyteller / Education + Community Programs Coordinator for Steppenwolf for Young Adults
  • Lindsay A. Bartlett, Artistic Director of 20% Theatre Chicago
  • Margery Kreitman, Playwright / Curator of 3Girls Theatre Company’s LezWrites!
  • Meredith Montgomery, Co-founder of {she crew}
  • Migdalia Cruz, Playwright
  • Patrice Cassedy, Playwright
  • Rachel May, Producing Artistic Director of Synchronicity Theatre
  • Rebecca Kling, Performance Artist / Educator
  • Rébecca Lavoie, Film Programmer for Reeling Film Festival and The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival
  • Rhoda N. Wainwright, Filmmaker
  • Sara McGuire, President of Women’s Theatre Alliance of Chicago
  • Sarah Gitenstein, Associate Artistic Director of The New Colony
  • Sarah Rose Graber, Theatre Director / Teaching Artist
  • Sian Hutchinson, Artistic Director of Giant Cherry Productions
  • Susan Lieberman, Literary Manager of Raven Theatre
  • Susana Cook, Performance Artist
  • Susana Darwin, Filmmaker
  • Tiffany Porter, Co-founder of The Weird Sisters Theatre Project
  • Tina Cesa Ward, Filmmaker / Executive Producer of the web series Anyone But Me
  • Tiona McClodden, Filmmaker / Executive Director of Harriet’s Gun Media
  • Veronika Duerr, Co-founder of The Weird Sisters Theatre Project

About Pride Films and Plays and Center on Halsted

Pride Films and Plays, a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2010, is dedicated to comprehending the history of great LGBT writing and fostering its excellence in new works for the stage and screen. Pride Films and Plays, based in Chicago, links an international network of writers with professionals working in film and theatre. Through readings, contests, classes, screenings, and full theatre productions, Pride Films and Plays engages artists and audiences in the full developmental process needed to make great artistic experiences. For more information, visit www.pridefilmsandplays.com.

Center on Halsted is the most comprehensive lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community center in the Midwest, and strives to meet the social, recreational, and cultural needs of people of all ages in a safe and nurturing environment. Every day, more than 1,500 people walk through the doors of this 60,000-square foot building, which includes a gym, theater, computer lab, two art galleries, and a rooftop garden. It offers a variety of social services and public programs, including mental health services, support groups, and free HIV testing seven days a week. www.centeronhalsted.org, 773.472.6469.


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