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Sneak Peek Sunday: LeapFest, July 2015

Sneak Peek Sunday is continuing to look back at some of the great artists who have contributed their talents and time to the play we are unleashing this January.

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This past summer, these five incredible actors began to fully breathe life into Byhalia, Mississippi at Stage Left’s LeapFest XII in Chicago. This opportunity to stage a workshop production for three performances in July became a vital component of this play’s development thanks to these five phenomenal actors, director Andrew Hobgood, assistant director Aaryanna Gariss and the incredible staff at Stage Left including Vance Smith, Zev Valancy and Jason A. Fleece.

The LeapFest lineup was killer this past year. In addition to Byhalia, there were new plays by Beth Kander, Kristiana Rae Colon and Jeff Tabnick.

LeapFest Cast (From L to R) Liz Sharpe, Evan Sesek, Mercedes White, Julian Parker, Stephanie Monday

 

LeapFestLeapFestLiz Sharpe is known around Chicago as a Fly Honey and a fly honey. She is playing the role of Laurel in The New Colony and Definition’s production of Byhalia, Mississippi.

 

LeapFestEvan Sesek is understudying the role of Jim for the Chicago production. His play Here After just finished a run at The Den Theatre as part of The New Colony’s Associate Company Program.

 

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Mercedes White is a founder of Definition Theatre Company. She was recently seen KILLING IT as Cookie’s old buddy Spider in the mid-season finale of Empire on Fox. #stayinit

 

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Julian Parker wants everyone to know that he is much better looking than the cast photo above would lead you to believe. He is a founder of Definition Theatre Company and will be seen this winter as Yank in Oracle Theatre’s The Hairy Ape.

 

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Stephanie Monday is a stalwart of the Chicago theatre scene who is also known for her film, TV and commercial work. She is currently understudying the lead role of Judy in Bruce Norris’ Domesticated at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She also has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In conclusion, Stephanie is winning at life.

Your Sneak Peek for this week:

CONSIDER THE POSSIBILITY THAT…

(teensiest of spoilers…)

There may be a fight scene in Byhalia, Mississippi… 

And while the remarkable Will Bennett from Nothing Without a Company may be choreographing that fight scene for the Chicago production, there is a possibility that Liz Sharpe choreographed that scene at LeapFest this past summer while she was also playing the role of Laurel.

There is also the possibility that baby-crazed Liz refused to take off her pregnant belly as she choreographed the fight scene.

It. Was. MAGIC

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See Evan Linder’s interview about Byhalia, Mississippi with Stage Left HERE

 

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