Jillian Leff

Jillian Leff

Jillian Leff is a Chicago based playwright and actor. Her plays have been produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Indiana. Her play THE GATEKEEPERS is the winner of of Babes With Blades 2021 Joining Sword and Pen Competition, and SMALL WORLD (co-written with Joe Lino) was a 2020 Jeff Award Nominee for New Work in Chicago. She has a BFA in Acting from Ball State University, and is an Ensemble Member with...
Jillian Leff is a Chicago based playwright and actor. Her plays have been produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Indiana. Her play THE GATEKEEPERS is the winner of of Babes With Blades 2021 Joining Sword and Pen Competition, and SMALL WORLD (co-written with Joe Lino) was a 2020 Jeff Award Nominee for New Work in Chicago. She has a BFA in Acting from Ball State University, and is an Ensemble Member with Babes With Blades Theatre Company.

Plays

  • Missed Opportunities
    FULL LENGTH - Missed Opportunities is a queer millennial update of the "mistaken identity comedy", (Think
    Parent Trap, While You Were Sleeping, Every Shakespearean comedy ever). Maxine (Max for short) is a writer who runs into Nate - the "one that got away" only to find out that he assumed she was a lesbian the whole time. Nate's roommate Jenna hatches a plan to fake date Max so...
    FULL LENGTH - Missed Opportunities is a queer millennial update of the "mistaken identity comedy", (Think
    Parent Trap, While You Were Sleeping, Every Shakespearean comedy ever). Maxine (Max for short) is a writer who runs into Nate - the "one that got away" only to find out that he assumed she was a lesbian the whole time. Nate's roommate Jenna hatches a plan to fake date Max so Nate can remember how awesome she is, Max's gay best friend/roommate Adam wants to help, chaos naturally ensues. Missed Opportunities examines the one thing those stories never do - the
    consequences. (Don't worry, it's still a comedy.)
  • Small World - co-written with Joe Lino
    FULL LENGTH - 2020 Jeff Award for New Work Nominee - It’s the end of the world…maybe? There’s no way to confirm for three cast members trapped inside their attraction at the happiest place on earth. The music won’t stop, there’s a body in the moat and one of the group is impaled under a brightly colored set piece. Can they force their way off the ride? And what waits for them on the other side? It’s a world of...
    FULL LENGTH - 2020 Jeff Award for New Work Nominee - It’s the end of the world…maybe? There’s no way to confirm for three cast members trapped inside their attraction at the happiest place on earth. The music won’t stop, there’s a body in the moat and one of the group is impaled under a brightly colored set piece. Can they force their way off the ride? And what waits for them on the other side? It’s a world of hopes, it’s a world of fears. It’s a small world, after all.
  • (Non)Fiction
    FULL LENGTH - Stephanie and Mike are a couple who think they have it figured out. He's an accountant moving up in his firm, and she is an aspiring writer who has recently quit her day job to pursue writing full time. Mike wants to help with her novel in any and every way he can. But Stephanie won't let him read a single page of her rough draft- she wants to keep it a surprise. After a year of writing...
    FULL LENGTH - Stephanie and Mike are a couple who think they have it figured out. He's an accountant moving up in his firm, and she is an aspiring writer who has recently quit her day job to pursue writing full time. Mike wants to help with her novel in any and every way he can. But Stephanie won't let him read a single page of her rough draft- she wants to keep it a surprise. After a year of writing, submitting, edits and dealing with her new agent, Dan, the book is finally ready to be published. Mike excitedly reads it only to find out it's about his childhood growing up and eventually escaping from a cult. As the buzz for Stephanie's book grows, so does the danger of Mike's past finally coming back for him.
    (NON)FICTION examines the line between fact and fiction. When does an artist have a right to a story? And ultimately, who does the story belong to- the person who tells it or the person who lived it?
  • The Mark
    FULL LENGTH - IN DEVELOPMENT - THE MARK takes place in City Center 3, a dystopian city made up of two classes: The Army, who are the leaders and protectors, and the Laborers, everyone else. The Army is run by a woman in her 40s and members are delineated by the mark on their face - a red line down the their forehead that divides over the eyes. Raina, a young laborer who works in a bakery with her dad, is going...
    FULL LENGTH - IN DEVELOPMENT - THE MARK takes place in City Center 3, a dystopian city made up of two classes: The Army, who are the leaders and protectors, and the Laborers, everyone else. The Army is run by a woman in her 40s and members are delineated by the mark on their face - a red line down the their forehead that divides over the eyes. Raina, a young laborer who works in a bakery with her dad, is going through the mandatory selection to get into The Army. She fails, but is offered a position as The Commander's assistant. As Rains starts to acclimate to her new position and higher standing in society, a resistance is brewing against The Army. An assassination attempt upends Raina's life as she finds out that The Commander is the mother she never knew and that the leader of the resistance is her father-who she thought she knew. Raina is then torn between her two parents, the two classes, and her own battle of discovering who and what she believes in.
  • Pvt. Molly
    FULL LENGTH - IN DEVELOPMENT - Deborah Sampson is an often forgot about figure in American history. She masqueraded as a man in order to join the Continental Army. And not only did she make it - she got drafted into an elite squadron.
    PVT. MOLLY explores her time in the Continental Army, and the lengths she went to keep her secret.
  • Real Talk
    SHORT PLAY - 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest Finalist - Real Talk takes place during one of Annie and Becca’s “girls nights.” You know, the typical drink wine, read Cosmo, and complain about being sexually frustrated kind of girls night. Until Annie has a brilliant idea – they can just make out with each other! It would get out all of that sexual frustration without having to...
    SHORT PLAY - 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting Contest Finalist - Real Talk takes place during one of Annie and Becca’s “girls nights.” You know, the typical drink wine, read Cosmo, and complain about being sexually frustrated kind of girls night. Until Annie has a brilliant idea – they can just make out with each other! It would get out all of that sexual frustration without having to worry about falling in love with each other because they are two straight women...right?
  • Forgetting
    SHORT PLAY - A man wakes up alone not knowing where he is, who he's with, and why he's there. One thing is for certain though - he's dead.

    Developed for Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble's "Six Authors in Search of a Character" festival, where each playwright had to use Luigi Pirandello's unfinished play THE MOUNTAIN GIANTS as inspiration to answer the question...
    SHORT PLAY - A man wakes up alone not knowing where he is, who he's with, and why he's there. One thing is for certain though - he's dead.

    Developed for Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble's "Six Authors in Search of a Character" festival, where each playwright had to use Luigi Pirandello's unfinished play THE MOUNTAIN GIANTS as inspiration to answer the question "Who are the mountain giants?"
  • Ms. Chapman
    SHORT PLAY - Dana Chapman is working a shift in an empty dive bar, avoiding writers block and her ex. When a stranger walks in claiming to be from the future, Dana is forced to make a decision that not only affects her future, but the future of humanity.
  • All I Really Want
    SHORT PLAY - A first-year cadet at West Point decides to share some unexpected news with a military veteran - who also happens to be her mother.

    Developed for Broken Nose Theatre's Bechdel Fest 7: Momentum.
  • The Mother Load
    SHORT PLAY - Four of Greece's greatest warriors are chosen by the goddess Athena to compete in a little friendly competition - where themselves and the winner's mother win immortality and join the ranks of the gods. However, Athena is not the judge, the audience is!