The Great Leap 

by LAUREN YEE
directed by DESDEMONA CHIANG

A sharp-witted new drama

When an American basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama goes deeper than the strain between countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, the game is a chance to claim personal victories on and off the court. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as a pivotal moment in history collides with the action in the arena. Driven by rapid-fire dialogue, this perceptive new play explores the cultural and political risks of raising your voice and standing your ground.

Five things to know

  • This play is (and isn’t) about basketball.
  • It explores how family, identity and survival shape each character and bring them to a pivotal moment of truth.
  • Lauren Yee is one of the most produced playwrights in the country and has collaborated with director Desdemona Chiang for more than a decade.
  • The title refers to the game of basketball and the Communist Party of China’s Great Leap Forward campaign in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
  • You don’t have to be a history or basketball buff to engage with the story. 

Ticket prices

Prices range from $29 to $78.

Pro tip: Preview performances start at $15 (January 12–17). Hurry, these go quickly! 

Detailed pricing

Venue info

The Great Leap will take place on the McGuire Proscenium Stage.

Pro tip: Can't do stairs or have a special seating request? Call the Box Office for details. 

Content advisory

This production contains mature language. 

First timer's guide

What do I wear? Is there parking? Here is a quick guide to make your first visit memorable. 

Play guide

Did you know The Great Leap is loosely based on the life of playwright Lauren Yee's father? 

Check back for the play guide to dig a little deeper. 

Accessibility

ASL, Audio Described and Open Captioned performances are available on select dates. 

Learn More about Accessibility

Related events

Post-play discussions

The best conversations happen after hours. Stay late or come early on these dates for a discussion with the artists who bring the show to life.

See dates

Artists

Cast

Leah Anderson

Connie

Lawrence Kao

Manford

Kurt Kwan

Wen Chang

Lee Sellars

Saul

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Creative

Joseph Haj

Artistic Director

Lauren Yee

Playwright

Desdemona Chiang

Director

Sara Ryung Clement

Scenic Designer

Helen Huang

Costume Designer

Paul P. Whitaker

Lighting Designer

Sarah Pickett

Sound Designer

Tom Mays

Projection Designer

Jo Holcomb

Dramaturg

Keely J. Wolter

Voice and Dialect Coach

Jason Clusman

Stage Manager

Tierra Anderson

Assistant Stage Manager

View More

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