Crap-shootishness is part of the charm of new play festivals, and with six scripts scheduled for readings, this one will necessarily have its share. But host Victory Gardens Theater has clearly taken measures to limit the downside variables. Ignition Festival’s opening-night offering, for instance, is by Greg Kotis, a former Neo-Futurist best known as coauthor of the eccentric Broadway hit Urinetown. (Of course, he also cowrote Yeast Nation, an awful thing set in the year 3,000,458,000 BCE, so maybe that’s not as reassuring as it sounds.) Kotis’s contribution is The Wayward Bunny (Fri 7:30 PM), in which a mystery writer undergoes a night of terror while searching for his missing son.
Another confidence builder is Laura Jacqmin, the Chicago-based author of several solid dramas, including the excellent Look, We Are Breathing. She’s represented here by EOM (End of Message) (Sat 7:30 PM), about game developers “crunching to meet an impossible deadline.”
Further attractions: Breach: A Manifesto on Race in America Through the Eyes of a Black Girl Recovering From Self-Hate (Sat 3 PM) by Antoinette Nwandu, whose Pass Over is scheduled for a run at Steppenwolf in spring 2017. James Ijames’s Kill Move Paradise (Sun noon), touted as an “expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that ‘all lives matter.’ ” Karen Hartman’s Gaza Rehearsal, a “tragedy inside a comedy” following a Palestinian theater company as it rehearses Goliath—which happens to be the name of another Hartman play. And Tegan McLeod’s Girls in Cars Underwater (Sun 7:30 PM), which isn’t the Chappaquiddick story but rather the tale of a woman who mistakenly believes the path to redemption lies through a job at a tough bar.
Ignition Festival of New Plays 8/5-8/7: Fri 7:30 and 9:30 PM; Sat 3, 5 and 7:30 PM; Sun noon, 3, 5, 7:30, and 9:30 PM, Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000, victorygardens.org, free.