Lauren Yee
Lauren Yee

2018 Finalist

The Great Leap

Synopsis: When an American college basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game in 1989, the drama on the court goes deeper than the strain between their countries. For two men with a past and one teen with a future, it’s a chance to stake their moment in history and claim personal victories off the scoreboard. American coach Saul grapples with his relevance to the sport, Chinese coach Wen Chang must decide his role in his rapidly-changing country and Chinese American player Manford seeks a lost connection. Tensions rise right up to the final buzzer as history collides with the action in the stadium. Inspired by events in the life of the playwright’s own father.

Cast Breakdown:
#1: MANFORD. 17, male, chinese american. intense, scrappy, runs into trouble, attacks the rim, with a ruthless crossover. not tall. more allen iverson than jeremy lin.

#2: CONNIE. 25, female, chinese american, manford’s cousin and UC berkeley grad student. level-headed, big picture. a chris paul/klay thompson type.

#3: WEN CHANG. 43, male, chinese, coach of beijing university’s men’s basketball team. observant, efficient. favors three pointers over aggressive inside shots. tim duncan would appreciate his energy. (his english is formal, but relatively unaccented.)

#4: SAUL. 52, male, jewish, coach of university of san francisco’s men’s basketball team. a shit-talking, shotblocking, washed up larry bird.

Set/Costume Requirements: The play takes place in 1989, with flashbacks to 1971, so the characters should be dressed in clothes that reflect this.


Agent: Di Glazer

Bio: Lauren Yee’s play King of the Yees premiered this past season at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre. Upcoming: Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Rep; The Great Leap at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, and Atlantic Theatre Company; King of the Yees at SF Playhouse and Baltimore Center Stage; and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Other plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore, Company One), In a Word (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), and Samsara (Victory Gardens, Chance). Her work is published by Samuel French.Recent honors: Kesselring Prize, Francesca Primus Prize, an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List (Cambodian Rock Band and The Great Leap). Finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award and Edward M. Kennedy Prize. Member of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab and alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. Current commissions: Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, and Trinity Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.