Special Support for THE GREAT LEAP provided by:

Honorary Producers: Linda & David Glickstein, Victor Keen & Jeanne Ruddy, June & Steve Wolfson


It's 1989 and Manford Lum, renowned for his basketball hustle in Chinatown, tries to talk his way on to a college team destined for a "friendship" game in China. Coach Saul blocks him hard, but Manford rebounds and launches himself on a journey to a homeland he's never known.  Bouncing between Beijing and San Francisco, between 1989 and 1971, this clever and theatrical play looks at America’s arms-length relationship with Communist China and the post-Cultural Revolution through a story about two generations of basketball players.  Smart, funny and heart-pumping, Lauren Yee's THE GREAT LEAP will have you on your feet for the final buzzer.

“...a radiant invisibility throughout this four-character comic drama... THE GREAT LEAP does not disappoint.”
— The New York Times

by Lauren Yee
directed by Seth Rozin

May 31 - June 23, 2019

Tuesday - Wednesday @ 7pm
Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm
Sunday @ 2pm

Running time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission


Richard Chan Manford Lum

Scott Greer* Saul

Justin Jain* Wen Chang

Bi Jean Ngo* Connie

*Appearing through an Agreement between InterAct Theatre Company and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Creative Team

Lauren Yee Playwright Mellie Katakalos Set Designer Jess DeStefano* Production Manager

Seth Rozin Director Peter Whinnery Lighting Designer Tom Helmer* Stage Manager

Claris Park Asst. Director Daniel Ison Sound Designer Kate Henderson Production Asst.

Natalia de la Torre Costume Designer John Kolbinski Audio Technician

Emily Schuman Properties Designer John Allerheiligen Master Electrician

Special Events


Drama for you + Drama free for your kids!
Presented by InterAct Theatre Company & Creative Caretakers


Sunday, June 16, 1:30 – 5:00 pm -- for only $25,

While you take in our 2 pm matinee, we’ll be throwing a drama party at The Drake, for potty-trained kids 3 and up! For $25 ($10 for each additional sibling), your child will enjoy 3.5 hours of theatre-themed daycare from Creative Caretakers.

Make your reservation with Creative Caretakers directly. On the day of, drop your kids off in the Arcadia Foundation Lobby at The Drake. We’ll escort you and your kids to our rehearsal room-turned-drama camp. Then you’ll head up to the show while your kids play downstairs! Stay for the post-show discussion or pick your kids up right after the play—either way, your kids will get quality care while you enjoy quality art.

To reserve, contact Amber Emory at creativecaretakerswanted@gmail.com with the subject line Parents Day Reservation 6/16. Caretaker payment will be made by cash, check or Venmo at pick-up after the show. Availability is limited, so RSVP Today!

To learn more about Creative Caretakers go to https://www.mz-initiative.org/creativecaretakers or their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/creativecaretakers

Talk Back At InterAct

Beginning Friday, June 7, enjoy our signature talkback programming after every performance of THE GREAT LEAP.


Following our 2 pm Sunday matinees, join Producing Artistic Director Seth Rozin and an expert speaker in a moderated discussion examining the real world issues portrayed through the play. Our Speaker Sunday guests will be announced shortly.

  • SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Dr. Salman Akhtar, Psychiatrist - Jefferson University

  • SUNDAY, JUNE 16: Anne Ishii, Executive Director - Asian Arts Initiative

  • SUNDAY, JUNE 23: Josephine D. Lee, Professor of English and Asian American Studies - University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, stick around after the show for informal discussions with the artists, complimentary coffee from Rival Bros. and treats from Insomnia Cookies.

  • TUESDAY, JUNE 11 & 18

  • WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12 & 19


Discussions occur after all other performances during the run. These will be facilitated by local community members to foster conversation after the show, connecting the themes and events of the play to our larger community.

  • FRIDAY, JUNE 7: Facilitated by assistant director Claris Park & Cat Ramirez, Creative Director of Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA)

  • SATURDAY JUNE 8: Facilitated by stage manager and producer Melody Wong

  • THURSDAY JUNE 13: Facilitated by actor and PAPA Core Playwright Arthur Robinson



  • THURSDAY JUNE 20: Facilitated by actor and PAPA Core Playwright Arthur Robinson

  • FRIDAY JUNE 21: Facilitated by InterAct Core Playwright David Jacobi

  • SATURDAY JUNE 22: Facilitated by Stephanie Walters, founder of PAPA Core Playwrights

Past Events

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Stop by before the 8 PM performance of THE GREAT LEAP! Grab a drink and a snack in our comfortable lobby, while mingling for a good cause with fellow patrons. From 7 - 8 PM, 50% of all concessions sales will be donated to The Council!

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to informing and engaging people of all ages on matters of national and international significance. The Council provides its members and the greater Philadelphia community with access to influential figures in the global arena as well as opportunities to visit fascinating destinations through its unique travel program. With the support of individual and corporate members, the Council's global education program enhances the education of area students who are the citizens, workforce, and leaders of the future. Carrying its mission beyond Philadelphia, the Council produces the national public television series, The Whole Truth with David Eisenhower.


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Be the first to see THE GREAT LEAP, pay what you wish, and support a fantastic organization all at the same time! Cash only donations will be collected at the door beginning at 7pm. All door proceeds will benefit the Philadelphia Suns.

Since 1972, the Philadelphia (Philly) Suns have played an active part in enriching the Asian communities of Philadelphia through sports and service. The Philly Suns organization seeks to build character in its members so that they can be positive influences in both its teams and communities, as well as productive team players in their personal and professional lives. The organization also fosters community by encouraging sportsmanship and volunteerism, while instilling values of leadership, hard work, respect, integrity and self-control, among various age groups, through team-wide events.