Hi all! I’m Leah Geis (she/her/hers), and I’m a director and sometimes stage manager based out of the Chicago area! I grew up on a cattle ranch just a mile from the bustling metropolis of Maskell, Nebraska, which brags of its population of 50 people and having the smallest city hall in the US. My love of creating theatre began from a young age, when my brother Joe Bob and I would write, produce, and perform plays for our family, complete with handmade programs. In our teenage years, we also co-founded an ensemble-based theatre company, Joe's Bro's Play Co., which focused creating vivid and exciting theatre for rural audiences for the five years we operated. After earning my B.F.A. in Theatre Studies with an emphasis in Directing/Stage Management from the University of South Dakota, I obtained consistent freelance work for a year before packing all my belongings in my trusty 2009 Impala relocating to Chicago in the fall of 2018. I believe this city provides a platform for me to pursue my greatest passion as a director: Collaborating with diverse viewpoints to create empathetic experiences designed to inspire and change the world we live in.
Photo by MC Photography
After making my Chicago directorial debut at PARAGON Play Festival 2018 hosted by Otherworld Theatre, I am back at it again with a striking new piece, "I'd Follow You Anywhere: A Solaris Story," by Scott Sickles.
Additionally, I just closed out FL!P Fest, a funny lesbian play festival designed to bring new queer, female-identifying and non-binary works to the Pride Film's and Plays stage.
I also just finished my debut at Underscore Theatre, where I served as production stage manager for the non-equity premier of the musical Proxy.
I'd Follow You Anywhere, by Scott Sickles.
This spring I am thrilled to be directing the world premiere of Notes and Letters, a new musical at Underscore Theatre. The show opens April 24 and information will be updated here.
I am currently working with Pride Films and Plays to continue the works we began exploring at FL!P Fest. More information will be posted as this project develops!
Think I'd be a great fit for your project? Me too! Use the "Contact Me" tab and send me a message!
"I had the pleasure of working with Leah Geis this [past] summer at the Black Hills Playhouse where she stage managed the
production of OKLAHOMA I was directing. It’s a big (and long) musical and we had a short rehearsal period in a space that was half the size of the actual stage and often exceedingly warm. Leah was wonderful! A center of calm and efficiency throughout the process, she really anticipated what was needed and had a great rapport with the company. I can’t recommend her highly enough."
-Bill Russell, director and two time
"Time and time again she (Leah) demonstrated her exceptional skill and mastery at storytelling. She did so by not only having a distinctive vision but also clearly communicating – and inspiring – her ideas to her designers and actors. Her strengths as a stage-manager (and also a director) rest in her attention to detail, organizational skills, and her dedication and passion for theatre. She proved to be such an exceptional theatre artist that we hired her to stage manage and assistant direct our production of Cabaret, where she worked with choreographer Broadway legend Chet Walker."
-Dr. Raimondo Genna, Chair and Associate Professor of Theatre Studies, University of South Dakota.
"Leah is a conscientious and hard-working stage manager. Throughout our work together on Bus Stop, she was always prompt, always prepared, and always immediately responsive to any needs on the part of myself, the actors, or the crew...Working with her was not only easy, it was enjoyable. Leah is very good at the two key tasks of a stage manager - managing people, and managing a plethora of complex details...I thank Leah for her invaluable contribution to this (Bus Stop's) success, and I recommend her work to you unreservedly."
-Dr. Timothy Pyles, director and AEA actor.
"Working with Leah is a delight! Her level of professionalism and organization is astounding and she is always ready to take on any challenges that may arise with authority and poise. All this being said though, one of my favorite aspects of working with Leah is her attitude and the environment she creates. She makes it so that everyone feels comfortable going to her to talk or ask questions and she never fails to make people laugh. Her bright, lively personality is infectious and one of her best traits. I would 100% love to work with Leah again if I get the opportunity and I cannot speak highly enough of her!"
-Allison Howe, actor/dancer.
"Working with Leah is such an amazing experience. She always knows what she wants but is still open to collaboration. She's great at working with all kinds of theatre people, including small children, adults who have never done a productions, and everything in between. She works hard and her productions are consistently great quality."
-Shekendra Morgan, stage manager
Photo by Russell Lloyd Jensen, Sage Studios