Playwright Bios for
Six Authors in Search of a Character


Jeff Bouthiette


Jeff Bouthiette is a playwright, songwriter, actor, and director; and is currently the Head of the Training Center Music Program at the Second City in Chicago. His work has been presented by Chicago Dramatists (Saturday Series), Stage Left (Leapfest), Gorilla Tango, Strangeloop Theater (Loopshop 8), the Greenhouse (Trellis series), Nomads Theater (San Diego), and more. Recently, his original song cycle, Planted, was presented as part of the Chicago Musical Theater Festival. His original musical Janus was a finalist in Fine Print Theatre's Citizens Play Festival, and won first place in the Overall Entertainment category. Previously, Jeff served as a staff writer on Bare Boned Theatre’s live LGBT soap opera The Ville for three years.

Spenser Davis

Away Game

Spenser Davis is excited to help Ghostlight Ensemble kick off its inaugural season with this fest! Most recently, Spenser was a finalist for the Heideman Award, and his first full-length play Merge received its World Premiere at The New Colony. He also works around town as a director and actor. During the past season, he directed the Midwest Premiere of At The Table (Broken Nose Theatre) and played Bobby in American Buffalo (Mary-Arrchie). He hopes you enjoy yourself!

Rory Jobst

Rock Show

Rory Jobst is absolutely delighted to be part of this project, being a big fan of constraint writing since he took an Oulipo class in grad school. He has produced many of his original plays at Chicago's own Rhinoceros Theater Festival including A Babel Fish for Charlie Brown's Mom,The Belle of AustinCivil Rights LegsSamuel Beckett, Andre the Giant, and the Crickets, and Disney Pixar's Beers. Other produced work includes Dislocation to the Left at Curious Theater Branch, Daniel Day Lewis and the Big Potatas at the Prop Thtr, The Rorsky Plays at Oracle Theater, a contribution to Today We Escape at Tympanic Theater, Super-Wellesian at the Chicago Fringe Festival and Acting Unlimited, and Hey, Vern, What's the Frequency at the last ever Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival. Rory holds an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is on the Communications Faculty at Truman College.

Jillian Leff


Jillian Leff is a Chicago-based playwright and actor. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has a BFA in Acting from Ball State University (chirp chirp). Her writing has been seen around the city in The Chicago Danztheatre Full Circle Festival (Fly on the Wall), and Nothing Special Productions's Fight Night X (The Mother-Load). Her short play, Real Talk, was a finalist for the 2015 City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. Her full-length (Non)Fiction, has received development and readings through the Waukegan Theatre Festival and Forget Me Not Theatre Company, and is receiving a reading through Dear Stone Theater Company in April. She is a company member with The Cuckoo's Theater Project and has gotten to work with other awesome companies such as The New Colony, Runaways Lab Theatre, EDGE Theatre, and now Ghostlight! She sends lots of love to her family and friends for being the awesome people they are.

Francesca Peppiatt

The Mountain Giants: Act IV

Francesca Peppiatt is an Emmy nominated writer whose work includes production stints with TV icons Dick Clark, Love Connection and Hee Haw.  As an actor she appeared on The Paula Poundstone Show with Paula and Lily Tomlin, Lust’n’Rust: The Trailer Park Musical, trained with Second City in Santa Monica and Chicago and tap-danced in a film choreographed by Twyla Tharp.  Francesca is the Producing Artistic Director of Stockyards Theatre Project, playwright, actor, and has four published books to her name.

As a playwright, Francesca has seen her works produced on a number of stages across the country and recently her play The True Story of CinderElla was included in a short play anthology book. Her essay submission to the Dramatist Guild Fund #WriteChange was one of 10 chosen to receive a scholarship to attend their conference in La Jolla, California.  Francesca has worked with a number of composers to create short form musicals and one of the larger pieces is a musical adaptation of Treasure Island, with composer Elizabeth Doyle.

Sean Margaret "Maggie" Wagner hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota, where clinical studies at 3M proved her to be the most brightly packaged, environmentally-friendly, and cost effective playwright and Storyteller/Monologist available in her price range. 

Maggie teaches with the Chicago Dramatists New Musicals Program, and is a lyricist and bookwriter for numerous musicals including Being Dead Is No Excuse: A Southern Woman’s Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral. She writes for disability awareness blog Spork! and reviews theater productions for web publication Theatre By Numbers. You can catch her spinning yarns for Loose Chicks, Bad Grammar, The Nerdologues, and wherever quality theatrics are sold.