If you want to get a peek at developing shows that might be featured in future theater seasons around Chicago, then don't miss Victory Gardens Theater's 2016 IGNITION Festival of New Plays. Six selected plays are presented in readings that are directed by leading artists in Chicago. The 2016 lineup features The Wayward Bunny, by Greg Kotis ( Urinetown ) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5; BREACH: a manifesto on race in America through the eyes of a Black girl recovering from self-hate by Antoinette Nwandu at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6; EOM ( end of message ) by Laura Jacqmin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6; Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames at noon Sunday, Aug. 7; Gaza Rehearsal by Karen Hartman at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7; Girls in Cars Underwater by Tegan McLeod at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7. All performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Each event is free, although advance ticket reservations are required; call 773-871-3000 or visit VictoryGardens.org .
Byhalia, Mississippi, Definition Theater & The New Colony at Steppenwolf 1700, through Aug. 21. Don't call them "white trash"these are the people who could elect our next president, and their efforts deserve our respect. MSB
Between Riverside and Crazy, Steppenwolf Theatre, through Aug. 21. Cop shootings, economic insecurity and the troubles of marginalized citizens aren't funny in 2016, but at Steppenwolf, playgoers can expect to be entertained as well as enlightened. MSB
Chops, Dashnight Productions @ Theater Wit, through Aug. 14. This neat four-hander is an authentic Chicago "guy" play in the Mamet tradition, only slicker. Profound? Naw. Great play for actors? Yeah! And that's why you'll enjoy this 90-minute who's-conning-who riff that also pays tribute to classic jazz. JA
Company, Writers Theatre, Glencoe, extended through Aug. 7. Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's groundbreaking 1970 Broadway musical about a New York bachelor weighing the pros and cons of marriage receives a superlative production under the assured direction of William Brown. SCM
By Barnidge and Morgan