Next Draft Series


Three Cat Productions announces our new staged reading series, Next Draft.  This monthly staged reading series will continue Three Cat Productions commitment to new work and is meant to be an extension of the Chicago New Work Festival.  The reading series will held on the third Monday of each month at the Berger Park Cultural Center first floor.  These readings will be free to the public.

Up Next:

2016 Upcoming Readings


The Gorilla King by David Finney
Directed by Kristina McCloskey

December 19, 2016 at 7pm

It’s 1948 and times are changing for the Callahan family and their little grocery store. The store, a fixture in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood for years, is going broke; it’s customers siphoned away by the new A&P that just opened down the block. Thomas Callahan refuses to face the problem. His daughter, Ona, struggles to balance the books, hoping she can squeeze enough out of them to pay the bills. In addition, Ona’s dreamy nine-year-old son, Bobbie, a child she has never understood, can’t read. Father Sullivan, Principal of St., Jude’s Elementary, has just told her Bobbie will not pass into the fifth grade if he cannot pass the school’s reading exam at the end of summer.

Feeling trapped and isolated, Ona dreams of escaping the store and becoming a baker but she hasn’t enough money to pay the tuition to the city’s culinary vocational school. When Michael O’Fallon, a successful shopkeeper, shows up asking her for a date, she plots to scam the tuition money from him and escape the family grocery. Her one major problem: Bobbie thinks Michael is a “knucklehead” and he’s figured out her plan. Her scheme tears open the Callahan family and forces her to make a decision between her dreams and her son.

About the Playwright

David Finney worked in broadcasting and advertising for well over forty-years arriving in Chicago in 1972 when he was hired as a television news writer at WBBM-TV (CBS2). He moved to WMAQ-TV (NBC5) to become a producer/writer for a magazine show and then, for five years, was the station’s Program Director. In the early 90’s, he left broadcasting to become the Creative Director for the Atrium Marketing Group, writing and producing commercials for such clients as Johnson & Johnson, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana and Tribune Syndication. Following that, he joined Chicago Public Schools as Director of Television Services and several years later took a job as Education Director for the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, a vocational school teaching radio and television production. He is now retired.


To see a list of our previous Next Draft Readings,  please visit this link.