If You Split A Second

May 2–June 2

Written by Dana Lynn Formby
Directed by Ilesa Duncan

Formby’s new play IF YOU SPLIT A SECOND asks the question: What happens when a man makes a choice that is so devastating it explodes the lives of everyone he loves? Mick Johnson is a man who has everything but doesn’t know how to keep it: a new job promotion, promise of a home, a loving wife and two young kids. In one second he was given a choice—to give into his rage and risk it all or walk away. As Mick sits in prison with nothing but time, he recounts his decisions and watches the life of family unfold through another man’s eyes.  This contemporary drama explores crime and punishment, choices and consequences and the gift/curse of family.

Playwright Formby shares, “I am fascinated in the concept that we are defined by the decisions we make. What we do in a moment can redefine who we are. Sometimes we question these decisions and when that occurs a person remains in conflict over the decision they chose to make.  I am also interested in the idea that often times socioeconomic truths help create an environment in which children repeat their parent’s mistakes. They have a very difficult time escaping the repetition of the same struggles their folks had.”

The two-person drama stars Dylan McGorty and Stephanie Chavara who seamlessly transition into multiple characters.

If You Split a Second


Dylan McGorty – Past credits include Always Saturday, Hizzoner, and Myth of Love at PROP THTR, and Old Town,Spring Awakening, and the Wireless Radio Series with Strawdog Theatre Company (where he coaches the softball team). You may have also seen him perform as a member of iO’s former house team Cutlass Supreme.

Stephanie Chavara is an actor, storyteller, and teaching artist. She has worked with Signal Ensemble, TimeLine, Adventure Stage, Remy Bumppo, Collaboraction, and The Agency. In addition she has collaborated on original performances pieces as a dancer and puppeteer with Rooms Gallery, Champagne and Milk, and HERE Theatre Company. She has performed her stories with Salonathon, Lifeline’s Fillet of Solo, and 2nd Story-where she is also a company member. She has studied at NYU, and the Rhodopi International Collective in Bulgaria, and has her MFA from DePaul University.

Dana Lynn Formby (Playwright). Her play AMERICAN BEAUTYSHOP was read at Florida Studio Theatre during their Burdick Reading Series, The Illinois Shakespeare Festival and at Steep theatre this past year.   CORAZÓN DE MANZANA was recently co-produced at Storefront Theatre in Chicago by The DCA and Mortar Theatre Company. She is a 2012 P73 Semi-finalist and a Wendy Wasserstien 2011 Nominee.  Her play THE SMALL OF HER BACK, a 2009 Kendeda Finalist, was given a workshop production at The Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, a reading at New York Theatre Workshop, and PICT; INHERIT THE WHOLE, was presented in readings at Premiere Stages, Victory Gardens, and was Mortar Theatre’s inaugural production in 2010; and ARMED WITH PEANUT BUTTER, winner of the 2009 Kennedy Center National 10-Minute Playwriting Award, and seen in the 2009 Source Festival.  The play has enjoyed various productions throughout the United States. She has received commissions from Ohio University’s School of Medicine to write a play dealing with Type II Diabetes (Sugar Bear) and from the Ohio School of Psychology to write a play tackling Sickle Cell (120 Days). Her play LOADED GAVEL was invited to the 2007 Houston Urban Reading Series. Dana’s first full-length, ‘FREQUENCY 98.6′, was given a full production at the University of Wyoming in 2005 and invited to the regional American College Theatre Festival in 2006. Her one-act play MONDAY AFTER WORK won her a scholarship to the 2005 Playwright’s Intensive at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Dana is the 2008 recipient of the Scott McPherson Playwriting Award. She teaches playwriting at Chicago Dramatists and is a Founding member of Mortar Theatre Company.

Ilesa Duncan (Director) recently directed the acclaimed productions of THE NATIVITY for Congo Square and JAR THE FLOOR at ETA.  In addition to the last several Young Playwrights festival productions at Pegasus, her recent directing work includes IN THE CONTINUUM and SHAPE OF A GIRL (Pegasus), BLUE SHADOW (Lifeline Theatre), and HOPE SIX (Chicago Dramatists).  Some favorites include the Jeff award-winning comedy LOVE CHILD  (Theater on the Lake, Chicago Theater Co., and Live Bait Theater), SHAKIN’ THE MESS OUTTA MISERY, (CTC), WAITING TO BE INVITED (Victory Gardens), SARAFINA (Fleetwood Jourdain at Next Theatre), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (CATCO), F**KING A (Theatre School at DePaul), and RED RAIN at Lincoln Center Theatre/HERE in New York. Other direction at Pegasus includes Jeff Award nominated TICK, TICK BOOM, BREATH BOOM, EV’RY TIME I FEEL THE SPIRIT, and seven Young Playwrights Festivals (2005-2011). Ilesa is Pegasus’ Producing Artistic Director, a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director’s Lab, and a NEA/TCG Directing Fellow.  She is also Associate Artist with PanAmerica Performance Works (formerly Latino Chicago) and Chicago Dramatists.