Former student writes full length musical

Matt Troher, A&E Editor

DGN graduate Leo Fotos (2014), has gone on a truly unique path. Fotos wrote an original full-length musical, Debuting at the Chicago Musical Theater Festival (CMTF).

Entitled “TRU”, the musical follows Truman, an outgoing high school poetry teacher who serves as a leader and role model to his students. What his students don’t know, is that Truman struggles with mental health. His relationship with his mental illness is then personified by a character called “her”, in which Truman has a toxic relationship with “her”.

‘TRU’ has been in the works since it was initially conceived during Fotos’ Senior year of high school. Fotos would go directly from extracurriculars to working on the script. Fotos drew inspiration from his teachers at DGN.

“I realized that up until high school, you don’t really realize that your teachers have a personal life. Everybody always jokes that your teachers live under their desk. Going into high school I would realize that teachers would make a comment on their personal lives, and that’s when it hits you that they go home after this,” Fotos said.

The MTF is an annual event run by Chicago’s Underscore Theater Company to showcase up-and-coming musicals from the Chicago area. Over 100 shows were submitted to the festival, and “TRU” was among the eight productions to be showcased at the festival.

The festival runs from Feb. 5 – 25 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Each production is given four performance times at the CMTF,  but due to the popularity of “TRU”, three additional performances were added. All seven showings of “TRU” are sold out, the only production in the festival’s lineup to do so.