I am Leah Raidt:
a spunky, queer actor/director/educator based in Chicago, IL by way of Louisville, KY. Directing makes fun, meaningful use of my natural-born leadership skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to unite people with diverse voices and opinions. In short, I want to be the Brené Brown of theatre making— equipping others to heal artistic injuries, and cultivate mindsets rooted in abundance, bravery, and joy.
My professional work began as an actor in Chicago, where I trained at The Theatre School at DePaul University and The School at Steppenwolf. Like many freelance artists forging a career for themselves, I found myself in an unsustainable cycle of burn out. I was supplementing income through various teaching and mentorship positions, which allowed me to invest and support others, but I lacked the skills and tools to invest in and support myself. This realization led me to the world of personal development and Vedic meditation. Through practice, I am learning to let go of “the starving, struggling artist” narrative to uncover my authentic voice. Debunking this “starving, struggling artist” myth for myself and others is at the heart of my mission.
I uplift and amplify queer, feminist perspectives in my work— not to preach to the choir of fellow young(ish), theatre-going folx— but to spark new insights and questions from an intergenerational audience who may have nothing in common besides a desire to better themselves for the benefit of their community. Like a great sports coach, my creative process is athletic and intentional. I utilize Brave Space tools to build a foundation of trust and accountability within a team. I champion the pursuit of fun, and will to risk failure for growth. I am ready to make theatre that pushes all players, from actor to spectator, out of a solitary headspace and into an embodied journey together.