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The common conversation in 2017 often seemed to center on disruption and revelation—on breaking norms, taboos and silences, on reckoning with systemic misconduct, on empowering the disempowered, on the intersectional politics of one’s identity and on so-called identity politics. Small wonder, then, that many of the most effective productions of Chicago’s stages this year dealt with self-discovery, finding (or losing) one’s crowd, reclaiming narratives and waking up to the ways histories and futures can both be erased. With the regretful acknowledgment that I only saw a fraction of this year’s offerings (it would take five of me to come close to seeing everything onstage in the city), these are my 10 favorites of those I did.