Underscore Theatre's Hit Musical HAYMARKET Adds Four Weeks of Performances; Transfers To Theater Wit - August 3 - September 2, 2018
Following a successful five-week run at The Den Theatre’s Heath Main Stage, Underscore Theatre Company, in association with Theater Wit is pleased to announce a transfer and extension of its hit musical HAYMARKET, the true story of Chicago’s infamous Haymarket riot. HAYMARKET will play an additional four weeks of performances featuring the full original cast from August 3 – September 2, 2018 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. Tickets for the extension are currently available are available at underscoretheatre.org, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office. Performances continue at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago through Sunday, July 22, 2018.
With book, music and lyrics by Alex Higgin-Houser and David Kornfeld, twelve actors accompany themselves to a stirring folk-infused score. Following its world premiere in 2016 as Haymarket: The Anarchist’s Songbook (Jeff Award nomination, Best New Musical) the authors, alongside director Nick Thornton and musical director Robert Ollis, have crafted an all-new theatrical experience – creating new songs, overhauling the book, and like the union workers from the show, building on a strong foundation.
The full original cast returns for the extension: Bridget Adams-King as Lucy Parsons, Erik Pearson as Albert Parsons, T.J. Anderson as August Spies, Joey Harbert as Louis Lingg, Josiah Robinson as Adolph Fischer, Mike Mazzocca as George Engel, Sarah Beth Tanner as Jane Engel, Amanda Giles as Nina Van Zandt, Melanie Vitaterna as Joanna Fischer and Kelan M. Smith, Eric Loughlin and Elleon Dobias as the Pick Chorus.
Based on historical events, HAYMARKET tells the dramatic story of labor unrest in Chicago, 1886, where striking workers clashed with a brutal police force, resulting in an act of terror, a corrupt trial and the death of five innocent men. Told by a cast of twelve actor-instrumentalists, HAYMARKET is a folk, bluegrass and Americana adventure.
Comments Laura Stratford, recently named Underscore’s sole Artistic Director, “Haymarket is a story of the power of people working together to change the world. I’m thrilled that, through the hard work of our staff and ensemble, we are able to partner with Theater Wit to bring this story to a larger audience. The timing is especially meaningful to Underscore because this extension is a fitting send-off to our Founding Artistic Director Alex Higgin-Houser, the production's book writer and lyricist, who begins his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU Tisch in the fall. Since our founding, Alex has encouraged Underscore to think big, work hard and take risks. I can imagine no more appropriate time for our first transfer and extension than right now, and no more fitting project to do it with than his passion project and love song to the Chicago labor movement.”
The production team for HAYMARKET includes: Eric Luchen (scenic designer), Christina Leinicke (costume designer), Erik Barry (lighting designer), Brandon Reed (sound designer), Kate Cuellar (dramaturg), Jena Sugay (assistant director), Andy Lynn and Ellen Domonkos White (co-production managers) Josh Prishing (technical director) and Kristin Mazzocca (stage manager).
Book and Lyrics: Alex Higgin-Houser
Music: David Kornfeld
Director: Nick Thornton
Music Director: Robert Ollis
Cast (in alphabetical order): Bridget Adams-King (Lucy Parsons), T.J. Anderson (August Spies), Elleon Dobias (Pick Chorus), Amanda Giles (Nina Van Zandt), Joey Harbert (Louis Lingg), Eric Loughlin (Pick Chorus), Mike Mazzocca (George Engel), Erik Pearson (Albert Parsons), Josiah Robinson (Adolph Fischer), Kelan M. Smith (Pick Chorus), Sarah Beth Tanner (Jane Engel) and Melanie Vitaterna (Joanna Fischer).
Understudies/swings: Lev Caruso (Male Swing), Katherine Duffy (Female Swing) and Khloe Janel (Lucy Parsons understudy).
Location: Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago
Dates: Friday, August 3 – Sunday, September 2, 2018.
Curtain Times: Mondays at 7:30 pm, Friday at 7:30, Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a 7:30 pm performance on Friday, August 24; there will not be 3 pm performances on Saturday, August 25 or Sunday August 26.
Tickets: Mondays & Fridays: $30 - $45. Saturday & Sundays: $35 - $45. Seniors: $3 off all performances. Student/industry discounts on Mondays: $15 - $20. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.
Alex Higgin-Houser (Book and Lyrics) is a playwright, lyricist and director. Working with his frequent collaborators David Kornfeld, Laura Stratford and Brendan Siegfried, Alex has written six full-length musicals, including Haymarket (2016 Jeff Award Nomination for Best New Musical), The 57th National Mathlete Sum-it (2017 official NYMF selection, published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide in 2018), Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical (2017 Actors Training Company workshop, 2010 Midwest tour), Spa Fire: The Children of the 1% (Abbiefest official selection, commissioned by Ex-Pat Theatricals), Pr0ne (Underscore world premiere 2013, CMTF workshop production 2015) and Liberal Arts: The Musical (Underscore world premiere 2012, collegiate premiere 2009). As Co-Artistic Director for Underscore, Alex co-founded the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, and has produced or co-produced 65 new musicals. In 2018, Alex will be attending NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre MFA writing program.
David Kornfeld (Music) received his BA in composition from Carleton College and is currently pursuing his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His musicals include Haymarket: the Anarchist’s Songbook (Jeff Nominated – Best New Musical), Liberal Arts: the Musical!, Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical, Pr0ne: a Hardcore, Amateur Musical and Numbers Nerds, which premiered this summer at NYMF. His Chicago collaborations include Loyola University, Open Door Rep, Li'l Buds Theatre Company, Theatre-Hikes, The Cabaret Project, Stone Soup, Chicago Mammals, CPA Theatricals, Whiskey Wry, weAre Productions, comedienne Brittny Congleton, the Hip Young Gunslingers Big Band and many more. He is a co-founder of Underscore Theatre.
Nick Thornton (Director) is a freelance director, dramaturg and teaching artist, in addition to being the Literary Manager and Education Coordinator at the Greenhouse Theater Center (GTC). His upcoming projects include serving as the director/curator of Other Ways to Resist, a festival of new activist theater at North Central College, and movement director of Peter and the Starcather (North Central College). Recent Chicago credits include movement director and dramaturg of Birds of a Feather (GTC), director of Mudlark Theatre’s Short Play Festival, developmental dramaturg of Miss Major Cushman (GTC), co-movement and associate director of the Greenhouse Theater Center’s Machinal (named one of the 10 best shows of 2017 by the Chicago Tribune), puppetry director of The Making of a Modern Folk Hero (Other Theatre), developmental dramaturg/assistant director of I Do Today (Other Theatre) and director of The Parking Lot Discord (Peacebook/Collaboration). Nick also serves as a teaching artist at Pegasus Theatre, Mudlark Theater and Windy City Musical Theatre. Regional credits include authoring the book of The Conductor, a new musical comedy (Metallic Mannequin Company), director/lead devisor of Maundy (Metallic Mannequin Company), assistant director and dramaturg of Other Desert Cities and The Glass Menagerie (Farmer’s Alley Theatre) and director of the workshop premiere of Adam Pasen’s Badfic Love (Queer Theatre Kalamazoo). Nick is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University’s Department of Theatre as well as an alumnus of the DirectorsLabChicago. For more information on his work please visit nickthornton.weebly.com.
Robert Ollis (Music Director) has worked with Underscore Theatre as the score and script of Haymarket has evolved. Robert is an Artistic Associate of Pride Films & Plays and served as Music Director for PFP’s productions of YANK! A WWII Love Story, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, The Nance, The Boy from OZ, Songs from an Unmade Bed, A History of Summer, The Book of Merman and Under A Rainbow Flag. He has also music-directed a number of Chicago Casting Auction productions, including The Addams Family, The Drowsy Chaperone, Anything Goes, Damn Yankees and others, as well as countless local theatre-benefit concerts. Robert received a Jeff Award for music direction of Kiss of the Spider Woman, plus Jeff nominations for five other shows. Robert has also served as Music Director for notable productions at Bailiwick Chicago and Bailiwick Repertory Theatre. Robert helped create Judy & Liza: The London Palladium Concert — a Tribute, now being presented around the country. Robert has accompanied performers Donna McKechnie, Capathia Jenkins, Andrea Marcovicci, Nancy Hays, Nick Adams and Alexandra Billings at cabaret and concert venues in New York City and Chicago. www.Robert-Ollis.com
About Underscore Theatre Company
Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced or co-produced 65 new mainstage and workshop musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.
About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
“A thrilling addition to Chicago’s roster of theaters” (Chicago Tribune) and “a terrific place to see a show” (New City), Theater Wit is now in its eighth season at its home at 1229 N. Belmont Ave., in the heart of the new Belmont Theatre District in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. In 2014, Theater Wit was awarded the National Theatre Award by the American Theatre Wing for strengthening the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater.
The company’s most recent hits include Women Laughing Alone with Salad by Sheila Callaghan, The Antelope Party by Eric John Meyer, This Way Outta Santaland by Mitchell Fain, 10 Out of 12 and Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn, Naperville by Mat Smart, The New Sincerity by Alena Smith, Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence and Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England by Madeleine George and Completeness and The Four of Us by Itamar Moses.
Visit TheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, (773) 975-8150, to purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or to buy single tickets. To receive an “artisanal selection of consonants and vowels from Theater Wit,” sign up at TheaterWit.org/mailing for exclusive updates, flash deals and behind-the-scenes production scoop every few weeks.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★