2nd Annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL to Kick Off 6/30 at The Den Theatre

Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to announce the line-up and full casting for its second annual CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL, featuring an unprecedented 13 world-premiere musicals by local artists. Created to showcase Chicago's burgeoning field of musical theatre creators, this year's festival will include ten full-length musicals and three one-acts.

The CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL will be presented June 30 - July 19, 2015 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.cmtf.org. The press opening is Tuesday, June 30 at 6 pm (How To Run For Mayor), 7:30 pm (Fanatical) and 9:30 pm (American Smoothie).

From a new spin on the Chicago Mayoral race - to a Chekhov-inspired rock musical - to a fantastical journey back in time to a 1980s prom - the CHICAGO MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL offers something for everyone. Productions are chosen from two categories: mentored submissions, in which writers and composers submit completed works of musical theatre to be produced by Underscore Theatre - and independent submissions, in which producers submit "production-ready" works of musical theatre to be produced independently by the submitters. After receiving 45 submissions, the festival's team has selected two mentored musicals and eleven independent musicals to be performed at the festival.

"Chicago has a vibrant, growing community of musical theatre creators who need an artistic home, and we aim to give them one," comments Festival Director and Underscore Theatre Company Artistic Director Alex Higgin-Houser. "Sources of support often go to larger institutions, and with the exception of the well-connected, there are few avenues in Chicago to produce a new musical. Which makes sense - musicals are risky, and more expensive than putting on a play. But by creating the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, Underscore is providing a platform for emerging composer/lyricist teams to have their work supported, explored and most importantly - performed!," adds Higgin-Houser.

One Thousand Words

Book and Lyrics by Michael Braud, Music by Curran Latas

Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

Featuring Michael Achenbach, Bill Chamberlain, Megan Gill, Joe Hornberger, Mark Labella, Eddie Ledford, Juwan Lockett, Aaron Mason, Rylee Rawcliffe, Justin Stevens, Jessup Stokes, Trevor Straub, Shaina Summerville and Alaina Wis.

Richard Hanks knows that writing a thousand words about two men who were in love in the 1940s will help promote himself at the Forward Magazine, but what he doesn't realize is how much hearing the story of the men will change his perspective on equality. The audience follows Richard's journey, and in doing so, gets a glimpse at a love story that must struggle against a quickly changing, unacceptable culture.