Virtual Readings are in development!

Where new musicals are born

Underscore Theatre Company is the Chicago region's only company dedicated to developing, showcasing, and producing new musicals. Our productions have gone on to be produced regionally, receive licencing and publication deals, and win awards nationwide. Here's what we do:

Workshops &


We produce 2 fully-staged workshops every season, along with  3 to 4 readings. These are the first steps in our development pipeline, where we get shows ready for the stage. We're always accepting submissions!

Mainstage Productions

We produce 2 ticketed, mainstage production each season, giving these new musicals their world premiere stagings with professional actors, designers, musicians, and directors. We invite producers and directors from across the nation to attend.

Chicago Musical Theatre Festival

CMTF is a 3-week, 21-day festival of new musicals held annually in February during Chicago's Theatre Week. CMTF shows are selected via an open submission process. Producers stage their shows with assistance and shared resources from Underscore.

Tiny Storefront Concert Series

4 times a year, we throw a killer party in our theatre, where we showcase songs from emerging songwriters from across the country. It's BYOB, cabaret-style, and a ton of fun. As a bonus, authors get high-quality videos of their work!

Give life to a new musical

Underscore is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and all donations are fully tax deductible​. Gifts of any size help make what we do possible. In fact, donations and foundation support make up nearly 40% of our annual budget! Make a gift to Underscore today - it goes directly to developing, producing, and showcasing new musicals!