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book and lyrics by Alex Higgin-Houser

music by David Kornfeld

directed by Nicolas Thornton

Produced by Underscore Theatre Company and the Den Theatre

June 11 to July 22nd at the Den Theatre

Anarchy, Chicago, and the bomb that changed the world forever.

Haymarket, first presented by Underscore under the title Haymarket: the Anarchist's Songbook in 2016 to critical and audience acclaim, is back, with a vengeance. Having spent the last two years workshopping the show, authors Kornfeld and Higgin-Houser alongside director Nicolas Thornton have crafted an all-new theatrical experience, building on the success of its previous incarnation, creating new songs, overhauling the book, and like the union workers from the show, rebuilding from the ground up.

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, led by Lucy Parsons, the African American firebrand and wife of one of the accused anarchists.

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Press and Awards

"Press quote" - Publication

Winner! Jeff Award for sexiest director

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Cast & Creatives

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 6 full-length musicals, including Haymarket: The Anarchist's Songbook (Creator, Book/Lyrics; 2016 Jeff Award Nomination for Best New Musical), The 57th National Mathlete Sum-it (Lyrics; 2017 official New York Musicals Festival selection, published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide in 2018), Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical (Book/Lyrics; 2017 Actors Training Company workshop, 2010 midwest tour), Spa Fire: The Children of the 1% (Book/Lyrics; Abbiefest official selection, commissioned by Ex-Pat Theatricals), Pr0ne  (Book/Lyrics; Underscore Theatre Company world-premiere 2013, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival workshop production 2015), and Liberal Arts: The Musical (Book/Lyrics; Underscore world-premiere 2012, Carleton College collegiate premiere 2009). As co-Artistic Director for Underscore Theatre Company, Chicago's home for new musicals, Alex co-founded the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival Alex lives in Chicago with his wife Francesca, their dog Ragueneau, and their cats Portia, Balthazar, and d'Artagnan.

David Kornfeld (music) grew up frolicking in California's wine country, and received his BA in composition from Carleton College. A founder of Underscore Theatre Company in Chicago, his collaborations have included Chicagoland's Open Door Rep, Loyola University, Chicago Cabaret Project, Theatre-Hikes, and Playhouse On The Square in Memphis, where he was nominated for an Ostrander Award for his musical direction of Assassins. Apart from Haymarket, nominated for the 2017 Jeff Award for Best New Musical, his original musicals include Pr0ne: a Hardcore, Amateur Musical, Liberal Arts: the Musical!, Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical, and 57th National Mathlete Sum-It, a commission from CPA Theatricals, published by TRW in Spring of 2018. He is a current Masters student in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Apart from music, David enjoys the outdoors, cookery, and rearranging his furniture, much to his wife’s chagrin. 

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