A new folk musical by Alex Higgin-Houser and David Kornfeld

directed by Nick Thornton

music directed by Robert Ollis

NEW: Haymarket has extended! Now performing at Theater Wit through September 16th.

"Beautiful... Superb... A great success"

Chicago Sun-Times

"Delightfully raucous... WONDERFUL... will give you shivers"

Windy City Times

Haymarket: A New Folk Musical tells the true story of Chicago’s infamous Haymarket Affair. Anarchist labor leaders clash with a brutal police force in a battle for survival, and violent rebels armed with dynamite threaten to destroy the labor movement before it starts. The most important untold story in American history, brought to life by a company of twelve stellar actor-musicians, singing and playing through the folk, Americana and bluegrass score.

Breaking news: Haymarket has extended for a second and final time! Performing at Theater Wit through September 16th. This is the last extension, so don't wait to get tickets!


Theater Wit

Theater 1

1229 W Belmont Avenue

Chicago, IL 60657

Box office: (773) 975-8150

Just steps from the Belmont Red Line station 



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. 

Nick Thornton (Director) is a freelance director, dramaturg and teaching artist. 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 Starcatcher (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

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.

(c) 2018 Underscore Theatre Company

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