NON-EQUITY WORLD PREMIERE
Book by Austin Regan
Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen
Lyrics and additional Book by Rachel Franco
Produced by Underscore Theatre Company
October 20 – November 24, 2019
at The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Press opening: Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm
Fifteen years ago, when she was a kid, Vanessa was almost murdered by her best friend. Now she is an investigative journalist in a bind, and she decides to do what anyone would do – exploit her personal story by disguising herself and interviewing her childhood best friend and attempted murderer. Vanessa must navigate her estranged family and confront her trauma in the age of going viral. Who has the right to tell our story? When we have been traumatized, how do we pass that pain onto others – and can we ever really heal?
Cast & Creatives
Alexander Sage Oyen (Music and Lyrics) is an NYC songwriter with over five million plays on Spotify. He is the recipient of the 2017 Lotos Foundation Prize in Arts and Sciences for his lyrics and the 2014 ASCAP Foundation’s Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists. His musicals include DIVA: Live From Hell (available for licensing through DPS- Director Daniel Goldstein, Book and Characters S.P. Monahan), Tethered (Book by Rachel Franco), Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Co-lyrics and additional book by Rachel Franco), Discount Ghost Stories (world premiere 2019 Local Theatre Co., Boulder, CO. Directed by Austin Regan book by Pesha Rudnick and Rob Wright), Outlaws (Goodspeed Fest. New Musicals 2015- book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), Archie’s Final Project (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), and Moment by Moment (Production at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand 2015. Available on Spotify/Apple Music). He was awarded the 2013-14 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and his musical Outlaws was featured in the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. He’s been named one of Playbill’s “Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know,” and was selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project. Additionally, he was a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. His music has been heard at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Playwrights Horizons, The Signature Theatre, New World Stages, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and all across the world. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild.
Rachel Franco (Lyrics and Additional Book) is an actor/writer in NYC. She’s written two musicals, the book for Tethered (SCRT Writing Retreat, 2018. Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen) and co- lyrics and additional book for Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Music and Co-Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen). As an actor she has been seen Off-Broadway in Nibbler (The Amoralists, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre) and F**k Marry Kill (Less Than Rent, The New Ohio Theatre). BFA Tisch at NYU.
Austin Regan (Book) is a NYC-based writer and director. His other writing includes The Adventures of Pericles, adapted from Shakespeare, as co-composer and lyricist with Christy Altomare. He is currently developing The Valley, a new musical, with composer/lyricist Peter Lerman. As director: Rigoletto at Minnesota Opera ("a scorching take on politics, patriarchy, and power" – Minneapolis Star Tribune), Discount Ghost Stories at Local Theatre Company in Boulder, CO ("hauntingly beautiful" – Boulder Daily Camera), The Trojan Women (The Hangar Theatre), Mad Libs (New World Stages); Well Worn Words (Ars Nova), The Blind (The Flea Theater), Three Decembers (FM Opera). As assistant/associate director: four Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Opera. Drama League Fellow, LCT Directors Lab, MTF Founding Member, and former Resident Director at the Flea Theater.
Stephanie Rohr (Director) is a Chicago-based director, performer, and vocal coach. She is thrilled to be collaborating with Underscore theatre on this exciting new show. Recent Chicago directing credits include Little Women, Spike Heels, Spring Forward Cabaret and A New Brain (AD) with Brown Paper Box Co. London credits include Assistant Direction for Project Medea with Roundhouse Studio and devising work on Miss Julie and The Illiad at Drama Center London. Stephanie holds an MA in Classical European Acting from University of the Arts London and an BFA in Musical Theatre from Drake University.
TJ Anderson (Music Director) is delighted to return to Underscore, where he recently played August Spies in the hit musical Haymarket. Recent work as a music director includes Carrie 2: The Rage(Underscore Theater Company), Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions), Little Women, [title of show], and A New Brain (Brown Paper Box Co.). He has also recently been seen onstage in Ghost Quartet (Black Button Eyes Productions) and Psmith, Journalist(City Lit Theater Company). He'd like to thank all his friends, family, and you, kind audience member, for supporting live theater in Chicago.
Tessa Dettman (Ronnie) is so excited to make her debut at Underscore. Most recently, she received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for Best Performer in a Principal role for her performance as Jo March in Little Women at Brown Paper Box Co. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.
Carisa Gonzalez (Vanessa) is so very jazzed and honored to be back at Underscore Theater for Proxy! Last seen alongside her sister in Boneharp: A Staged Reading, and in their Tiny Storefront Concert Series: We can do it, she has been calling Underscore a homebase for a few years now! Other credits include: Bunnicula(Lifeline Theater) Montauciel takes flight!(Lifeline) Carrie 2:The Rage(Underscore) and Dogfight(Boho Theater). Carisa is thankfully and wonderfully represented by the boss agents at Shirley Hamilton Talent Agency, and would like to thank her sister for existing. WEPA!
Michael Mejia (Doug) is extremely excited to be making his debut with Underscore Theatre! Michael studied acting and music performance at Indiana University . Actor credits Alexander Kingdom BNT ,Waiter, The Old Woman Broods, Trap Door Theatre, Beaumarchais/ Wilkes, Monsieur Deon is a Woman, Trap Door Theatre ,Audrey 2 in Little Shop of Horrors,Stoughton Village Players, and Hud in Hair, Harper Ensemble Theatre.Michael is also a musician who plays guitar, piano and writes. Michael would like to thank Underscore for allowing him the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful process.
Jenny Rudnick (Martha) Recent roles include Mama Murphy in BRIGHT STAR (Boho Theater), Aunt March in LITTLE WOMEN (Brown Paper Box Co.) , and Caesar Rodney in 1776 (Porchlight ). Other favorite roles include Marietta Shingle in A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, Jack’s Mom in INTO THE WOODS and Sally Durant in FOLLIES.
Kyle Kite (Sean) is a Chicago based performer with his degree in musical theater performance from Millikin University. Credits include: Matt in Fugitive Songs (Miller and Tysen); Franklin Hart Jr. in 9 to 5, Duke Frederick/Duke Senior in As You Like It, Mal (u.s.) in Addams Family (Millikin University).
Sinclair Willman (Swing) is thrilled to be a part of this show and team! A recent graduate of Northwestern University, her Chicago theatre credits include Southern Comfort (Pride Film and Plays),Triggered (DocFest 2019, Erasing the Distance), and Upload (Living Newspaper Festival 2018, American Blues Theater). Love and gratitude to m + d + tallul'. Enjoy the show!