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Underscore Theatre Set to Present 5th Annual Musical Theatre Festival

A performance at Underscore Theatre's 2018 Musical Theatre Festival (photo courtesy of Underscore Theatre).

Underscore Theatre Company will present its 5th annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, created to showcase and support the growing field of musical theater creators from Chicago and beyond. This year’s festival features full productions of nine new musicals plus two free readings. The festival will be performed simultaneously on two stages from February 4 – 24, 2019 at The Edge Theater: the Broadway (5451 N. Broadway) and the new Off Broadway (1133 W. Catalpa Ave.) in Chicago Edgewater neighborhood. Each full production will receive at least five performances during the course of the festival. 

Since its inception in 2014, the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival has brought more than 40 new musicals to Chicago stages. The festival provides much-needed artistic resources for emerging composer/lyricist teams to have their work supported, explored and most importantly – performed.

Notes Underscore Theater artistic director Laura Stratford, “Underscore is thrilled to return to the Edge Theater to inaugurate their new Off Broadway stage for our fifth annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. This marks the first time in the festival's history that we will have programming running on multiple stages at once, which means more options for festival-goers and more time on stage for participants. We have added a representative from the independent licensing company Stage Rights to our panel of judges, meaning that not only will every show receive feedback from experts in the community, but they will all have a chance to make an impression on a licensing company that flourishes among regional theaters. Our lineup of musicals truly offers something for everyone, so we hope to see you in February.”

The 5th annual Festival takes place during the League of Chicago Theatres’ annual Chicago Theatre Week, with discounted tickets available to all Theatre Week performances. The full festival line-up, along with single tickets and festival passes are currently available at www.cmtf.org. The press “Sneak Preview,” featuring a sampling of songs from the 2019 Festival, is Monday, February 4 at 8 pm.