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About the festival

The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, now in its second year, is a new-works festival produced by Underscore Theatre company. We created CMTF for one reason: there's a wealth of musical theatre creators and performers in Chicago, but the high risks of producing new musicals means that few companies are willing to take a chance, especially on new authors. CMTF is designed from the ground up to showcase Chicago's emerging musical theatre creator community, and this year's festival features 13 brand-spankin new musicals!

Location and Directions

All 65 festival performances are taking place at the Den Theatre, at 1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.

The theatre is accessible via the Division or Damen Blue line stops, the #9 Ashland Bus, or the #50 Damen bus. For more detailed directions, click here.


The Shows

listed A-Z

One Thousand Words

American Smoothie

Dirty Girl


How to Run for Mayor

Marble, GA

Nine Lives

Passing By



Recurring John


Slide (Part 1)

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About Underscore Theatre Company

Founded in 2011, Underscore Theatre Company is a team of producing artists dedicated to exploring stories of power and resonance through a musical lens; fostering the development of new musicals; and bolstering Chicago’s role as a national leader in musical theatre. Since its creation, Underscore has produced 13 world-premiere musicals in Chicago. In 2014, Underscore created the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival, which in collaboration with 8 other theatre companies produced 8 new works by Chicago artists. For Underscore’s 2014-15 season, Underscore will present two new full-length musicals created by Chicago composers and lyricists, as well as an expanded festival.

The composer Jean Sibelius said, “Music begins where the possibilities of language end,” and we fully embrace this mentality in our work. We believe musicals offer something more than other performing arts, with music, text, and actors’ interpretation coming together create a transcendent experience for performers and audience alike.


Download the press release. Full presskit coming soon! Please direct all press inquiries to David Rosenberg: / (773) 505-1429

Contact Us

For any additional questions, please send us an email!