2 FREE readings!

In addition to our 7 fully-staged productions, CMTF is hosting two readings during the festival. Reservations are now open!

Monday, February 11 at 8 pm

Book and lyrics by Laura Stratford, music by Laura Stratford and Heidi Joosten


Synopsis: Jenny and Jessa are outsiders, living on the outskirts of town with their father, the village gravedigger. Since their mother ran away two years ago, they've found companionship in the Boneyard, a ghostly realm they can only enter together, populated with the spirits of the town's former inhabitants. When a new spirit appears in the Boneyard, the girls must question everything they thought they knew about their family, and decide which world they want to live (or die) in.


Monday, February 18 at  8 pm


Book, Music and Lyrics by Gordon Leary and Julia Meinwald

Synopsis: At the last minute, Geoff drives halfway across the country overnight to attend (or maybe crash?) his ex-boyfriend Casey’s wedding to childhood friend Joelle.  But when he gets there, it’s all a bit more complicated than he expected.

Creative Teams

Julia Meinwald & Gordon Leary (SOMETHING BLUE composer/librettist) write aggressively empathetic musicals about finding connection and building community. They draw on (mostly) contemporary, (mostly) American popular history to write human-scale musicals that ask questions which may not have an easy answer. 

They have developed work in the Dramatists Guild Fellows program, Ars Nova's Uncharted, The Civilians' R&D Group, Fresh Ground Pepper's Playground Playgroup, the Musical Theatre Factory, the 92Y Musical Theatre Development Lab, and Page 73's Interstate 73. They are 2007 graduates of the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Laura Stratford (BONE HARP librettist) is a writer, actress, and singer who also co-founded and formerly served as Executive Director for Underscore Theatre Company. With Underscore, she has produced over 65 new musicals; as a writer, she has seen five of her own musicals produced both by Underscore and by the EX-Pats as well as CPA Theatricals. She is the librettist for "The 57th National Math Sum-It," a new musical published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

Heidi Joosten (BONE HARP composer) is a composer, pianist, and musical improv accompanist all over the greater Chicago area. She is the resident music director at Forte Chicago, and also works at iO Chicago, Second City, DePaul University, and many more. Heidi’s dramatic compositions have been performed nationwide.  Heidi received her MM in Composition from Roosevelt University.


Performing at The Edge Theater

Broadway: 5451 N Broadway St

Off Broadway: 1133 W Catalpa Ave

Chicago, IL

February 2020


All press inquiries should be directed to David Rosenberg, our publicist, at david@drpublicrelations.com.


Sponsorship inquiries should email Artistic Director Whitney Rhodes whitney@underscoretheatre.org


Drop us a line any time at info@cmtf.org.

@2018 Underscore Theatre Company, Chicago's home for new musicals

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