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Book, Music and Lyrics by Ryan Martin

Synopsis: When Hadley Breaker’s father passes away, all of the adults in her life are quick to offer their sincere condolences and some not exactly asked-for advice: move on. Not the kind to take advice from grownups, Hadley and her friend Spider decide instead to build an impossibly tall ladder so they can visit Hadley’s father in Heaven. Ryan Martin’s new musical fairy tale is an adventure through the credible and the incredible, in which you don’t realize what you’ve left behind until you can see it clearly from six thousand feet in the sky.

Dates and times

The Edge Theater


February 8 at 7 pm and 10 pm

February 14 at 8 pm

February 16 at 7:30

February 17 at 3 pm

February 19 at 8 pm

February 23 at 7:30 pm

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Creative Team & Cast

Ryan Martin (Writer) Ryan Martin is a playwright, composer, and lyricist based in Chicago, Illinois. His original musical, The Incredible Six Thousand-Foot Ladder to Heaven, was presented as a staged reading at the Purple Crayon Players’ PLAYground Festival of New Works in April 2018, and was selected as a finalist for UC Davis’s Ground and Field Theatre Festival. He is a recent graduate of Northwestern University where he was honored with the Craig Carnelia Award for achievement in songwriting for his work on Waa-Mu: Beyond Belief. You can find Ryan on Soundcloud, YouTube, Twitter, and (usually) in close proximity to strong coffee.

Elliott Hartman (Director) Elliott is thrilled to be making his professional debut at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Since graduating from Northwestern in 2017, he has directed several new works, including APPETIZERS by Scott C. Sickles in Otherworld’s Paragon Festival and I DON’T LIKE MONDAYS by Tristan Chiruvolu in The Sound’s Independence Plays. At NU he focused on youth, gender and religion, directing POLAROID STORIES, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE, and WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN: THE MUSICAL. He thanks his family, friends, boyfriend, and co-workers; he is also very grateful for Ryan and everyone working on this fabulous show.

Annabelle Revak (Music Director) Annabelle Revak is a composer, music director, and pianist from northern Wisconsin. She is studying music composition and musical theatre at Columbia College Chicago. Her first full-length musical, Notes and Letters, was produced at the 2018 Chicago Musical Theatre Festival as a staged reading. Recent music directing credits include The Last Five Years (JPAC); Murderous Innocent; Notes and Letters (CMTF 2018), Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theatre Project),  and [title of show]; Make Me Bad, & High Fidelity (Columbia College Chicago). Annabelle also does orchestrations and arrangements for musicals and vocal works.

Sage Voorhees (Set and Props Designer) Sage Voorhees (Set and Properties Designer) is thrilled to be working on the 6,000 Foot Ladder to Heaven! Sage is a set designer, director, and playwright from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She recently graduated from Stanford University where she co-founded the KommCollective (a student-run technical equipment cooperative) and designed for multiple student-theater groups. Recent credits include set designing for Yellowface (Asian America Theater Project) and directing The Resurrectionist written by Spencer Slovic for The 2016 Original Winter One Acts (Rams Head Theatrical Society).

Elise Ammondson (Costume Designer)Elise Ammondson is a theatre artist and poet who is inspired by grapefruits, mountains, birds, and the color blue. She loves to explore the corporeal existence through storytelling and can often be found dancing, clowning, hiking, or standing still as a living statue or art model. This summer Elise worked in the costume crafts department at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where she learned the dying craft of millinery. Elise received her B.A. in theatre, creative writing, and dance from Northwestern University.

Rachel Guth (Hadley) is thrilled to be a part of this incredible piece. Other regional credits include Anne in A Little Night Music (Boho Theatre), Teen Fiona/Peter Pan in Shrek, Amber u/s in Sleeping Beauty (Marriott Theatre), and Alison in Pinkalicious (Northbrook Theatre).  International Credits include the World Premiere of Atlantic: A Scottish Story, as well as Into the Woods (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Rachel just graduated from Northwestern University, where some of her favorite credits included Hope in Urinetown and Amy in Company. Much love to this amazing team, as well as her family and friends.

Maureen Sanderson (Spider) is an actress and public relations specialist from Downers Grove, IL. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a BA in Communication and minors in Theatre and PR. She currently works as a Social Media Assistant for Broadway In Chicago and as a Social Media Coordinator for the StateraArts Mentorship Program. She appeared in 12 different productions in her college years with the Krannert Center Illinois Theatre, the Lyric Theatre of UIUC, and the Station Theatre. She will be performing in her first Chicago production this spring in the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival.

Rachel Whyte (Mom) is delighted to be collaborating with such lovely artists for her first experience with CMTF.  She is a recent Denver transplant, but hails from the beautiful college town of Bloomington, IN. Chicago: The Drowsy Chaperone (Skokie Theatre), Grand Hotel (Kokandy Productions), It's A Wonderful Life and Par for the Corpse (Oil Lamp Theater), November (Habakkuk Theatre), A Christmas Carol (MPAC), and multiple shows with Chicago Kids Company. She is a proud Abilene Christian University MT alum, and loving wife of Evan. See what's coming up next at:   

Jordan Pokorney (Principal and others) is thrilled to join the delightful cast of 6000' Ladder. Directing credits include The Elephant Man, Salomé, This is the Rill Speaking, Waiters (Columbia College Chicago) and You Can't Take It With You (Brave Community Theatre). Assistant directing credits include A Little Night Music (BoHo Theatre), Nice Girl (Raven Theatre), and Peer Gynt (Columbia College Chicago). Composing credits include The Just (Den Theatre). Jordan holds a BFA in Directing from Columbia College Chicago.

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