Note: clicking "buy tickets" will take you to the Greenhouse Theater Center website, which is handling all ticketing for CMTF.
Book, Music, and Lyrics by David Gosz and Leo Fotos
Elevator pitch: “TRU” is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story about how one community supports their neighbor who is living with mental illness.
Synopsis: Through intricate characters and intimate music, "TRU" paints a picture of how hauntingly beautiful life can be. "TRU" explores the joys and challenges of the many relationships that are formed throughout one's life, testing the various forms of love - between a man and his father, between a granddaughter and her grandmother, between a woman and her art, between a student and his teacher, between a man and himself. Walking hand in hand with reality, "TRU" toes the line between what is unbelievable and what is true.
Great if you like: If you enjoyed the first 10 minutes of Up or the last 10 minutes of La La Land, you will fall in love with “TRU”!
Content advisory: “TRU” contains scenes referencing mental illness and suicide.
Saturday, 2/10 at noon - SOLD OUT
Saturday, 2/10 at 8pm - SOLD OUT
Thursday, 2/15 at 8pm - SOLD OUT
Sunday, 2/18 at 3pm - SOLD OUT
Tuesday, 2/20 at 8pm - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, 2/21 at 8pm - SOLD OUT
Saturday, 2/24 at noon - SOLD OUT
DAVID GOSZ (Producer, Writer, Composer) is a graduate of The University of Chicago with a degree in Economics and lives in Chicago. He is employed as a strategic enrollment management consultant and works with colleges and universities. With Leo Fotos, he began working on “TRU” in August 2013. “TRU” is his first major theatrical work, and he is thrilled to be premiering it at The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival! David would like to thank Kimberly Knake and NAMI Metro Suburban for all of your help and feedback, Leo for putting up with his nonsense, Mary Lee, Mike, and Madeline for their love and support, and Tripp, David, and Matthew for all of their help and guidance.
LEO FOTOS (Producer, Writer, Composer, Orchestrator) has spent periods of academic study at both Berklee College of Music and DePaul University. He currently teaches music to brilliant little minds. With David Gosz, he began working on “TRU” in August 2013. “TRU” is his first major theatrical work, and he is thrilled to be premiering it at The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival! He is thankful to O’Connor, Doc, Tripp, and Mr. Keefe for their mentorship, Kim and NAMI Metro Suburban for their incredible support, Anthony and Justin for unsticking him from his desk every so often, David for letting him call him “Dave”, Emily for listening to his crazy ideas and teaching him something new every day, and his family for loving “TRU” only slightly more than they love him.
LAUREN QUINLAN (Dramaturg) is a Chicago-based writer and dramaturg. Past dramaturgical credits include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Northlight; Jeff Award, New Play), Treasure Island (Lookingglass), and We Are Proud to Present... (Theatre School). She is a recent graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University with a BFA in Dramaturgy/Criticism.
KELLYN MAGUIRE (Prop Designer) is finishing her studies at North Central College in theater and sociology. She has performed there in Troilus and Cressida; Late, a Cowboy Song; and The Light in The Piazza. There, she also assistant directed Sweet Charity under the direction of Jacob Harvey. She made her Chicago debut this past fall in Machinal (u/s Ensemble). She has been a proud member of Team “TRU” for many years, and is very excited that it has been chosen for the CMTF.
RYAN JONES (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be bringing “TRU” to life onstage for the CMTF! Previous credits include Merrily We Roll Along (Producer, Scenic Designer), Grease (Producer, Scenic Designer), Into the Woods (Scenic Designer, Rapunzel’s Prince), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Scenic Designer) with the Pasquerilla East Musical Company (PEMCo) at the University of Notre Dame. Ryan earned his B.S. in Science-Business from the University of Notre Dame and is fascinated by the intersection between science and the arts. His work as a designer is fueled by his passion for learning and informed by his experiences in the sciences, which have made him unafraid to experiment, take chances, and get messy when designing and building for the stage. He is thankful to his family, friends, and fellow members of Team “TRU” for their support and encouragement!
MAX CERVANTES (Director) is a New York and Chicago-based director, actor, and teaching artist. He received training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for Musical Theatre. Off-Broadway: The Christians (Playwright Horizons). Max serves as an Artistic Associate at BAMtheatre in Hinsdale, IL where he’s directed West Side Story, Les Misérables, Shrek The Musical, and The Little Mermaid with artistic director, Melanie Lamoureux. Max has assisted Tony-nominated actress and director, Michele Shay, on WAR (Lincoln Center Theatre), The Old Settler (Billie Holiday Theatre), Gloria (NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing), and Blue Stockings (NYU StageWorks). Other directing credits: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Dominican University), The Good Doctor (Morton College), The Letters (2nd Ave Theatre).
KAT MCNALL (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Underscore and CMTF for the first time. Since moving to Chicago, she has had the pleasure of working on a variety of productions at Silk Road Rising, the Agency Theater Collective, and the Raven Theatre including their Jeff-Nominated production of Choir Boy (Stage Manager). Special thanks to David and Leo for the opportunity to work on a fantastic new piece, and to Jake Engram for his tireless love and support.
ERIK PEARSON (Music Director) is an singer/actor/teacher
choreographer/director/composer originally from Minneapolis, MN. He has called Chicago home since 2013, but keeps running away to the mountains to perform with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and go hiking/camping/skiing as often as possible. Other favorite activities include playing The Prince in Cinderella (Children’s Theatre Company), Tulsa in Gypsy (Theater Latte Da), Baby John in West Side Story and Eugene in Grease (Chanhassen Dinner Theatres), The Soldier/Alex in Sunday in the Park with George, Matt in The Fantasticks, Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show and Marvin in Falsettos. He has also performed with the Guthrie Theater and the Minnesota Orchestra, among others. As a teaching artist, he has directed, choreographed, and conducted for high schools in Minnesota, including Les Misérables, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, The Wizard of Oz, Sunday in the Park with George, Evita, and Moominvalley in November, an original work based on the writings of Finnish author Tove Jansson. Erik studied at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.