Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2019-20 season with the non-Equity world premiere of PROXY by Alexander Sage Oyen, Rachel Franco and Austin Regan, a story of journalistic and personal integrity set to a punk rock score, directed by Stephanie Rohr with music direction by T.J. Anderson. PROXY will play October 18 – November 24, 2019 at Underscore’s newly-remodeled, permanent home, The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St. in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org. The press opening is Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm.
The cast includes Jonas Davidow, Tessa Dettman, Carisa Gonzalez, Michael Mejia and Jenny Rudnick. Swings: Kyle Kite and Sinclair Willman.
Fifteen years ago, when she was a kid, Vanessa was almost murdered by her best friend. Now she is an investigative journalist in a bind, and she decides to do what anyone would do – exploit her personal story by disguising herself and interviewing her childhood best friend and attempted murderer. Vanessa must navigate her estranged family and confront her trauma in the age of going viral. Who has the right to tell our story? When we have been traumatized, how do we pass that pain onto others – and can we ever really heal?
The production team includes Jeremy Hollis (scenic design), Christina Leinicke (costume design), Benjamin Carne (lighting design) and Adrian Hadlock (props design).
Book by Austin Regan
Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen
Lyrics and additional Book by Rachel Franco
Directed by Stephanie Rohr
Cast (in alphabetical order): Jonas Davidow (Sean), Tessa Dettman (Ronnie), Carisa Gonzalez (Vanessa), Michael Mejia (Doug) and Jenny Rudnick (Martha).
Swings: Kyle Kite and Sinclair Willman.
Location: The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Friday, October 18 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, October 19 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, Otober 20 at 4 pm
Press performance: Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Friday, October 25 – Sunday, November 24, 2019
Curtain Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 4 pm; Mondays at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular run: $25. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org.
About the Artists:
Alexander Sage Oyen (Music and Lyrics) is a NYC songwriter with over five million plays on Spotify. He is the recipient of the 2017 Lotos Foundation Prize in Arts and Sciences for his lyrics and the 2014 ASCAP Foundation’s Lucille and Jack Yellen award for lyricists. His musicals include DIVA: Live From Hell (available for licensing through DPS- Director Daniel Goldstein, Book and Characters S.P. Monahan), Tethered (Book by Rachel Franco), Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Co-lyrics and additional book by Rachel Franco), Discount Ghost Stories (world premiere 2019 Local Theatre Co., Boulder, CO. Directed by Austin Regan book by Pesha Rudnick and Rob Wright), Outlaws (Goodspeed Fest. New Musicals 2015- book by James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein), Archie’s Final Project (Book by James Presson and David Lee Miller), and Moment by Moment (Production at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand 2015. Available on Spotify/Apple Music). He was awarded the 2013-14 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and his musical Outlaws was featured in the 2014 ASCAP Workshop. He’s been named one of Playbill’s “Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know,” and was selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project. Additionally, he was a 2017 Jonathan Larson Grant Finalist. His music has been heard at Lincoln Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Playwrights Horizons, The Signature Theatre, New World Stages, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and venues in Thailand, London, The Netherlands and all across the world. Proud member of ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild. His music is available on www.newmusicaltheatre.com and at www.alexandersageoyen.com.
Rachel Franco (Lyrics and Additional Book) is an actor/writer in NYC. She’s written two musicals, the book for Tethered (SCRT Writing Retreat, 2018. Music and Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen) and co-lyrics and additional book for Proxy (Book by Austin Regan, Music and Co-Lyrics by Alexander Sage Oyen). As an actor she has been seen Off-Broadway in Nibbler (The Amoralists, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre) and F**k Marry Kill (Less Than Rent, The New Ohio Theatre). BFA Tisch at NYU.
Austin Regan (Book) is a NYC-based writer and director. His other writing includes The Adventures of Pericles, adapted from Shakespeare, as co-composer and lyricist with Christy Altomare. He is currently developing The Valley, a new musical, with composer/lyricist Peter Lerman. As director: Rigoletto at Minnesota Opera ("a scorching take on politics, patriarchy, and power" – Minneapolis Star Tribune), Discount Ghost Stories at Local Theatre Company in Boulder, CO ("hauntingly beautiful" – Boulder Daily Camera), The Trojan Women (The Hangar Theatre), Mad Libs (New World Stages); Well Worn Words (Ars Nova), The Blind (The Flea Theater), Three Decembers (FM Opera). As assistant/associate director: four Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Opera. Drama League Fellow, LCT Directors Lab, MTF Founding Member, and former Resident Director at the Flea Theater. www.austinregan.nyc
Stephanie Rohr (Director) is a Chicago-based director, performer and vocal coach. She is thrilled to be collaborating with Underscore theatre on this exciting new show. Recent Chicago directing credits include Little Women, Spike Heels, Spring Forward Cabaret and A New Brain (AD) with Brown Paper Box Co. London credits include Assistant Direction for Project Medea with Roundhouse Studio and devising work on Miss Julie and The Illiad at Drama Center London. Stephanie holds an MA in Classical European Acting from University of the Arts London and an BFA in Musical Theatre from Drake University.
T.J. Anderson (Music Director) is delighted to return to Underscore, where he recently played August Spies in the hit musical Haymarket. Recent work as a music director includes Carrie 2: The Rage (Underscore Theater Company), Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions), Little Women, [title of show] and A New Brain (Brown Paper Box Co.). He has also recently been seen onstage in Ghost Quartet (Black Button Eyes Productions) and Psmith, Journalist (City Lit Theater Company).
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 or co-produced 65 new mainstage and workshop musicals in Chicago. Underscore is proud to be Chicago's home for new musicals.