CHICAGO – Underscore Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2018-19 season with WIFE MATERIAL, Jamie Shriner’s raunchy musical comedy following one woman’s journey through sex, love, marriage and how we define ourselves. Directed by Dana Anderson, with music direction by Kyra Leigh, WIFE MATERIAL will play November 8 – December 9, 2018 at Underscore’s new-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, November 13 at 7:30 pm.
WIFE MATERIAL will feature Jamie Shriner with Caitlin Dobbins and Natalie Rae.
Growing up in conservative Indiana, Jamie Shriner always knew what it meant to be “wife material,” but as a queer, sex-positive feminist, she never fit the bill. Yet in January 2017, she found herself married to a man. What gives? In Wife Material, Shriner brings her comedic chops and pop-music sensibility to explore the pressures and constraints put on young women, and to prove that even “that girl” deserves true love.
Comments Underscore Artistic Director Laura Stratford, “Wife Material, like its creator Jamie Shriner, has brains, hilarity and heart. I am excited for Underscore’s seventh season to kick off with a show unlike any we have produced before: an autobiography, with songs more influenced by Katy Perry than Stephen Sondheim. It’s important that we, as custodians of new musical theatre, do not try to prescribe what counts as musical theatre. Wife Material is a breath of fresh air, an incredibly timely piece that any audience will relate to, even if the more innocent among them feign shock at Jamie’s openness about the pleasures and perils of a young queer woman’s sex life.”
The production team for WIFE MATERIAL includes: Nicholas Schwartz (scenic design), Christina Leinicke (costume design), Ellie Humphrys (lighting design), Robert Hornbostel (sound design), Persephone Lawrence-Wescott (props design), Drew de Pinto (projections design), Kate Cuellar (dramaturg), Josh Prisching (technical director), Becs Bartle (master electrician) and Christine Lauer (stage manager, intimacy captain).
Title: WIFE MATERIAL
Book, Music and Lyrics: Jamie Shriner
Director: Dana Anderson
Music Director: Kyra Leigh
Cast: Jamie Shriner (Jamie) with Caitlin Dobbins (Luci) and Natalie Rae (Angie).
Location: The Understudy, 4609 N. Clark St., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
Press performance: Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, November 15 – Sunday, December 9, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving).
Tickets: Previews: $15. Regular run: $20 – $25. Students $15 on Thursdays. Tickets are currently available at underscoretheatre.org.
Benefit performance: Sunday, December 1 at 7:30 pm. Proceeds benefit Sarah’s Circle, a non-profit supporting homeless and at-risk women. www.sarahs-circle.org.
About the Artists
Jamie Shriner (Book, Music, Lyrics, Performer) is a Chicago-based actress, singer, comedian, writer and teaching artist. Shriner is known regionally for her breakout hit, Wife Material (Prop Thtr, directed by Stefan G. Brün), which earned praise for its unique voice and all-new music. She has performed for the BBC and played Judy in the hit musical 9 to 5 at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The sold-out run of her original cabaret, Little Miss, a show about loving food and loving your body, earned critical acclaim during its 2016 run at Sloans’ Bar in Glasgow, Scotland. Recent credits include Alice in Wonderland (AlphaBet Soup Productions), Little Miss (Davenport’s Piano Bar), The Last Days of the Commune (Prop Thtr), The Night that Disco Died (Under the Gun Theatre) and On Loss (Prop Thtr). You can catch her performing her original stand-up and musical comedy all over the country. She holds an MA in Musical Theatre from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and earned her BFA in Musical Theatre at Milikin University.
Dana Anderson (Director) is a director, teaching artist and actor based in Chicago. Directing credits include Lonesome West, Four by Tenn (AstonRep), Jamie Shriner’s Little Miss, Belle of Austin (RhinoFest 2018) and The Agency’s Dirty Little Secrets 24 Hour Play Festival. She is the Associate Artistic Director of Shakespeare Corrected, a program that works with female offenders in Decatur Correctional Center to perform full-length Shakespeare plays. Credits with SC include Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is also a teaching artist with Mudlark Theater Company.
Kyra Leigh (Music Director) she/her/her is Southern Belle transwoman (transgoddess some might say) with classical training now living safely about the Mason-Dixon Line. She has an extensive background in both music and theatre. In Houston, she acted as a composer and performer two years in a row for the prestigious Stewart Ostrow Musical Theatre Lab. In Chicago, she has performed with theatres such as the Jeff Award-winning Theo Ubique and The National Pastime Theatre. She’s also written extensively for Prop Thtr in recent years. She’s performed as a solo singer/songwriter at venues such at Mary’s Attic, Park West, The Abbey Pub and Davenport’s Cabaret and Piano Bar and earlier this year released her debut full length album, “Transfigure.” She also serves as a director at the Chicago School of Rock and music director at the Theatre of Western Springs and Prop Thtr (and most recently with Jedlicka Performing Arts Center). She’s also an active church musician with North Shore Baptist and has worked with Church of Our Savior and St. Thomas the Apostle church. She is a passionate advocate for trans visibility in both the worlds of pop music, classical music and theatre.
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.