About the Play

GET OUT ALIVE is a new autobiographical musical by indie artist, actor & activist Nikki Lynette.

This afrogoth musical is equal parts raucous, tender, intelligent and triumphant. Recounting her personal journey marked by abuse, grief, sexual assault and suicide, Lynette raises mental health awareness through the lens of a hip-hop concert. Using storytelling, song, dance, visual media and a live DJ, Lynette’s offbeat approach to sharing her personal mental health journey shows that even when life leads us to a bad place, we can always make it out alive.

After a sold-out run in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut Series, GOA was in conversation with multiple theaters to produce an extended run of the play. However, COVID-19 put those plans on hold... As a result, Get Out Alive has been reimagined for the internet.

“When I went into the psych ward after a suicide attempt, I met all of these people with the same issues as me, and they felt alone, too. I told them when I got out, I would use my platform to tell our stories—and I'm keeping my word.” – Nikki Lynette

 

The first songs from Get Out Alive were performed in 2018, when Lynette opened for Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot. The full piece was later workshopped in a developmental reading produced by the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University in May 2019. Lynette was the first black woman to have her work developed and produced by AMTP.

A creative powerhouse, Lynette is an artist whose style is equal parts hip hop, alternative and pop. Her music has been featured in popular shows on Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, Fox and MTV. Since her return to the public eye, she has written articles about mental health, depression and suicide for prominent black publications. Nikki recently did her first TEDx Talk at the end of 2020.

 

★ CREATIVE TEAM BIOS ★ 

 

NIKKI LYNETTE (she/her) is a social impact artist whose individual style is equal parts hip hop, alternative, and pop. A Chicago native, Nikki fuses mental health activism into her performances & visual art. A proud independent artist, her self-produced tunes are currently featured in popular shows on Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and more. Lynette’s success in music licensing has earned its own accolades, including a prominent feature in Billboard Magazine and being invited to speak on a panel at South By Southwest. After a hiatus from releasing new music, Nikki Lynette returned to the public eye with a confession: she’d secretly been battling mental health issues. She began writing articles about depression and suicide for prominent sites like BlackDoctor, Afropunk and AllHipHop. Her next music release, a vinyl only LP entitled Band-Aids for Broken Hearts, is available for pre-order now. Nikki’s mental health documentary Happy Songs About Unhappy Things is also currently in production. A proud ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Nikki has opened for artists ranging from Lion Babe to Leikeli47, and most recently in Chicago, headlined her own sold-out show in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues. She is represented by Stewart Talent.

 

ROGER ELLIS (they/them) is a filmmaker, theatre-maker, and producer who cultivates embodiment-driven interdisciplinary works. Their creative practice traverses, synthesizes, and reimagines traditional disciplines such as directing, choreography, and new works development. Ellis is the director/choreographer of Nikki Lynette's afrogoth musical Get Out Alive, which premiered in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut Series. They have worked in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and across the United States with companies such as Sacramento Music Circus, Paramount Theatre, American Music Theatre Project, Horizon Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, San Diego Repertory, and Gallery Players Brooklyn. With collaborator Margaret Laurena Kemp, Ellis is the co-director and choreographer of re: [CLICK] devised in response to Click by Jacqueline Goldfinger. Ellis’ choreography for the digital theatre project AntigoneNOW was presented at the 27th Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre. Ellis is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University.

 

BRANNON BOWERS (they/themis a creative theatrical producer dedicated to new work and unexplored forms of performance, bridging genres, artistic mediums, and communities to make theatre accessible to all audiences. They joined the American Music Theatre Project in 2016 and during their tenure has developed over 25 new musicals and produced 6 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through the ongoing international partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Brannon was a co-producer on the Wirtz Center's mainstage production of Something In The Game and is in their fifth year of producing the annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project. Brannon is currently a co-producer of Get Out Alive, an autobiographical afrogoth musical by Nikki Lynette, (Steppenwolf Theatre Company's LookOut Series). Prior to their time at AMTP, Brannon worked at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, under Artistic Director Emily Mann and has held internships at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Redmoon Theater. Brannon is a proud graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications.

 

MATT HENNESSY (he/him) is the Chief Engineer, Producer, and Studio Owner here at VSOP Studios. Receiving formal training at Berklee College of Music, studying both Jazz Performance and Production, Hennessy spent the next 2 decades working behind the board with the best of the best talent in the music business. Helming landmark projects with Twista, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, R. Kelly and DMX to helping newer artists emerge, like Eryn Allen Kane, Elton Aura and The O’My’s. Regardless of where you are in your musical journey, Matt Hennessy can help you bring out your best in the studio and achieve the sound you have only ever heard in you head, blast out of the speakers.

 

★ CAST ★ 

Nikki Lynette

Jyreika Guest

Keeley B. Morris

DJ P1

 

★ TEAM ★

Associate Director & Choreographer | REBECCA BLAICH
First Assistant Director | ELEANOR LYON
Cast (Steppenwolf & AMTP)
NATALIE RENEE SAVOY, MARISOL BEAUFRAND, OLIVIA PRYOR
Casting Director | BRANNON BOWERS
Art Director | NIKKI LYNETTE
Choreography | ROGER ELLIS, REBECCA BLAICH, JYREIKA GUEST, KEELEY B. MORRIS
Production Supervisor | BRANNON BOWERS
Stage Manager & Script Supervisor | GIANNA PETROSINO
Cinematographer | ELEANOR LYON
Director of Photography | CHRIS ADAMS
Camera Operators | CHII COOPER, ROBERT L. GORMAN, JR., ELEANOR LYON, BRANNON BOWERS
Lighting Designer | GABRIELLE STRONG
Lighting Technician | MIKE MALONEY
Sound Engineer | JONATHAN HOWARD, PEERLESS RECORDINGS
Audio Mastering | MATT HENNESSEY, VSOP STUDIOS
Video Projection Supervisor | CHRIS OWENS
Costumes, Hair, & Makeup by NIKKI LYNETTE
Original Costume, Hair, & Makeup Design by ZIARE PAUL-EMILE
Editors | MATT BIONDO, JORDAN FREESE, BRENDAN JAMIESON & NIKKI LYNETTE
Online Editor | BRENDAN JAMIESON
Colorist | PATRICK LEWTSCHANYN
Legal | DARYL D. JONES, ESQ.
Public Relations | AGENCY ABRON
Marketing Director | ADRIENNE HIBBERT
Publicity & Promotions Director | CANDACE JONES
PR/Marketing Assistants | AMANI LAWRENCE, MAYA LAWS, SAM WHITE, KELSEY STONE
PR/Marketing Interns | SELENA M. ODOM, MONIQUE ROOKER, MICHELLE WHITE 
Graphic Designer | NIKKI LYNETTE
 Photographer | MO PARKER

★ ★ ★ ★


Executive Producers

Vincent Peters
Walter Mosely
Nikki Lynette
Matt Hennessy
Ira Antelis
Daryl D. Jones
Roger Ellis

Creative Producer

Brannon Bowers

Producers

Brandall Peters
Rebecca Blaich
Vanessa Abron
Adrienne Hibbert
Candace Jones

 

Artistic Consultants

Sanicole Young
Dwele
Andre JP