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, 




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/them) is the Producing Director of the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University where they have helped develop over 20 new musicals and established an ongoing international partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to commission and produce two new musicals for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year. Brannon also produces the annual Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project and currently serves on the Festival Committee for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT). Prior to their time at Northwestern, Brannon worked at McCarter Theatre Center as the Producing/ Casting Apprentice, and has held internships at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Redmoon Theater. Brannon is a proud graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Theatre, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Integrated Marketing Communications.


CHRISTOPHER ADAMS (he/him) is the CEO and founder of Impakt Studio. A self taught multidisciplinary visual artist, Chris' dynamic skillset includes cinematography, graphic design, vfx, illustration, photography, animation and more. Impakt Studios creates stunning, ground-breaking visuals for a varied client base including Floyd Mayweather, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Lupe Fiasco, Ford Motors, Starz, Public Enemy, Omen, Eric Roberson, Terisa Griffin, Nikki Lynette, Deon Cole, Tamika Scott, Killerspin, QCDC and Gift of Hope. From ground breaking feature films like Paradigm Grey to multiple Grammy nominated music videos, Chris fully embraces all tools available to innovate and push the boundaries of cinematography.


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.