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Haymarket: A New Folk Musical is a Jeff-Award winning musical telling the gripping true story of Chicago’s infamous Haymarket Affair. Anarchist labor leaders clash with a brutal police force in a battle for survival, and violent rebels armed with dynamite threaten to destroy the labor movement before it starts. The most important untold story in American history, brought to life by a company of twelve actor-musicians, singing and playing through the folk, Americana and bluegrass score.

The Show



Haymarket was originally developed with Underscore Theatre Company and premiered in Chicago in May 2016 under the direction of Elizabeth Margolius (direction and movement) and Robert Ollis (music) to critical acclaim. That production was nominated for New Musical and Lighting at the 2017 Joseph Jefferson Awards.


After extensive development and workshops, Underscore remounted it in co-production with the Den Theatre in June 2018 under the direction of Nick Thornton (direction and movement) and Robert Ollis (music) to further critical acclaim. In August it transferred to Theatre Wit in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, and extended its run twice, running for over 50 performances. The production was nominated for the 2019 Jeff Awards in six categories: Production (Musical), Director, Music Director, Performer in a Leading Role, Ensemble, and New Musical, and won the award for New Musical.

The London premiere of Haymarket, with direction by Sally Beck Wippman (direction and movement) and David Kornfeld (music), took place in September 2018 at the Actor's Church, through the Iris Theatre's Workin Process Series.

Present & future

The 2018 Chicago Cast Recording dropped May 1st, 2019! Check it out on Spotify, iTunes, or keep on scrolling down. Alex and David are currently back to the drawing board for a new round of revisions for the next workshop!

Interested in becoming part of Haymarket's future? Contact us below!




the authors

Alex Higgin-Houser

Book & Lyrics

Alex Higgin-Houser (book and lyrics) is a playwright, lyricist, and director. Working with his frequent collaborators Kornfeld, Stratford, and Siegfried, Alex has written 6 full-length musicals, including Haymarket (Creator, Book/Lyrics; 2016 Jeff Award Nomination for Best New Musical), The 57th National Mathlete Sum-it (Lyrics; 2017 official New York Musicals Festival selection, published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide in 2018), Grounds: a Fresh-Brewed Musical (Book/Lyrics; 2017 Actors Training Company workshop, 2010 Midwest tour), Spa Fire: The Children of the 1% (Book/Lyrics; commissioned by Ex-Pat Theatricals), Pr0ne (Book/Lyrics; Underscore Theatre world-premiere 2013, Chicago Musical Theatre Festival workshop production 2015), and Liberal Arts: The Musical (Book/Lyrics; Underscore world-premiere 2012, Carleton College collegiate premiere 2009). As founding Artistic Director of Underscore Theatre Company, Alex has produced and co-produced over 60 new musicals.

In fall 2018, Alex relocated to New York to begin his MFA at the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives with his wife Francesca, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, as well as with their dog Ragueneau and their cats Portia, Balthazar, and d’Artagnan.

David Kornfeld (music) is a composer, lyricist, music director, and coffee enthusiast. Musical Theatre is his primary medium but he has also composed for and performed with big bands, jazz combos, numerous rock bands, and a smattering of concert and film scores. After 5 years working as a freelance composer, music director, accompanist, teaching artist and children's entertainer in Chicago while serving as Producing Artistic Director for Underscore Theatre, David moved to New York to pursue his master's degree in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. There he studied under Michael John LaChiusa, Stephen Lutvak, Mel Marvin, Fred Carl, Randall Eng, and many other fabulous teachers who have shaped his artistic vision and his skills as a musical dramatist. David's other musicals include Pr0ne: a Hardcore, Amateur Musical, Liberal Arts: the Musical!Grounds: A Fresh-Brewed Musical, and 57th National Mathlete Sum-It, licensed through Theatrical Rights Worldwide. With collaborator Rebecca Hart, he recently completed a residency with the Civilians R&D Group workshopping a new musical about the human brain and the science of creativity.


David lives in New York City with his wife, actress Sarah Hoch. You can find more info about him at


David Kornfeld


contact us

We'd love to hear from you, whether you saw the show and enjoyed it, or if you are interested in producing, or otherwise getting involved. Perusal copies of the script and score are available upon request.

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