MISSION

Underscore Theater's mission is to reimagine great shows and to realize new ones.

ABOUT UNDERSCORE

Underscore Theater is a professional theater company based in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded in 2020, we are a new non-profit organization dedicated to radically reimagining inspiring musicals as well as developing new ones.  

Underscore is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) charity. Contributions made payable to Fractured Atlas for the purposes of Underscore Theater are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by U.S. law.

Underscore strives to reflect and celebrate diversity in our programming, artists, audience, board, partners, students, and staff. We are committed to producing work and creating environments that embrace the full breadth and beauty of our shared humanity. We are dedicated to making a welcoming and accessible space for people of any identity, background, or ability; including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, nationality or immigration status, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical/mental ability, appearance, socio-economic status, education level, and political viewpoint.

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NICK HRUTKAY
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A native of Pittsburgh, Nick Hrutkay (he/him) is an award-winning director and arts educator who creates work across all boundaries of theater. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of Underscore Theater which focuses on reimagining musicals and realizing new ones; is a Resident Artist at Pittsburgh Musical Theater; the Chair of the Acting Department at Pittsburgh Musical Theater Conservatory; devises projects as a Teaching Artist with Quantum Theatre; and is the Assistant Artistic Director for the internationally acclaimed Stagedoor Manor.

His work as a director has been seen at theaters across the country having mounted over 75 productions. Select credits include: I Am My Own Wife, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Central Square Theater); The Birds, Little Shop of Horrors (The Huron Playhouse); Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, Next to Normal, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Bat Boy: The Musical, Evil Dead: The Musical, The Santaland Diaries (Keystone Repertory Theater); The [Hamlet] Soliloquies (The Kennedy Center); Macbeth (Alchemical Studios); Sponges (The Brick); Fish Story (Theatre Row); A Wrinkle in Time (Hippodrome Theatre); Jesus Christ Superstar, Legally Blonde, Jekyll & Hyde, Titanic, Nine, Aida, Eurydice, Metamorphoses, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (Stagedoor Manor).

 

Nick was previously the Artistic Director of The Huron Playhouse for several years, one of the longest running summer stock theaters in the United States. He has also been a Dramaturg for Dramafest at Stagedoor Manor, overseeing the annual new work festival while mentoring student playwrights whose selected plays were published through Stephen Sondheim's Young Playwrights Inc. Among his awards he is the recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival / Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Fellowship, a Broadway World Award for Best Director, and an ArtWorks Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Nick holds a BA in Theater from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. nickhrutkay.com

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KATE BIANCO
MANAGING DIRECTOR

Kate Bianco (she/her) is the Managing Director of Underscore Theater Co. She has extensive experience in management and development having served nonprofits in the Tristate area such as New York’s Public Theater, The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, and Rutgers University Foundation. 


Kate is also an experienced actor with starring roles in Who’s Holiday: A Comedy with a Twist of Rhyme; The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged); The Shape of Things; Dancing with a Devil; and Agnes of God, and supporting roles in A Coffin in Egypt an Opera Philadelphia production performed in the Perelman Theater of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia; An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein; The Embalmer; Metamorphosis; and Violet Sharp. She also appears in the audio play Death on the 16th Fairway. Kate is also a producer on the upcoming feature film American Curse a Ramming Speed Pictures production, and the series producer of The Power of Attorney a Rutgers Law School podcast. 


Kate has a BA in Theater from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing a MPA at Rutgers University. 

LEADERSHIP

RESIDENT ARTISTS

Chantel Thea Cumberbatch graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She recently worked as an Assistant Director/Children’s Program Coordinator for Limelight Theater’s Matilda: The Musical and as an Assistant director for Summer Stage Theater’s Elliot and the Magic Bed. She has also worked as an actress at some regional theaters in the area as well such as The Ritz Theater (Big Fish as a Little Lamb), Theater Horizon (The Color Purple as U/S Celie/Squeak/Nettie) and Limelight Theater Company (Annie as Lily).

 

In the past she has proudly performed in such shows as Macbeth as Lady Macbeth; Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Yitzhak; You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown as Lucy; Samuel Beckett’s Not I as The Mouth; Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief as Bianca; a visual movement piece called The Livingstone Project as Nhatikah; and many more shows.

She’s super grateful to Underscore for the opportunity to work with them, and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

  C H A N T E L   T H E A   C U M B E R B A T C H

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Maggie Savoie is a proud graduate of Otterbein University where she earned her Bachelors in Theatre with a concentration in choreography and a dance minor. Originally from Ohio, Maggie currently resides in NYC and works as choreographer and teaching artist focusing on ballet, musical theatre, and contemporary dance. 

Maggie’s choreography has been seen at Stagedoor Manor, The Tank Theatre, Youth America Grand Prix, Otterbein University, and at various theatres throughout the city. She has performed with BalletMet, Megan Doyle Dance, AbunDance company, and Mitra Dance among others. 

Maggie has had the pleasure of working as a choreographer-in-residence at Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in Upstate New York since 2017. She has also served as the Director of Dance at Stagedoor since 2019. @maggiesavoiedance

MAGGIE SAVOIE

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Natalie has been a Lighting Designer for 15 years and is currently completing her MFA in Design for Theatre at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Natalie previously studied theatre at The University of Wales and since has toured the UK as a Lighting Designer, lighting her way through different genres of theatre from Shakespeare with the Young Shakespeare Company to to rock concerts with David Essex. In 2015, she moved to the USA from the UK and has since worked with Thin Air Theatre Company in Colorado; guest designed with colleges such as Sweet Briar and Randolph College; while still continuing her 13 year career with Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Center serving as the Lighting Team Lead for the last 9 years. 

 N A T A L I E   D A V I E S

Marie Nicole is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of High Point University where she studied Performance Theatre and Vocal Music. A proud member of Actor's Equity Association, Marie has performed with many professional regional theatres such as The Growing Stage, Centenary Stage, and Allenberry Playhouse to name a few.

Marie has traveled through Europe, Africa, and Asia working as a production singer and headline act for Oceania Cruises. Her favorite theatrical credit has to be originating the roles of Celia and Jill in the first developmental production of Love/Sick by John Cariani. You can find Marie on television, starring in episodics on Investigation Discovery (Shadow of Doubt) and SyFy (The Internet Ruined My Life).

When she is not performing, Marie is helping children develop a passion for the arts.  She has been teaching music, theatre, and dance to children ages 3-17 since 2008. In 2016, Marie joined the artistic staff of the prestigious Stagedoor Manor as a Director/Choreographer in residence. marievnicole.com

M A R I E   N I C O L E

Chaz May is a New York City based performer and is thrilled to be a part of Underscore Theater Co. Originally from Tampa, Chaz received his BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Florida. Credits include: Spring Awakening (Melchior), A Chorus Line (Mark), Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour), Godspell (Jesus), and Sweeney Todd (Tobias). Chaz performs with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and The Peoples Improv Theater in NYC. When Chaz isn't performing on stage he is prepping the audience at ABC's The View and Good Morning America. chazmay.com @itschazmay

C H A Z   M A Y

J O E   Y O R K

Joe York (he/him) graduated from New York University with a MFA in Musical Theatre Playwriting and Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance. He has been seen onstage at various professional theaters across the country having performed in Les Miserables at White Plains Performing Arts Center, 1776 at Cortland Repertory Theater, Bat Boy and Jesus Christ Superstar at Keystone Repertory Theater, Little Shop of Horrors at The Huron Playhouse, and Sweeney Todd: Heavy Metal version at Landless Theatre Company. As a musical writer, he has created works performed in New York and Pennsylvania at various theatrical companies, including two New York Equity staged readings. Some of his original musicals include The TreesLight up!, and Discovering Eden.

Keep theater alive and rock the arts!

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