Recounting her personal journey marked by abuse, grief, sexual assault, and suicide, Nikki uses storytelling, movement, and visual media in order to raise awareness around mental health all through the lens of a punk/hip hop concert. Get Out Alive was conceived by Nikki Lynette and was later workshopped in a developmental reading produced by the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in May 2019. A creative powerhouse, Nikki’s music has been featured in popular shows on MTV, Fox, Hulu and Netflix. Since her return to the public eye, she has written articles about mental health, depression, and suicide for prominent black publications, and is currently working on a mental health documentary Happy Songs About Unhappy Things

About the Team

Get Out Alive is a new autobiographical musical by independent artist Nikki Lynette. Using storytelling, song, movement, visual media and a live DJ, Nikki’s offbeat approach to sharing her personal mental healthy journey shows that even when life leads us to a bad place, we can always make it out alive.


NIKKI LYNETTE is a performer, writer, and visual artist whose style is equal parts hip hop, alternative, and pop. A Chicago native, her profound sense of individuality has been the cornerstone of her career an as indie artist. Her self-produced tunes have been featured in popular shows on MTV, Fox, Hulu, Netflix, and more and have garnered digital and print features for publications like Billboard, XXL, Bust, and Vibe. After a hiatus from releasing new music at the height of her career, 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, and held her own among medical professionals in live chats and panel discussions with hundreds of thousands of viewers. Nikki’s most recent musical release, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, is the first in a three part body of work that includes music, visual art, and a short film detailing the experience of being driven to a dark place and finding your way back from it. Her mental health documentary Happy Songs About Unhappy Things is expected to be finished in Spring of 2019.


ROGER ELLIS is a director/choreographer and dramaturge whose work centers on physically driven, inclusive, and transformational theatrical experiences. As a director, Roger focuses on the development of new work and the bold reimagining of established performance texts. He has worked across the United States with companies such as Sacramento Music Circus, Paramount Theatre, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College, Tuacahn Center for the Arts, San Diego Repertory, and Gallery Players Brooklyn. His directing credits include ParadeA Little Night MusicThe Wild Party (LaChiusa/Wolfe), The Light in the Piazza (Associate Director/ Movement Coach), A Year With Frog and ToadMaverick (Associate Director/Choreographer), and the NYC premiere of Laura Pittenger’s Thou Shalt Not. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (Associate).


IRA ANTELIS is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and influencer. With over 30 years of experience, Ira is known for his melodic memorability and diverse set of skills. Ira has written and produced music for commercials, pop albums, movies, and theatre, and won numerous awards for music he’s composed. His work ranges from jingles like Gatorade’s “Be Like Mike” to his experimental piano record “Reflections.” Ira spent more than 10 years as the Music Director for Leo Burnett where he composed the music for Disney’s anniversary song called “Remember The Magic” and “Celebrate The Future” for the millennium. He has also been involved in the production of several acclaimed tv shows, films, and plays, with 3 of the stage musicals he has composed being performed in New York, Chicago, and Edinburgh.

Under the Artistic Director David H. Bell, Northwestern’s Donald G. Robertson Director of Music Theatre, Associate Artistic Director Ryan Cunningham and Producing Director Brannon Bowers, American Music Theater Project brings together the nation’s leading artists in music theatre to work with Northwestern’s faculty, staff and students to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by developing and producing new musicals. Each project will culminate in public presentations at Northwestern’s Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free and open to the public. For performance times and venue information, visit the AMTP website or email