“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

It’s a play. It’s a movie. It’s a movement.


Get Out Alive is a new autobiographical musical by indie artist, actor and activist Nikki Lynette. Equal parts raucous, tender, intelligent and triumphant, this afrogoth musical breaks new ground as an unexpectedly energetic retelling of a young woman’s experience with abuse, grief, and suicide. Using storytelling, song, dance, visual media and a DJ, Lynette’s offbeat approach to sharing her mental health journey shows that even when life leads us to a bad place, we can always make it out alive.



Nikki Lynette is the first Black woman to have a play developed by the prestigious American Music Theatre Project


Get Out Alive is the first AMTP play to debut at Steppenwolf, as part of it’s LookOut Series that highlights new works


Get Out Alive is the first Steppenwolf LookOut Series work to add a 5th sold out show after selling out the initial run 3 weeks in advance


The stage show completed a Jeff Recommended 19 show run in August of 2022 at The Den Theater.


The film adaptation of Get Out Alive has been featured at over a dozen film festivals. It won Best Actress and was a Nominee for Best Feature at BronzeLens Film Fest, it won Best Feature at Lake County Film Fest, and won Best First Time Filmmaker at the Chicago Indie Film Awards.


  • The 12th Annual BronzeLens Film Festival (Winner–Best Actress; Atlanta) Aug – 22, 2021


  • Chicago Indie Film Festival (Winner-Best First Time Filmmaker; Illinois) Aug 1 – 4, 2021


  • The 11th Annual Lake County (Winner–Audience Best Feature; Illinois) Nov 4 – 15, 2021


  • The 9th Annual AuContraire Film Festival (Canada) Oct 3-13, 2021


  • Cannes World (France) June 1 – 30, 2021


  • Melbourne Lift-Off (Australia)  Nov 22 – Dec 20, 2021


  • The 23rd Annual Decibels Film Festival (San Francisco) Oct 28 – Nov 7, 2021 


  • The 22nd Annual Sound Unseen Film Festival (Minneapolis) Nov 10 – 14, 2021


  • The 30th Anniversary Pan African Film + Art Festival (Los Angeles) Feb 8 – 21, 2022


  • The African Diaspora International Film Festival (Washington) Aug 5 – 7, 2022


  • The 28th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival (Chicago) – November 4 – 27, 2022

Chicago Tribune has rave reviews for Get Out Alive 

“Those who saw the play, as did I, watched an immensely talented and arresting performer… It was honestly intimate, sometimes to the point of pain. But this was not a polemic or a couple of hours filled by dry lessons. Most left the theater with, yes, a greater understanding of the ravages and realities of mental illness but also with an appreciation of the artfulness and courage it took to bring it all on stage. They were entertained.” – Rick Kogan, The Chicago Tribune

Chicago Stage Standard gives GET OUT ALIVE  a Rave Review

“The pertinent attention to the auditory experience sets the pace for what is in store for the rest of the evening. Lynette performs songs throughout the piece sometimes with wonderfully scored backing tracks and occasionally a capella. The audience is embraced as an active listener and the safe space within the confines of these walls the conversation is ripped open through melody and color.”

WGN Radio welcomes Nikki Lynette to discuss GET OUT ALIVE

Amy Guth has an in-depth discussion about Nikki’s her inspirational journey of improving her mental health as gives some insight into her new play Get Out Alive. Stream the full interview on wgnradio.com

WGN’s The Cornerstore Podcast invites Nikki Lynette & Ira Antelis to discuss her new solo show

On the new episode, The Cornerstore spoke to rapper/poet/actress Nikki Lynette about being in Chicago’s hip-hop industry for decades & her new solo show. In addition, the show’s producer & longtime friend of the podcast, composer & songwriter Ira Antelis joined in to talk about producing Nikki’s show & more.

nikki lynette work in progress get out alive

Music from GET OUT ALIVE featured in Showtime’s WORK IN PROGRESS

Nikki’s upbeat tune My Mind Ain’t Right was prominently featured in episode 6 of the new hit series Work In Progress on Showtime. Check out the full song on all major streaming platforms. 

nikki lynette play get out alive

GET OUT ALIVE is already making history.

Nikki Lynette is the first Black woman to have the development of her play funded by the prestigious American Music Theatre Project
Get Out Alive is the first AMTP play to debut at Steppenwolf, as part of it’s LookOut Series that highlights new works
Get Out Alive is the first Steppenwolf LookOut Series work to add a 5th sold out show after selling out the initial run 3 weeks in advance.

What's next for the stage show?

GET OUT ALIVE took New York by storm when it became the break-out hit of NAMT’s 34th Annual Festival of New Musicals. The team will be sharing some exciting announcements in January 2024. Stay tuned!


NIKKI LYNETTE (she/her) is a social impact artist & suicide survivor who fuses mental health activism into her musical theater performances, film projects and visual art, creating a lane that is uniquely her own. This Chicago native’s self-produced songs are frequently featured in popular shows on Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and more. Her journey with mental health outreach began in 2016 when she returned to the public eye after a long hiatus with a confession: she’d secretly been battling mental health issues. In a time when being open about mental health struggles was taboo, Nikki began writing articles about depression and suicide for prominent media like Afropunk and AllHipHop. As the opening act for Pussy Riot’s first American tour, Nikki workshopped the material that would soon become her buzzed-about new musical about depression, GET OUT ALIVE. Nikki has made history as the first black female playwright to have a musical produced by American Music Theatre Project, the first AMTP work to debut at Steppenwolf, as well as the first Steppenwolf LookOut Series work and first female AMTP alum to be featured at NAMT’s Festival of New Musicals. The stage show is currently in development under the guidance of Octopus Theatricals. 


ROGER ELLIS (they/them), the original director of of Get Out Alive, 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. They have 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. They hold 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).



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.


LUCKY STIFF (they/them) is a director and performer working in Chicago and New York. They build original experiences that often combine nightclub culture with performance art, as well as classic stories. Their work spans theater, burlesque, and performance art and takes inspiration from Weimar, Germany, Pierrot clowns, and golden age musicals. Their performances have been featured at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Disco Dining Club and Bushwig Festival of Drag, among many others. They are a coproducer of GODDESS at Berlin Nightclub and a cohost of The Tea Podcast. They hold an MFA in directing for theater from Northwestern University.


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.


IRA ANTELIS (he/him) 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.