Always Greener

47 3Arts supporters
$7,620 raised of $5,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on August 24, 2019
    • 152% contributed

Always Greener is a groundbreaking new musical that asks what people with disabilities want rather than what they need. This musical aims to dispel any myths about disability that are perpetuated on stage, and to put people with disabilities back in the driver’s seat of our own stories, reframing public understanding and expanding thinking about our relationships, work, and sexuality. All roles that are written for people with disabilities will be played by actors and singers with disabilities. Period. As a writer, performer, and director with a disability I have worked hard to create a level playing field where performers with disabilities are given the same opportunities as those without. This musical takes my work, and that of my company, Tellin’ Tales Theatre, to the next level. My project is a two-week workshop production of Always Greener in preparation for a world premiere in 2021. Our workshop is the next step in a long process, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

About This Project

Always Greener is set in a fictional community that’s completely accessible. A place where everyone has a great job, a carefully chosen spouse, and all the care they might ever need. When someone from the outside breaks in, the citizens begin to question their wants as well their needs in life.

I have always believed that personal stories are the foundation for riveting theater, and when audiences can connect through shared experiences, differences melt away. All of my work through Tellin’ Tales Theatre is based on this core belief, whether it’s training writer/actors with disabilities to take the stage with pride, working with middle school students with and without disabilities to learn from each other, or my various solo performances. Always Greener is an extension of this belief.

Though Always Greener is fictional, it’s firmly rooted in the personal stories of people with disabilities. To make sure the story is authentic from the perspective of the disability community, my co-bookwriter Erin Austin and I invited a team of disabled writers and actors to help us conceptualize the show. In August of 2018, a new composer and lyricist joined our team. Noa/h Fields, who is non-binary and hard-of-hearing, brings a new perspective on the intersectionality of the disability and trans experiences. In fact, one of our main characters has a disability and is also non-binary. My fellow writers and I insisted on finding an actor who identifies as both. And we found them!

In December 2018, 16 actors with and without disabilities participated in a reading of our first draft of Always Greener. Based on feedback from the actors, as well as respected playwrights, directors, and disability activists, the writing team embarked on draft two. In February 2019, our Artistic Producer Jacob Watson and Director Thrisa Hodits joined us for a workshop of the second draft. Then this past May we hired 10 actors/singers to perform a short sneak peek reading with music at the Tellin’ Tales benefit and again for an industry audience.

Now, developing a 2020 workshop production of Always Greener is our goal. This will allow us to stage the musical with actors/singers to visualize how various bodies and assistive devices will move on stage, and help us evaluate the script, music, and lyrics as a whole. Funds will go toward accessible theater rental, set, lighting, sound design, and costumes, as well as stipends for actors and the production team. With feedback from audiences and industry leaders from this workshop we will then polish Always Greener in preparation for a fully produced world premiere in Chicago in 2021.

My hope is that Always Greener will provide new professional opportunities for performers with disabilities, not only for the Chicago run of the show but for years to come as it’s presented throughout the country. 

Thank you for your role in making my dream of fully inclusive theater a reality.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Personal thank you on social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Your name acknowledged on the Tellin’ Tales Theatre and "Always Greener" websites and "Always Greener" program ($50.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    All of the above, plus a personal thank you note from the cast/crew, and one ticket to the 2020 workshop production of "Always Greener" ($75.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    All of the above, plus two tickets to the 2020 workshop production of "Always Greener" and a digital download of the music ($200.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    All of the above, plus four tickets to the 2020 workshop production of "Always Greener" and a reception with the cast/crew ($400.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    All of the above, plus two tickets to the 2021 World Premiere of "Always Greener" ($850.00 is tax deductible.)

Tekki Lomnicki

Tekki Lomnicki believes in the healing power of stories. She is a solo performer, playwright, director, and educator. Tekki has devoted her craft to finding ways to break down the barriers between those with disabilities and those without. In 1995, …

View Tekki Lomnicki's profile
  • Update 1: Stretch Goal
    Posted on July 14, 2019


    STRETCH GOAL! Thanks to everyone who helped us reach our initial goal! Now we’re aiming to raise an additional $5,000. Musicals are BIG projects and take lots of people power. To be truly accessible and inclusive, we need to make sure we compensate our artists fairly for their incredible skill and effort. Your additional donations will go toward paying actors, musicians, and designers with disabilities, and make the accessible vision of Always Greener a reality. 

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Carol Jungman

    • Ken Brinkman

    • Ward Wilson


    • Michael Morrissey

    • Karen LaChapelle

    • Liz Cruger

    • Megan McNichols Mahon

    • Stephen Donart

    • Eileen Tell

    • Rosemary Postula

    • Barbara schechtman

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Jane Brosseau

    • judy bergh

    • Barbara DiGuido

    • Theresa Shea

    • Stephanie Clemens

    • Paris DePaepe

    • Rosemary Stuebi

    • Julie Penfield


    • David Bontumasi

    • Marion Flynn

    • Carrie Sandahl

    • Rachel Kraft

    • Cheryl Turek

    • Caitlin Sarro

    • Elizabeth Bryant-Richards

    • Debra Kerr

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Edward Oppenheimer

    • Matt Nelson

    • Susan Martin

    • Sandra Biegel

    • Matthew Wycislak

    • Nancy Woodruff

    • David Hunt

    • Kathy Kelley

    • Robin Wold

    • Robin Simon

    • Theresa Pacione

    • Carl Ulaszek


    • Megan Shaunnessy

    • Margaret Conway

    • Carin Aquiline

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council