Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

The hectic writing life of Ike Holter
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times
2013-07-17

This article shared 5315 times since Wed Jul 17, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicago playwright Ike Holter is one busy man.

The 28-year-old playwright behind last year's wildly acclaimed Stonewall Riots drama Hit the Wall has two new works debuting days apart: A 10-minute piece called Weirdo that's part of LiveWire Chicago Theatre's short play festival called VisionFest 5: Johnny 5 is Alive, and then a reading of his new play Prowess at the Goodman Theatre as part of its season-long residency for local writers known as the Playwrights Unit.

On top of all of this, Holter also has to finish writing one more episode of a four-part stage sitcom called B-Side Studios for The New Colony and The Inconvenience. This project is a seven-month collaboration that also aims to be filmed and uploaded online that is set to debut in September.

"It's a lot of mental jumping around," said Holter during a telephone interview about the many projects he's juggling. "I'm always changing new scripts until they get on their feet."

This deluge of new work shows that Holter isn't resting on his laurels after Hit the Wall became a huge hit for The Inconvenience when it played in repertory as part of Steppenwolf Theatre's 2012 Garage Rep and then at Theater on the Lake. New York producers then took Holter's mythologized look at the 1969 Stonewall Riots off-Broadway to the Barrow Street Theatre in March of this year—just steps away from the site of the Stonewall Inn.

"I just wrote it on spec and it took two-and-a-half weeks to write and then it got picked up," Holter said about Hit the Wall. "I would never have thought that it would first of all be done at Steppenwolf and then go out of the city."

Unfortunately, Hit the Wall in New York drew more of a mixed critical response and didn't attract the audiences that the theater was hoping for. The show didn't last long enough to coincide with the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

"I'm still so proud about that production and the cool thing was that the entire cast and the entire producing team and people who worked at the theater really believed in the show," said Holter, adding that other theaters around the country have plans to produce Hit the Wall in next few seasons.

The national attention that Holter received with Hit the Wall now means that whenever his name comes up, he has the label "Black gay playwright" attached.

"I don't exclusively write queer characters—I don't exclusively write Black characters, even though I'm both of those," Holter said, more bemused than annoyed. "Actually most of my plays are about a lot of different people doing a lot of different things… I don't think we called Arthur Miller a white straight male writer."

So with Weirdo and Prowess, Chicago theatergoers have a chance to see more of Holter's work on other topics. For instance, Weirdo deals with the power and perils of instant social media ruining the reputations of people to tie into LiveWire Chicago Theatre's festival theme of technology and when things "Short Circuit" (fans of the 1980s film with the same name will recognize the festival's use of its catchphrase).

Prowess is the graphic novel-inspired play that Holter worked on through the Goodman's Playwright Unit. It concerns a woman who tries to enact change directly in Chicago neighborhoods when she becomes dissatisfied with the slow pace of politics.

"She basically pulls together a group of outlying individuals and they start what I would describe as a 'po-dunk Avengers-style' method of saving the city that takes place in modern Chicago," Holter said, adding that none of his characters actually have superpowers. "I'm a big fan of superhero movies and comic books and this is kind of my stab at doing a hyper-real version that is funny, scary and also really dramatic because we're dealing with real issues."

"Ike is the quickest playwrights I've ever worked with," said Anna Rose Epstein, artistic director of Nothing Without A Company, which produced Holter's play LOOM earlier this season.

Epstein co-founded Nothing Without A Company with Holter in 2008 after they both graduated from DePaul University, and she's amazed by his "ability to see if something isn't working in a script during the process… He's more instinctual about things."

"I'll make revisions until we have to go up," Holter said. "Weirdo is easier because it's a 10-minute show—it's basically just cutting and trimming. But for Prowess, I'm actually looking at the script as we speak and that's my number one priority."

LiveWire Chicago Theatre's VisionFest 5: Johnny 5 is Alive features 10 short plays by Holter, Philip Dawkins, Bekah Brunstetter and seven other playwrights. Performances are from Wednesday, July 17, through Friday, Aug. 2, at INTUIT—The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. VisionFest 5 runs in two alternating programs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays (five plays each) with a marathon of both programs (all 10 plays) on Fridays at 7:30 and 9 p.m. The official press opening is Friday, July 19. Tickets are $15 (single programs) or $20 (Friday marathons). For more information, visit www.livewirechicago.com .

Holter's Prowess is performed as a reading at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at the Goodman Theatre's rehearsal rooms, 170 N. Dearborn St. The performance is free, but reservations are required by calling 312-443-3800 or by visiting www.goodmantheatre.org/PlaywrightsUnit. Other plays that are part of the Goodman Theatre's Playwrights Unit include: Greg Allen's Sleeping with the Prince of Darkness: The Imagined Pillow Talk of FBI Agent John O'Neill (7:30 p.m. July 20), Christopher oscar peña's F(law)less (2:30 p.m. July 21) and Alice Austen's Ninth Man Out (7:30 p.m. Aug. 16).


This article shared 5315 times since Wed Jul 17, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

Actor, poet, arts activist Jerrie Johnson talks new Amazon show 'Harlem,' other work 2021-12-20
- Jerrie Johnson's mission to book a series regular role six months after finishing graduate school came to fruition when they (Johnson uses they/them pronouns) were cast as Tye, a lesbian dating app creator/CEO (who uses she/her ...


Gay News

COVID U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker test positive 2021-12-20
- U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker separately revealed they have tested positive for COVID. Fully vaccinated (including getting a booster shot), the 72-year old Massachusetts progressive declared on social ...


Gay News

NATIONAL New Jersey, Audre Lorde, LGBTQ book, youth items 2021-12-19
- In the face of growing anxiety over the Supreme Court's conservative bent, state lawmakers in New Jersey are moving to pass marriage-equality legislation, Gay City News reported. According to Garden State Equality, the New Jersey Assembly's ...


Gay News

Author/feminist bell hooks dies at 69 2021-12-15
- Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks died Dec. 15 at age 69. The writer (real name: Gloria Jean Watkins) was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, per NBC News. Her first published work, a book of ...


Gay News

Leading groups join call for LGBTQ-inclusive books, books on race, racism 2021-12-13
--From a GLAAD press release - GLAAD joins over 600 groups and individuals in a powerful statement of support against efforts to ban LGBTQ-inclusive books and books about race and racism. The statement, created by the National Coalition Against Censorship, is the ...


Gay News

Author Anne Rice dies at 80 2021-12-12
- Writer Anne Rice, whose Interview With The Vampire sold more than 150 million copies, died at age 80 on Dec. 11, according to media reports. Her son Christopher Rice, an out gay man who is also ...


Gay News

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids reaches marginalized communities with children's book 2021-12-07
- U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids' children's book, Sharice's Big Voice, tells the story of how an Indigenous lesbian mixed martial artist and lawyer became the first LGBTQ+ representative of Kansas. "My hope is that when children or ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Christmas Dearest Nov. 27-Dec. 31 2021-12-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO (December 2, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with the return of one of its most popular holiday musicals: Christmas Dearest, featuring book and lyrics by ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: World AIDS Day, 'Benedetta,' books, wine in a can 2021-11-26
- —World AIDS Day event at Belmont Harbor: —The Chicago Parks Foundation will hold a World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1, 9-10:30 a.m., at the Belmont Harbor Yacht Club. Antonio King, LGBTQ health and outreach liaison ...


Gay News

Designer and entrepreneur Kiki Bryant discusses future of 'Lollipop Lola' 2021-11-26
- On Jan. 21, 2021, Kiki Bryant set a $2,000 fundraising goal on Kiva.org to launch a children's doll based on her original book character, Lollipop Lola. The goal was met that same day. "That was a ...


Gay News

Missouri district returning LGBTQ+ books to high school libraries 2021-11-23
- In Missouri, the North Kansas City School district said it would return two books exploring LGBTQ+ themes to its high school libraries following public outcry, The Hill noted. The district announced its plans to reshelve All ...


Gay News

Downers Grove parents complain about LGBTQ books 2021-11-16
- Continuing a battle that's been taking place in several other states, parents in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove say they want publications they call "pornography" removed from the high schools' libraries, according to WGN-TV. At ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'The Dr. Seuss Experience' at Water Tower Place 2021-11-12
- It's certainly a time and place to be immersed in nostalgia. The family-friendly attraction "The Dr. Seuss Experience" is running through Jan. 2, 2022, at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. It's certainly hard to ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.