Who’s Next: Ike Holter

Playbill Pride   Who’s Next: Ike Holter As part of Playbill Pride 2016, we set our sights on the next generation of LGBTQ artists. Meet playwright Ike Holter.
Ike Holter
Ike Holter

WHO:
Ike Holter

WHY HE MATTERS:
The Chicago Tribune was onto something when they named Ike Holter the Chicagoean of the Year in 2014. The playwright’s work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage and The New Colony; and his plays Hit the Wall, about the Stonewall uprising, and Exit Strategy, about a public school facing closure, have transferred Off-Broadway. New York audiences can expect to see plenty more from this Chicago writer with a knack for razor-sharp dialogue and unforgettable characters.

Earliest memory of the theatre:
When I was nine or ten—I still get chills talking about it—Sweeney Todd was playing at the Guthrie Theatre. I saw it on a night when there was a power outage two minutes into the opening number, so they announced that they would be doing the show with just work lights, and we were given the option to leave. About half of the audience left, but I stayed, and that show blew me away. It was bare; it was in the open; it was scary; it was loud. They were telling the story not because they wanted to, but because they needed to.

Who has been especially crucial in your creative development?
In Chicago, places like A Red Orchard Theatre, which has mentored me since I was fresh out of college, as well as the Jackalope Theatre. There’s also a great community of young writers in Chicago; we all support each other and watch out for each other. There’s a lot of good energy going around in this city.

One of my favorite artists of all time is:
Stephen Sondheim is obviously a genius.

I wish the theatre had more…
Late-night shows. I’m always looking to see a show late at night instead of going out to a party. Parties are awesome, but if you see a show that late, then the lobby is going to turn into a party afterward!

One thing that surprises people about you:
I’m kind of a big comic book nerd.

The next challenge I want to take on is…
I would like to do a big, new musical.

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