“Attending an Ike Holter play is not the quiet, orderly experience you might expect from the theatre. The stage can get loud; his characters are bold, many of them have strong opinions, and the verisimilitude of his dialogue is such that characters often talk over one another. Audience members, unable to contain their reactions, will whoop and holler and bust out laughing. It’s hard not to when the play is so full of slick references, clever turns of phrase, and the kind of love between friends that manifests as insults. Holter drops hard truths at unexpected moments, and uses silence as effectively, if not as often, as Annie Baker. His writing is lyrical and grounded and fresh and epic, and a hundred years from now every Theatre 101 student is going to have to read his work.” —Jesse Bond, Splash Magazine (Chicago)
Although I Hate it Here is Ike’s DC debut, he’s been making plays and making news for years. Read a bit about his process and work from other sources.
In 2017, Ike won the Windham-Campbell award for Drama. In their citation for the prize, which at $165,000 is the largest prize for writing in the United States, the judges panel observed that “Holter’s plays establish a new kind of political poetry: at once oracular and deﬁant, it bears witness to invisibility and injustice, echoing Hit the Wall’s choral incantation: I was there.” Holter speaks with Claire Carrol in this 2017 interview after receiving the prize.
Goodman Theatre interview
Holter’s seven-part Rightlynd Saga is a sprawling but specific look at people in institutions and the fictional Chicago neighborhood of Rightlynd in transition—the long lines between policy and personal decisions, and how easy it is to try to make change only to become the thing you hated in the first place. In 2019, The Goodman Theatre premiered Lottery Day, the saga’s final play. Holter spoke with Regina Victor for the Goodman’s online magazine ahead of the premiere.
Playwrights Horizons Interview
Holter is currently under commission with Playwrights Horizons for a new play. In April 2020, playwright Will Arbery (Heroes of the Fourth Turning) spoke with Ike about life and writing during the early pandemic.