As theatres wait to reopen and streaming fatigue is r.e.a.l, radio plays are the new shining entertainment stars of 2020. Studio Theatre is getting in on the action, debuting its own commissioned audio world premiere next week.
I Hate It Here: Stories from the End of the Old World is written and directed by Ike Holter, a renowned Chicago playwright, and offers “a reflection on this complicated, unexpected, and consequential moment in history” according to its release.
Expect humor — we need it! — but also poignancy as this anthem for our time uses vignettes, monologues, and song to take listeners to normal environments in a new way. From an office to a wedding, high school, outdoor brunch, a front porch, and more Holter captures complexities… including all the feelings dealing with change, personal and systemic.
“Ike’s work is smart, funny, daring, and theatrical—a great match for Studio’s first commissions of audio work,” said Studio Artistic Director David Muse. “What he’s created feels very new and very Ike. He describes this set of scenes and monologues as an album, a sampling of what it feels like to live through this moment, and I think people will really respond to his craft and ambition.”
Audiences can listen for free on Studio’s website from December 10, 2020 through March 7, 2021 to Holter and a cast of Studio Theatre veterans including Jennifer Mendenhall (Circle/Mirror/Transformation) and Jaysen Wright (Wig Out!), alongside cherished current and former members of Chicago’s theatre community, including Sydney Charles, Kirsten Fitzgerald, and Tony Santiago, as well as Gabriel Ruiz, now in New York, and Behzad Dabu, now based in Los Angeles.