"Call Me Adam" chats with adaptor and director Markus Potter about his new play Stalking The Bogeyman, about the real-life story of David Holthouse's secret pursuit of justice for a crime hidden for 25 years. Stalking The Bogeyman plays at New World Stages in NYC (340 West 50th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue) through November 9. Click here for tickets!
1. You have adapted the script and are directing the new Off-Broadway show Stalking the Bogeyman at New World Stages based upon the real-life story of David Holthouse's secret pursuit of justice for a crime hidden for 25 years. What was it about this story that made you want to adapt it for the stage? When I heard this story, its raw truth cut me to the core. It was so powerful and beautiful and inspiring. I knew right away that this thrilling story about healing needed to reach more people.
2. Why did you want to direct the show in addition to adapting the script? My intent from the beginning was to DIRECT the play. I was in negotiations with some big writers to adapt the story but the roadblock was the agent. I had to wait months to get a response, and when negotiations were going nowhere, I started to blueprint the structure as a directorial exercise. I sat down with Shane Zeigler, Shane Stokes and Santino Fontana, and six months later, when negotiations with agents were going nowhere, I realized that we actually had the beginnings of a play. And with David Holthouse’s extraordinary skill as a storyteller and writer himself, everything was already there. We simply expanded what Holthouse had already created.
3. What was it like to work with David to bring his story to life in this manner? There are not many people in this world that I respect more than Holthouse. Brilliant mind, brilliant writer, brilliant storyteller. Our collaboration has been incredible since the moment we first spoke.
His notes/thoughts/ideas were always spot on. People come and go in your life and always leave impressions. Not only do I respect David for his honesty and bravery in putting his story out there like this, but when I think of his talent, the only word I feel that does him justice is "brilliant." He is a great collaborator and courageous man. Happy to say he has become a trusted friend.
4. What have you enjoyed most about working with this cast? One of the strongest casts in NYC. They are truthful, grounded, vulnerable, and settle for nothing less than the immediacy of every moment. Truly a tremendous cast that makes my job easy.
6. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Stalking The Bogeyman? Catharsis. Courage. Inspiration. I hope that audiences leave this play feeling inspired to confront the darkness inside of them. I want people to feel hopeful and that you can change course at any moment.
7. Since this show is about the dangers of vengeance, the power of forgiveness, and the strength of family, what has happened in your life that you've forgiven someone for? I’m not very good at forgiveness. I still have fantasies of hurting an old bully in high school that would torture the weakest kids in our school. I’m not sure if I hate him or hate myself more for not speaking up. Not sure if I can forgive, but when I remind myself that he was just a scared and damaged boy who was desperate to feel a sense of power and control and self worth, I’m able to let it go to some extent.
9. How do you want to be remembered? Committed father, good husband, and a great director that brought important stories to the world.
10. With the announcement that Stalking The Bogeyman is closing November 9, what is next for the show? I plan to direct the play next year in L.A., and we are in conversations with many regional theatre’s across the country. Stalking the Bogeyman has also been optioned as a feature film…more info to come. Also some London talk, TBD…
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose?Eternal patience. I have very little of it. Occasionally it’s a good thing, many times it is not.
12. If you could be any original flavor Life Saver, which one would you be? Orange, to match our show poster.
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? Racing after my 4 year old son Tennessee and 2 year old Juliet.
14. Boxers or Briefs? Whatever my wife gives me for my birthday.
Markus Potter is the founder and producing artistic director of NewYorkRep. Directing and producing credits include Stalking the Bogeyman (North Carolina Stage Company), The Velocity of Autumn by Eric Coble (Broadway-St. James), Black Wizard/Blue Wizard by Dave Malloy and Eliza Bent (Incubator Arts), Why You Beasting (Best of FringeNYC – transferred to the Players theatre off-Broadway).
As an actor: The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Denver Center, ACT, Berkeley Rep, tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd, Cherry Lane, Cal Shakes, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Studio Theatre DC, Great Lakes Theatre Festival and many more.