“One of the most significant literary achievements in modern-day Chicago” (Chicago Tribune)—Ike Holter’s seven-play “Rightlynd Saga”—is now complete. Courtesy of the playwright and dramaturg Kendra Miller, here is a look back at these remarkable works.

Pictured (L-R): Anish Jethmalani, Jerome Beck and Monica Lopez. Photo by Liz Lauren.

Rightlynd

Directed by Lisa Portes
Setting: Winter 2011 – Summer 2014
Premiere: Victory Gardens Theater (2018)

Chicago’s 51st Ward, Rightlynd, once a thriving neighborhood, is now populated with vacant storefronts and abandoned apartment buildings. Alderman Nina Esposito embarks on a one-woman crusade to stop an outside real estate redevelopment project seeking to usher in a new age of gentrification that threatens the heart of Rightlynd’s identity.

Pictured (L-R): Lucy Sandy, Paloma Nozicka and Pat Whalen. Photo by Ryan Bourque.

Exit Strategy

Directed by Gus Menary
Setting: Summer 2014 – Summer 2015
Premiere: Jackalope Theatre (2014)

Tumbldn High School, a now-crumbling cornerstone of Rightlynd, is slated for an unceremonious shutdown by the city (aided by Alderman Esposito.) A grassroots campaign of teachers and students emerges under the leadership of a fast-talking administrator, willing to risk it all in a city-wide clash to save their careers, future and safety.

Pictured (L-R): Steve Haggard and Steve Wilson. Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Sender

Directed by Shade Murray
Setting: Summer 2016
Premiere: A Red Orchid Theatre (2016)

More than one year after his sensational death, a young man returns to his former Rightlynd apartment: alive, well and with a new-found ambition to fix what went wrong. A miracle reunion turns into a catastrophic disaster as the past catches up with the present and old debts return, expecting payment in full.

Pictured (L-R): Sydney Charles and Julian Parker. Photo by Ryan Bourque.

Prowess

Directed by Marti Lyons
Setting: Summer 2016
Premiere: Jackalope Theatre (2016)

Temperatures flare, shootings spike and Rightlynd is stuck in status quo. Enter a mixed bag of underdogs ready to save whatever’s left of the day. As Nina Esposito cozies up to city hall, her assistant uses her boss’ turned eye (and vacant office) as the headquarters for a rebellion against the powers that be. Completely powerless but sky-high on passion, they fight back. But as broken bones multiply and alliances splinter, the team is forced to draw the line between well-meaning heroism and vigilante justice.

 

Pictured: Gabe Ruiz. Photo by Joel Masisonet.

The Wolf at the End of the Block

Directed by Ricardo Gutierrez
Setting: February 2017
Premiere: Teatro Vista (2017)

After the heat of Sender and Prowess, a bitterly cold Chicago fall seeps into Rightlynd. A dimly lit bar deep in the neighborhood is the scene of a terrifying and bewildering crime. New witnesses and startling facts emerge within the following 48 hours over sandwiches at Nunley’s Grocery and Meat Counter. A personal horror story flips into a destructive and thrilling political maelstrom
that defies containment, while the resident at its center struggles for control of his narrative—and his life.

 

Pictured: Aurora Adachi-Winter. Photo by Lee Miller.

Red Rex

Directed by Jonathan Berry
Setting: January – April 2018
Premiere: Steep Theatre (2019)

A theater company moves into a small storefront in Rightlynd, hoping their upcoming show will launch their careers to new heights. But when it’s revealed that their source material isn’t as original as they assumed, they must face off with the neighborhood’s residents, who are determined to take back their story.

Pictured (L-R) Monica Orozco, Robert Cornelius and Aurora Adachi-Winter. Photo by Cody Nieset.

Lottery Day

Setting: Fall 2019
Premiere: Goodman Theatre, Spring 2019

Welcome to the grand finale of “The Rightlynd Saga.”

To learn more and buy tickets for Lottery Day, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/LotteryDay.