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20 MAY 2020



Company presents streaming performance June 4-13

Iowa Stage Theatre Company, central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is presenting Ike Holter’s hilarious, heartbreaking dramedy Exit Strategy. The show will stream digitally on from June 4-13; tickets are available on

The teachers of Tumbldn High School don't live in an inspirational teacher movie. They bring mousetraps from home, they make the toilet paper last, and they show up for the kids nobody else shows up for. So when the school is slated for closure at the end of the year, and the weight of the inevitable bears down on the community, students and teachers alike discover their breaking points.

Ricky, the vice principal, has stayed firmly on the sidelines for all of the teachers' previous battles, but now in the eleventh hour, he's compelled to step up with a plan to save the school. Some risk their futures to follow his lead-- But does he actually have any idea what he's doing? Spiked with humor and brimming with fury, Exit Strategy is an exhilarating call to arms about what we owe each other.

Matthew McIver, Artistic Director of ISTC, said

“Holter tells hilarious, moving stories about the people our society has failed, and makes you care about everyone onstage."

"The characters in Exit Strategy care passionately about their school and fight furiously, and hilariously, with each other. The story surprised me early on, and will keep the audience rooting for these folks trying, and often failing, to do the right thing.”

Ike Holter is an exciting young Black playwright based in Chicago. His work has been commissioned by The Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep and The Playwrights’ Center, and he has been a resident playwright at Victory Gardens Theatre. Pyramid Theater Company presented his play Prowess in 2018, directed by Ken-Matt Martin (currently Artistic Director at Victory Gardens Theatre). He won the WGA Award for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s TV show Fosse/Verdon and won the prestigious Windham-Campbell Prize for playwriting. Holter is currently developing a show for Netflix about Harold Washington, Chicago’s first Black mayor.

Resident Artist Company member James Serpento (recently director of ISTC’s The Agitators) plays Arnold, with fellow RAC member Rae Davis Fehring (Bright Half Life, Fun Home) playing Sadie. Eric Olson, most recently seen as Eldon in ISTC’s Adore Us! Line, is assistant principal Ricky, while Davida Williams, who assistant directed The Agitators, plays veteran teacher Pam. Newcomers to ISTC include Hugo Perez Loa and Sophia Montoya-Suson as teachers Luce and Janie, and Emmett Phillips as student Donnie. ISTC Artistic Director Matthew McIver directs.

The production is being recorded at Franklin Jr. High, a former school that is increasingly a site for cultural and community events. Stephanie Wilber, a teacher at Walnut Street School, is costume designer. The videography is by G. Thomas Furgerson and his company Media G, LLC, who provided the dazzling camera work for ISTC’s Bright Half Life and The Agitators. The production is streaming on from June 4-13th.

Iowa Stage Theatre Company, founded in 2017, is a professional, home-grown theater company in central Iowa that creates high-quality audience experiences of the greatest stories ever told onstage, from the classics to the cutting edge. Led by Artistic Director Matthew McIver, our Resident Artist Company works to transform Iowa, its citizens, and arts community by producing truthful, relevant, and intimate theatre that inspires, enlightens, and entertains. For Press Photos, please contact Laura Jordan at by email at For more information about Iowa Stage Theatre Company, visit us online at

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