Editor’s notice: This is only one of our tales and selling authors and artists in Evanston.
Adam Langer is form of from Evanston and from Chicago.
As a child rising up within the Chicago space, he lived in Rogers Park, however went to Baker Demonstration Faculty in Evanston earlier than attending Evanston Township Excessive Faculty.
“My father thought of himself an Evanston taxpayer, if not an precise resident of Evanston,” Langer stated. “Probably, a few years later, that will be an issue for us. However on the time, it appeared nearly authorized. Whether or not [legal] Or not, I used to be a teen. I did not verify.”
Regardless of the preliminary embarrassment of being a “Chicago child” at ETHS, Langer stated he is at all times seen Rogers Park as an extension of Evanston, quite than a separate metropolis. He spent many summers going to Lighthouse Seashore, and a few of his greatest mates to this present day are the folks he met in highschool.
“It wasn’t actually my precise residence, nevertheless it seems to be very very like his hometown,” he stated.
He and his household ended up on Chicago’s North Facet after his grandparents immigrated from Jap Europe to a West Facet ghetto within the Nineteen Twenties. Curiously, whereas rising up in a quiet, close-knit avenue of Jewish households in Rogers Park, he really considered Evanston as the massive, thrilling metropolis he could not wait to discover.
After ETHS, Langer went to Vassar Faculty in New York earlier than returning to Chicago and dealing his approach by way of a few of the metropolis’s hottest media organizations and radio stations, together with The Chicago Reader, WBEZ, WBBM, and WXRT. Ultimately, he moved to New York Metropolis, the place he grew to become a novelist and govt editor for The Washington Put up straight forwarda non-profit Jewish information group.
Langer has written seven books, and his newest novel, Cyclorama, delves into the experiences and lives of the forged of a theater present at a fictional highschool in Central Evanston. The story is drawn from Langer’s recollections of ETHS and his time engaged on theatrical productions there.
“I wished to inform the tales of those characters and the place they ended up, and it made sense to set them in a world I knew so properly. It is 1982, the North Facet of Chicago and the northern suburbs of Chicago, and Evanston and Wilmette and Skokie.” And I used to be writing from reminiscence, to not say every little thing in This [book] already occurred. However I used to be writing in a world I may keep in mind, which made it simpler to jot down about and produce it to life.”
The e book additionally options an abrasive and considerably abusive drama trainer and theater program director. As many Evanstonians know and a few will keep in mind, dozens of former college students have completed so Allegations of sexual assault and misconduct v. Bruce Sewerth, former drama trainer at ETHS.
Just some years in the past, the varsity settled a lawsuit in opposition to Siewerth for $100,000. Langer really acted in highschool productions directed by Seywerth a number of a long time in the past. Seewerth was, in reality, somebody Langer thought of whereas writing the e book, however he additionally wished to make use of this story for example of a bigger development of abusive authority figures.
“The early Nineteen Eighties was a time of outrageous boundary crossing by grownup authority figures. He isn’t only a man working a dictatorial and abusive theater program at Evanston Township Excessive Faculty.” “There are hordes of those tales. And since writing that e book, folks have contacted me not solely from Chicago and its northern suburbs, however from all around the nation saying, ‘It jogs my memory of that have I had, I had a coach like that, a supervisor like that, I I examined it.”
And although Langer did not stay in Evanston or Chicago for a few years, he nonetheless spoke of his time right here with nice admiration and nostalgia. With so many proficient and engaged folks concentrated in a single place, he stated he finds it shocking that there aren’t extra novels, films, and TV reveals set in Evanston.
“Evanston is fascinating in that it is a microcosm of an city expertise in a really intense setting, and highschool is form of a microcosm,” Langer stated.
“He was so various, so energetic, so intellectually engaged, so inventive… To be in such a full of life setting and surrounded by an extremely proficient group of people who find themselves on the forefront of so many fields as we communicate now was intoxicating in a approach.” .”