Editor’s be aware: This is only one of our tales and selling authors and artists in Evanston.
Adam Langer is type 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 College in Evanston earlier than attending Evanston Township Excessive College.
“My father thought of himself an Evanston taxpayer, if not an precise resident of Evanston,” Langer mentioned. “Presumably, a few years later, that may be an issue for us. However on the time, it appeared virtually authorized. Whether or not [legal] Or not, I used to be a teen. I did not examine.”
Regardless of the preliminary embarrassment of being a “Chicago child” at ETHS, Langer mentioned he is at all times seen Rogers Park as an extension of Evanston, relatively than a separate metropolis. He spent many summers going to Lighthouse Seashore, and a few of his greatest associates to this present day are the folks he met in highschool.
“It wasn’t actually my precise residence, nevertheless it appears very very like his hometown,” he mentioned.
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 road of Jewish households in Rogers Park, he truly considered Evanston as the massive, thrilling metropolis he could not wait to discover.
After ETHS, Langer went to Vassar School in New York earlier than returning to Chicago and dealing his manner by a few of the metropolis’s hottest media organizations and radio stations, together with The Chicago Reader, WBEZ, WBBM, and WXRT. Finally, he moved to New York Metropolis, the place he grew to become a novelist and government editor for The Washington Publish 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 solid of a theater present at a fictional highschool in Central Evanston. The story is drawn from Langer’s reminiscences of ETHS and his time engaged on theatrical productions there.
“I needed 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 nicely. 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 the whole lot in This [book] already occurred. However I used to be writing in a world I may bear 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 instructor and theater program director. As many Evanstonians know and a few will bear in mind, dozens of former college students have finished so Allegations of sexual assault and misconduct v. Bruce Sewerth, former drama instructor at ETHS.
Only a few years in the past, the college settled a lawsuit in opposition to Siewerth for $100,000. Langer truly acted in highschool productions directed by Seywerth a number of a long time in the past. Seewerth was, in actual fact, somebody Langer considered whereas writing the e book, however he additionally needed to make use of this story for instance of a bigger pattern of abusive authority figures.
“The early Nineteen Eighties was a time of outrageous boundary crossing by grownup authority figures. He is not only a man working a dictatorial and abusive theater program at Evanston Township Excessive College.” “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 everywhere in 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 reside in Evanston or Chicago for a few years, he nonetheless spoke of his time right here with nice admiration and nostalgia. With so many gifted and engaged folks concentrated in a single place, he mentioned he finds it stunning that there aren’t extra novels, films, and TV exhibits set in Evanston.
“Evanston is fascinating in that it is a microcosm of an city expertise in a really intense setting, and highschool is type of a microcosm,” Langer mentioned.
“He was so various, so energetic, so intellectually engaged, so inventive… To be in such a full of life atmosphere and surrounded by an extremely gifted group of people who find themselves on the forefront of so many fields as we communicate now was intoxicating in a manner.” .”