Monday, August 16, 2010

Q and A with Scott Holtz, Rocky Horror Picture Show event organizer and...

Scott Holtz and other big cheeses in Skokie have enlisted the help of Dr. Frank N. Furter and Meatloaf to help save the Skokie Theatre.

And so the Rocky Horror Picture Show will play at the Skokie Theatre August 28.

To better understand Scott and his cause, I posed some questions. Here's his response:

Q: What inspired you to organize this screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show to benefit the Skokie Theatre?

Scott: The Skokie Theatre needs our help! It is a gem of a space and could be central to what is coming for Downtown Skokie. It is a gathering place. In the past when times were hard places like the Skokie Theatre provided the escape the public needed. We must work to save what we have in downtown Skokie to use that to get more here. A full house at the Skokie Theatre nightly would support more nightlife here. The matinees could offer more opportunities for a noon shopping/eating crowd.

Q: Why Rocky Horror?  Why not Sound of Music or something more mainstream?

Scott: I wanted this event to be an experience. The Sound of Music is fine to watch on your TV at home or live on stage. Rocky Horror needs to happen in a public space with people. It (RHPS) doesn't work on DVD in your living room. What fun is audience participation with 1 person? Besides - you look pretty silly doing the Time Warp alone.

Q: What is so special about this theatre?

Scott: Its past, its present and its future. It's been re-invented many times. Just as we struggle to find the identity for Downtown Skokie the same struggle has occurred over the life of the theatre. Where the current vision started with just jazz , the Skokie Theatre has evolved into including everything from live theatrical performances to cat acrobats.

Q: Why should others--local, country and state government officials; real estate developers; area businesses; community members--care about this
theatre and help support it?

Scott: It is a theatre. It has a life. I cannot imagine another use for that building or that property. It can become a key in the Village center. Steps from Village Hall and one of the finest public libraries in the country, it has a place. There is sculpture all over the Village Green. A successful theatre could help turn Downtown Skokie into a fine regional art/education/performance center.

Q: What do you see in the Skokie Theatre's future?  What do you envision it could be in order for it to remain viable?

Scott: It needs to offer a variety of programming options and become more community friendly. There needs to be a solid marketing effort to provide an awareness for the theatre. Marketing has always been word of mouth and by chance. I think if more people are aware of the theatre and what is doing selling tickets would be much easier.

By day Scott is website designer living and working in downtown Skokie. He used to work in theatre as a set and lighting designer. In is scarce free time, Scott is board member of IMODS (Independent Merchants of Downtown Skokie) and Skokie Chamber of Commerce where he was named Volunteer of the Year for 2009. Scott has been instrumental in forming the Economic Development Task Force for the Skokie Chamber. With Caryn Watson, he runs Skokie's Classic Car Show. Oh, and he can run a 5 K in 28 minutes.

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