Chicago’s Theater Scene Takes Center Stage In New Novel
WDCB’s Gary Zidek talks to author Layne Fargo about her debut novel, TEMPER.
“I read that expose about Profiles Theatre, and was immediately intrigued by all the psychological manipulation, the dynamics there. And I had this character, who I used in a pervious book, that just was not working, so I asked myself how would she react in a situation like this. And I took her and created the plot of TEMPER around her, sort of inspired by that article.” - Author Layne Fargo talking about how the real life situation at Profiles Theatre inspired her to write TEMPER.
Chicago-based author Layne Fargo was initially inspired to write what turned into TEMPER by a real life scandal that rocked the local theater community three years ago. In the summer of 2016, the Chicago Reader published an in-depth investigation of Profiles Theatre, which outlined several allegations of abusive behavior by the company’s longtime artistic director Darrell Cox. Using a character she had already created, Fargo began writing TEMPER.
Publisher’s description of TEMPER:
After years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira Rascher finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? Starring in Temper means working with Malcolm Mercer, a mercurial director who’s known for pushing his performers past their limits—onstage and off.
Kira’s convinced she can handle Malcolm, but the theater’s cofounder Joanna Cuyler is another story. Joanna sees Kira as a threat—to her own thwarted artistic aspirations, her twisted relationship with Malcolm, and the shocking secret she’s keeping about the upcoming production. But as opening night draws near, Kira and Joanna both start to realize that Malcolm’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they're capable of themselves.