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After appearing on This American Life, Stalking the Bogeyman was adapted for the stage and will have its world premiere in 2014.
After appearing on This American Life, Stalking the Bogeyman was adapted for the stage and will have its world premiere in 2014.
294 backers pledged $36,167 to help bring this project to life.

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Stalking The Bogeyman is a new World Premiere play.
For 25 years David did nothing about the man who brutally raped him when he was seven. But when the child rapist moves to the same town, David can no longer ignore the thoughts that have been haunting him his entire life -- there must be other victims. The solution? To kill him. "To just walk right up to him in a secluded place and scrape him from this world like a piece of dog shit off his shoe". Adapted for the stage from the number one podcast in the country "This American Life", Stalking the Bogeyman follows the true story of David Holthouse who plans the murder of the man who destroyed his childhood.

“Stalking the Bogeyman” is a true story by David Holthouse who is a journalist now living in Alaska.  His story first appeared in Denver’s weekly newspaper, WESTWORD, in 2004.  In 2011, the story was featured again in WBEZ’s THIS AMERICAN LIFE.  In each instance, there was a barrage of letters thanking Mr. Holthouse for sharing his story of coming to grips with the killer inside.

After the article originally appeared in print, the Bogeyman retained legal representation. As reported in USA today, the Bogeyman’s representatives made a statement that all accounts by David Holthouse were accurate, and refuted no aspect of the story.

In 2012 we approached Mr. Holthouse about acquiring the stage rights for “Stalking the Bogeyman”.  This play has been created from the previous articles mentioned, conversations with Mr. Holthouse, lectures he has given around the country, and inspired original text by the playwrights.  Certain aspects of his story have been dramatized for theatrical effect.

We would like to thank Mr. Holthouse for his courage and dedication in sharing his life in order to help and heal those who have suffered. 

This production marks the theatrical world premiere of his story. 

We hope that this story of understanding and reconciliation will continue to reach people, showing them that transformation through communication is not only possible, but effective.  As Mr. Holthouse has stated in his lectures:

 “The conspiracy of silence does not need to exist.”

David Holthouse:
David is a journalist, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker living in Anchorage, Alaska. His work has been published in national magazines including Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, and The Nation. along with Village Voice Media weekly newspapers in Denver, Phoenix and Miami, and has aired on the public radio program “This American Life.”

Responses to Stalking The Bogeyman after appearing on Westword and This American Life:

  • David, Thank you for sharing a truly remarkable, challenging, and complex story.
  • As someone who was sexually assaulted at a young age, I was extremely moved by your openness. Although my parents do know, we have never discussed it since the initial conversation and I have never told anyone else.
  • You are a good man in your forgiveness. I have, at times, had thoughts as to whether I could bring a child into this world. I am a parent now and will give everything in me to preserve the innocence of my children. I wish you the best and please know that our scars do not have to scar our children.
  • Thanks again for sharing and making me feel a little less alone.
  • David, thank you very much for sharing your story. I heard you on NPR today…Until hearing your story, I felt very alone. And ashamed. Thank you for your courage and honesty.
  • Heard your story on NPR. I was so moved. It takes real courage to tell your story... I pray God my children stay safe. Thank you again for sharing your story and for being so brutally honest.
  • David, I recently heard your story on NPR. It was very powerful. The Romans scripture--Do not take revenge. Leave room for God's wrath--was an important point…I trust you continue to enjoy the journey. You're on the "write" track.
  • I recently heard about this podcast through my husband, who found the story to be exceptionally remarkable….The ability to discuss this topic is vital to research and improved understanding of the motivations, as well as the consequences of sexual abuse.
  • Thank you to the author for giving a voice to those who are unable to confront.
  • Thank you for your bravery. I too listened to the podcast the other morning and had to pull over because the tears came so suddenly. I wept like I was a little boy again, wishing for it to stop.
  • Listened to this as a podcast, driving in to work this morning. And, as he described his rape, I was washed over with fear - felt so overwhelmed by it that I wanted to pull over for fear of losing control of my car.
  • Speaking out is probably the biggest thing you can do to protect children, and even advance your own healing. It's a powerful story that raises a lot of good issues for people to grapple with. Keep talking!
  • May God grant peace to anyone who goes through this…Hearing this account was numbing, humbling, arresting.
  • Thanks, Mr. Holthouse. Every time one of us speaks, the rest of us are lifted up. Be well.

Risks and challenges

Putting on a play is a great feat. Many things can go wrong and we encounter roadblocks on a daily basis. There are hundreds of elements that must come together in order to mount a great production. Luckily we have built relationships in this business for the last twenty years. If we don’t know someone that can help, we know 50 people who know 50 people that can lend their support. It’s all about surrounding yourself with knowledgeable and respected colleagues and we are surrounded by great people who are all passionate about this story and ready to support this story coming to fruition. But the bottom line is that when you have a script that is this special, there is no choice but to make sure that the story gets told. The play has a possibility of dramatically changing people's lives. Once successful in NY, this production has the strong potential to be done all over the country including regional and community theaters and colleges across the country.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Your name will be listed in the program of the world premiere off-Broadway production.

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    In addition to your name appearing in the program, you will receive a handwritten poem of thanks from Markus Potter and a shout out on the ArtistsOnActing podcast hosted by NewYorkRep.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Two VIP tickets to the off-Broadway performance of Stalking the Bogeyman to be used at anytime during the run. Your name will also appear in the program with thanks for being among the first to back the show.

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    Two VIP premium tickets to the off-Broadway opening, or two tickets to be used anytime during the run. A copy of the off-Broadway poster signed by the cast, creators, and producers.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    In addition to your two premium VIP tickets, you will be invited to the opening night party. Join the Playwright, Director, Producers and Cast and press for some cocktails after the show.
    You will be the first to get a published copy of the script, signed by the cast and creative staff. You will also receive a signed copy of the off-Broadway poster.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    You will become an associate producer of the play. Backstage tour of the theater and the set, an invitation to a private PRODUCERS ONLY preview performance, Private dinner for you and your friends, hosted by the cast and creative team of Stalking the Bogeyman

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You will become an EXECUTIVE producer on the world premiere of Stalking The Bogeyman.
    You have access to NYC casting, rehearsals, and tech week. You will be listed as executive producer on all marketing materials as well as the first published script. You will be invited to the first PRODUCERS only preview performance. You will be invited to the producers/backer reading hosted by MarvellRep at The Barrow Group on March 12th.
    Should the production transfer to broadway you will have a premium box seat exclusively reserved for you for every broadway performance.

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Funding period

- (32 days)