I went to WAR and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt & a couple of Tracy Letts stories (more Breaking the Windy City (IV) digressions by Evon Blahmon)

The set designer William Moser turned to me as we were staring up into the rafters and exclaimed, “What does that say on your ass?” I had tucked in my shirt for the run-through of Act I so as not to draw attention to the text printed on the bottom which says, “I Love Cock,” This is a direct quote from actor and celebrated playwright Tracy Letts.

There were several other colorful phrases from Tracy being considered for the souvenir garment, which the director gave to the cast and crew on Opening Night of THE WELL-APPOINTED ROOM such as, “Fuck me and my Mom” or “Fuck me in my tits.” Tracy would utter these epithets at full volume when he would go up on his lines in rehearsal.

There is an odd tradition at Steppenwolf where you are required to buy everyone pie if you miss a rehearsal. On one such occasion, Tracy cleaned out a pastry store of some forty or fifty pies. He then covered an actor’s dressing room with them. He tormented the theater’s Interns who were required to remove the pies from the dressing room. “How do like that you little fuckers!?! You wanted pie?!? There’s your fucking pie!”

I don’t know all the details, because this information was told to me at the After-Pool-Party at the Oakwood for which I was obliterated. But here are two more tales I overheard Tracy tell while sober . . .

Once upon a time in Chicago, a friend of Tracy’s went to go see a production of EQUIS by Peter Schaffer being performed by a company called InterPlay. For those of you who are not familiar the play is about a young boy named Alan Strang who has a rather intense fascination with horses. Alan has a special affection for a horse called Nugget. There is a significant degree of full-frontal nudity in this play, making it a popular among the prurient masses.

Now, unbeknownst to the rest of the cast and the audience at this particular performance, the young actor playing Alan had come down with a rather nasty case of stomach flu. During the scene in which Alan is riding atop Nugget in some mode of sexual ecstasy, the actor lost control of his bowels thus releasing ass juice on Nugget’s back. In short, he sharted. The actor playing Nugget, who has no scripted lines save a few snorts, turned over his shoulder and said, quite audibly, “Hey . . . . Get the hell off me!”

They stopped the show. They gave everyone their money back and sent them home. Then canceled the run of the play and closed the theater. InterPlay was no more.


Tracy Letts was in a play with veteran thespian Larry Pine. Larry turned to Tracy to ask, in a very course and direct manor, “You ever had sex on stage?” Tracy was a little off-put by the question, not knowing quite how to respond. Was Mr. Pine unto whether or not Tracy had ever gotten play in a theater or did he mean during an actual performance? If the latter was the implication, did Mr. Pine infer simulated copulation or actual penetration. Tracy decided the safe answer was, “No, I don’t believe I have.”

“Well, I’ll tell ya,” Larry retorted without skipping a beat, “I was doing this play down south where me and this girl would start Act Two under the sheets before the curtain went up. And I would play with her pussy and she would play with my dick. Then one night she said, ‘My husband is coming tonight so I want you to really fuck me.’ So I fucked her. But then I had to do the whole rest of the play with a greasy dick.”

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