A True Story of boy meets girl. Inside one person.
Cast And Crew
Exact Change is a moving and often hilarious film about finding your voice and championing your identity. It is the powerful and personal story of noted Cleveland actor, theater critic and poet Christine Howey (formerly Dick Howey). Before transitioning in 1990, she was a celebrated stage actor in Cleveland, known for playing such heavy-hitting roles as Lucifer, Joseph Goebbels, “Terrible Jim Fitch,” Richard Nixon, and God.
Christine tells her whole story—from three weeks old all the way through her transition—by playing multiple characters. Many of these characters are real (her mother, her ex-wife, her daughter) and some are just in her head. It is a one-woman tour-de-force spiced with an incisive wit.
The film “Exact Change” began as a one-hour play titled “Like a Doberman on a Quarter-Pounder,” with only 30 minutes dedicated to telling my transgender story. It was staged at the Cleveland Public Theatre as part of their Big Box series. Based on positive audience reaction, and working collaboratively with the director Scott Plate, we decided to focus the play solely on my trans journey.
We renamed the play “Exact Change” and expanded it to 80 minutes, to cover all the points of the story that people found interesting. In this form, the play had its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre. It then played in Akron at None Too Fragile Theater, at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, and then in New York City at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival.
I was born and raised in Cleveland, have lived most of my life here, and this is where I transitioned successfully from Richard to Christine. I wanted to share my story as widely as possible, so in 2016, Scott and I decided to pursue producing a film version of the play, so that this “Cleveland story” could be seen in many more places.
We are proud that this is an entirely Cleveland production, since it has been filmed in Cleveland using a local film company, g2h films. And we are pleased that we will soon be able to share this film with the whole world.
CAST & CREW
THE TEAM BEHIND IT ALL
Writer and Performer
Christine is an actor, director, theater critic and performance poet, and was recently named Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights, Ohio for 2016-2018. Her one-person show about her transgender journey, Exact Change, had its world stage premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre in January, 2014. Since then, it has been performed at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, at None Too Fragile Theater in Akron, OH, and at the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival, as well as other venues including universities.
Her poems have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Star Line, Stethos (the Medical Humanities Journal of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine), and Muse, as well as in the anthologies What I Knew Before I Knew, Mercury Retrograde, While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal #4, and Open Earth. She has also published two books of poetry: If You Find Yourself Submerged in a Pond Under Ice and Thin Chance, or How to Get a Reputation as a Dick.
Christine is also an award-winning theater critic for Cleveland Scene and on her blog Rave and Pan (raveandpan.blogspot.com). She was formerly a copywriter and creative director at several Cleveland advertising agencies, and an accomplished bowler (215+ average).
Christine’s first poetry chapbook, If You Find Yourself Submerged in a Pond Under Ice, was published in 2011, as was an art book of her poem Inside, Out, both by Kattywompus Press. Christine has also had two other chapbooks published: Thin Chance, or How to Get a Reputation as a Dick, was published in 2015 by Kattywompus Press, and Playing Tennis with the Net Down, was published by Night Ballet Press in 2016. Her poems have appeared in Pudding Magazine, Star Line, Stethos (the Medical Humanities Journal of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine), and Muse, as well as in the anthologies What I Knew Before I Knew, Mercury Retrograde, While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem, Guide to Kulchur Creative Journal #4, and Open Earth.
Christine was a member of the four-poet Northeast Ohio team that competed in the 2013 National Poetry Slam Tournament in Boston, MA. And she was invited to perform one of her poems on the final stage at that event.
Since 2002, Christine has been the theater critic for Cleveland Scene and she also posts reviews on her blog, Rave and Pan. She has been named Best Critic in Ohio by both the Press Club of Cleveland and the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition, Christine has had numerous articles published in The Plain Dealer, Northern Ohio Live, Cleveland Free Times and on websites such as NBC News.com, The Daily Beast, and Dame.
For more than 35 years, Christine was a copywriter and creative director for advertising agencies in and around Cleveland, and in Minneapolis, MN. She won numerous awards during that time for agencies including Marschalk Advertising, Stern Advertising, Saifman-Richards Advertising and Richards Communications—and for clients such as McDonald’s, Ohio Bell, The Plain Dealer, Wendy’s and AT&T.
In 2014, Christine was awarded a Creative Workforce Fellowship from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. And in 2016, she received an Individual Excellence Award and a summer-long residency with the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA from the Ohio Arts Council.
Christine is the proud father of the immensely talented Noelle Howey, who is married to the equally brilliant Christopher Healy. And Christine is especially honored to be “Grandma Chris” to her two outstanding grandchildren, Bryn and Dashiell.
Cinematographer and Producer
Steven Hacker is a multiple Emmy® award-winning cinematographer. For g2h films, Steven has been cinematographer and producer on each film. He won first place honors in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 International Telly Awards for his documentary work on the Holocaust and for the Cleveland Ballet.
Steven has made commercials for Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford and Dominos Pizza, he has filmed for Entertainment Tonight, The History Channel and most recently Nickelodeon.
makes his film-directing debut with EXACT CHANGE. He is proud of his association with this project, participating in five years of script and performance development. Selected theatre directing work includes THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED, ‘NIGHT MOTHER, and MARY POPPINS at the Beck Center; BLACK VIRGINS ARE NOT FOR HIPSTERS, EXACT CHANGE, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, and PULP for Cleveland Public Theatre; SPEECH AND DEBATE, BLUE DOOR and THE NEW CENTURY for Dobama Theatre; ANGELS IN AMERICA, DARK OF THE MOON, CAROUSEL, LOVE STORY, TITANIC, PARADE, THE CRUCIBLE, BLOOD WEDDING and ANTIGONE for Baldwin Wallace University; and SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ for Cain Park’s 75th Anniversary season. An award-winning actor and director, Scott’s work in a variety of classical, contemporary, and music theatre productions has been featured regionally on the stages of Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, Seven Stages, and the Neighborhood Playhouse; on North Carolina’s Outer Banks in The Lost Colony; in Idaho at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival; and in major venues throughout Northeast Ohio, including Severance Hall, Playhouse Square, and the Cleveland Playhouse. He is an active voice-over artist with over 300 recording credits, and is also Associate Professor of Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University.
Andrew is a Cleveland-based actor and filmmaker, appearing in the upcoming ABC sitcom DOWNWARD DOG; in the films MY FRIEND DAHMER, THE BYE BYE MAN, THE KINGSBURY RUN, and FIVE POINTS; and on theatre stages . As a core member of g2h films, Andrew directed ON A TECHNICALITY and TECHNICALLY, MARVIN and co-starred in BETWEEN THE LINES. Theatre work includes Zazu in the national tour of Disney’s THE LION KING. Andrew earned a Masters of Fine Arts from Case Western Reserve University and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actor’s Equity.
Jeffrey wrote and starred in g2h's first film, ON A TECHNICALITY, wrote and directed the second film BETWEEN THE LINES, and co-wrote, appeared in and executive produced the third film, TECHNICALLY, MARVIN. He has appeared in several films, including MILES AHEAD starring Don Cheadle, I AM WRATH starring John Travolta, as well as TAKE SHELTER with Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon and COMPLIANCE with Ann Dowd, among several others.
Music Director, Arranger/Composer/Keyboardist
Marge earned a KEYBOARD MAGAZINE award for her solo cd, BALM IN GILEAD: 12 MEDITATIONS FOR PIANO, and theatre critics' awards for her music direction of SWEENEY TODD and FORBIDDEN BROADWAY. Other credits include customized concert work with David Cangelosi (Metropolitan Opera) and Phillip Boykin (Tony-award nominee.) During Marge's season as Cleveland Indians' organist, she would often change hats on I-71 to become harpsichordist for Bach Festival at Baldwin-Wallace University.