Steve Ditko Stage Play Heads to the Spider-Man Co-Creator’s Hometown

Ditko — playwright Lenny Schwartz’s biographical stage play about Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko — is heading to the late comic book artist’s hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania this October.

The Daydream Theatre Company has announced that Ditko will be performed at the State Theater of Johnstown on October 1, 2023 at 1 p.m. The performance will be part of Ditko Con, a local convention put on by the Bottle Works Ethnic Art Center to celebrate Johnstown’s hometown comic book hero. Tickets for the play are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. There is also a special two-for-$15 discount for those who purchase tickets online and use the code “DITKO” at checkout.

Ditko is written and directed by Schwartz. The play stars Derek Laurendeau, Geoff White, Emily Lamarre, Samantha Acampora, Anne Wareham Bowman, J.P. Cottam, Timothy DeLisle, and Lionel LaFleur. It “tells the story of Steve Ditko, a comic book illustrator virtually forgotten by the masses, but celebrated by comic book fans everywhere.”

The Daydream Theatre Company previously put on a two-night performance of Ditko at Theaterlab in New York City in October 2019. That said, Ditko is not Schwartz’s only biographical play about a historically unsung comic book creator. The playwright also wrote and directed Bill Finger: Rise of the Bat. That play chronicles the life and times of Bill Finger, who co-created DC’s Batman in 1939 but was not properly credited alongside Bob Kane until 2015.

Steve Ditko’s comic book legacy

Steve Ditko was born in Johnstown on November 2, 1927. He is perhaps best known for creating Marvel‘s Spider-Man alongside Stan Lee in 1962. Furthermore, Ditko co-created numerous members of Spidey’s supporting cast and rogues’ gallery, including Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane Watson, J. Johan Jameson, Betty Brant, Ned Leeds, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, Green Goblin, Mysterio, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, and more.

Alongside Lee, Ditko also created Marvel’s Doctor Strange and many of the Sorcerer Supreme’s own supporting characters. Ditko created or co-created a number of DC characters as well. These include Ted Kord/Blue Beetle; Shade, the Changing Man; the Question; Hawk and Dove; Captain Atom; and Nightshade.

Despite being such a prolific creator, Ditko famously lived a very private life, often declining to give interviews or make public appearances. He passed away on June 29, 2018 at the age of 90.

Tickets for Ditko at the State Theater of Johnstown on October 1 are available online at or over the phone at 814-205-3528. In addition to the play, Lenny Schwartz will join Ditko’s family for the “Who was Steve Ditko?” panel at New York Comic Con on October 14.