Promethean Theatre Ensemble will close its 2018-19 season with the Midwest Premiere of MAD BEAT HIP & GONE, by Steven Dietz, author of LAST OF THE BOYS and PRIVATE EYES and over thirty other plays that have been produced by regional theatres across the country, internationally, and off-Broadway in New York. MAD BEAT HIP & GONE, which had its world premiere in Austin, Texas in 2013, follows two young Nebraska men who meet beat generation writer Jack Kerouac. Rejecting the established order of mid-1950s America, they follow Kerouac’s example and hit the open road in search of truth. Do they find it? And what can we learn from their travels?
Promethean’s production of MAD BEAT HIP & GONE will be just the second production of the play and the first to employ revisions Dietz has written since its 2013 world premiere. It will be directed by Jess Hutchinson, Artistic Director of Chicago’s late New Leaf Theatre, where her directorial credits included ARCADIA, THE DINING ROOM, and world premieres of BURYING MISS AMERICA, LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING, and THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY. MAD BEAT HIP & GONE will open on Saturday May 4, 2019. It will be one of the first productions to be staged in The Edge Theater Off Broadway, 1133 W Catalpa Avenue, a new performance space in The Edge Theater building.
Hutchinson’s cast will include Pat King and Michael Vizzi as Danny and Rich, the two young Nebraska men on the road; and Hilary Williams as Honey – the girl they meet along the way and both fall for. Ted Hoerl will play Albert and Promethean Ensemble member Elaine Carlson will be Mrs. Fergus. Understudies are Nick Stockwell (Danny) and Annie Cleveland (Honey). The production team also will include Rachel Sypniewski (costume designer), Bec Willett (set designer), Jamie Bragg (assistant director), and Alexa Berkowitz (stage manager).
Steven Dietz (playwright) Steven Dietz's thirty-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway and in twenty countries internationally. His work has been translated into ten languages.
Mr. Dietz premiered three plays in the 2015-16 season: ON CLOVER ROAD (NNPN rolling world premiere); BLOOMSDAY (Steinberg New Play Award Citation); and THIS RANDOM WORLD (Humana Festival of New American Plays). Mr. Dietz is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, for FICTION (produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company) and STILL LIFE WITH IRIS (the first play for Young Audiences to receive this award). He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for LONELY PLANET; the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Play for SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE FINAL ADVENTURE; and the Edgerton New Play Award for RANCHO MIRAGE (NNPN rolling world premiere). His plays LAST OF THE BOYS and BECKY'S NEW CAR were both finalists for the American Theatre Critic's Steinberg New Play Award.
Other widely produced Dietz plays include YANKEE TAVERN (NNPN rolling world premiere), SHOOTING STAR, JACKIE & ME (from Dan Gutman), GOD'S COUNTRY, DRACULA (from Bram Stoker), PRIVATE EYES, INVENTING VAN GOGH and THE NINA VARIATIONS.
Jess Hutchinson (director) is a dramaturg, director, educator, and producer. As Artistic Director of Chicago’s New Leaf Theatre, her favorite projects included ARCADIA, THE DINING ROOM, and world premieres of BURYING MISS AMERICA, LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING, and THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY. After earning her MFA from UT Austin, she was proud to be the 2015-16 NNPN Producer in Residence at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Texas. Since returning home to Chicago she has been delighted to collaborate on productions, readings, and new play development with 20% Theatre, Rivendell, Route 66, Chicago Dramatists, Remy Bumppo, TimeLine, Governors State, and North Park University.
MAD BEAT HIP & GONE
By Steven Dietz
Directed by Jess Hutchinson
The Edge Theater Off Broadway, 1133 W Catalpa Ave. Chicago
April 26 – June 1, 2019
Previews: April 26 – May 3, 2019
Press Opening: Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Regular Run: Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Industry Performance Monday, May 13, 2019 at 7:30 pm
This Midwest premiere of a new Steven Dietz play considers 1950s America, when magnificent poets roamed open highways, accompanied by jukebox jazz. The nation’s youth hit the road, high on full tanks of gas and brimming with unattainable dreams. Two magnificently average young men from Nebraska encounter Jack Kerouac and his friends in a bar. They respond by heading west themselves, trailing the Beat poets all the way to the golden land of California. Youthful exuberance is balanced by the untethered floundering of the older generation and their bittersweet knowledge that all dreams are fleeting. MAD BEAT HIP & GONE marries the realism and sharp dialogue for which Dietz is famous, with the achingly brilliant poetry of the Beat Generation. It’s a road trip you won’t want to miss.
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