BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
3:45 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Half-Century Later, Kerouac Play Gets World Premiere in Lowell

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, as Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown were squaring off for the third time in their battle for a U.S. Senate seat and millions of people were watching Simon Cowell and Britney Spears do their thing on "The X Factor," about 300 people were quietly taking part in literary history in Lowell, Mass.

Why Lowell? It's the boyhood home of Beat Generation icon Jack Kerouac. The event? The world premiere of "Beat Generation," a play Kerouac wrote in 1957 but never saw produced in his lifetime. In fact, almost nobody knew it even existed until it was uncovered in a Jersey City, N.J. warehouse in 2004. Since then it's been published and excerpts have been presented, but it's never been performed in its entirety on stage by actors. Until now.

Charles Towers, artistic director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Paul Marion, executive director of the Office of Community and Cultural Affairs at UMass Lowell, joined us to talk about how "Beat Generation" made its way from Kerouac’s head to that Jersey City warehouse and, finally, the MRT stage in Lowell as the centerpiece of the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival

Guests:

  • Charles Towers, artistic director of Merrimack Repertory Theatre.
  • Paul Marion, executive director of Office of Community and Cultural Affairs at UMass Lowell 

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