NEW YORK AP — Jack Kerouac, who gained notoriety and celebrity as a beatnik in 1950’s San Francisco’s hipster community centered in North Beach, would be celebrating his 90th birthday year. In honor of his life and work, his only full-length play will be staged for the first time this fall.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the University of Massachusetts Lowell said Monday — on what would have been Kerouacs 90th birthday — that they will produce the three-act play called “Beat Generation” in the novelists hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.
The premiere of the play — a staged reading for eight performances only — will be the centerpiece of the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival, which will be held Oct. 10 through Oct. 14.
Kerouac wrote “Beat Generation” — which draws on his life and those of other Beat writers, including Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg — in 1957, the same year his classic “On the Road” was released.
He tried to build interest for “Beat Generation” in the theater world, contacting such people as Lillian Hellman and Marlon Brando, but he failed and set the manuscript aside. Kerouac died in 1969.
The manuscript was found in a warehouse in 2005.”This is a moment of literary and theatrical history,” said Charles Towers, artistic director of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, which also produced a stage adaptation of Kerouacs Lowell-set romance, “Maggie Cassidy.“Kerouacs other books include “Doctor Sax,” The Subterraneans,” The Dharma Bums” and his final great work, “Big Sur.” His first published novel was “The Town and the City.”The authors first actual novel, the 158-page “The Sea is My Brother,” was published Monday, in honor of the writers birthday. The work, written when Kerouac was 21, is the tale of two young men serving on a voyage from Boston to Greenland.___Online: http://www.uml.edu/kerouacplay
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