Acclaimed Documentary, ‘King of the Beats,’ Plays March 8 in Lowell

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Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Pollard Memorial Library will present a free screening of the critically acclaimed documentary King of the Beats, followed by a panel discussion, at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at the Donahue Academic Arts Center at Middlesex Community College, 240 Central Street in downtown Lowell.

King of the Beats kicks off two important events: Pollard Memorial Library’s marathon reading of On the Road on March 9 and MRT’s world premiere stage adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s The Haunted Life by Sean Daniels, co-directed by Sean Daniels and christopher oscar peña, starting March 20.

Panelists for the event will include Jim Sampas, Literary Executor for The Estate of Jack Kerouac; Todd Tietchen, University of Massachusetts Lowell professor and editor of the first publication of the novel The Haunted Life; and Sean Daniels, Artistic Director at MRT and the adaptor and co-director of The Haunted Life. Sean Thibodeau, Community Coordinator at Pollard Memorial Library, will moderate.

The evening features a free screening of the newly restored, high-definition cut of the John Antonelli film Kerouac: King of the Beats (1985 – 78 minutes).  Admission is free, first-come, first-served seating. For further information, visit www.mrt.org/haunted-life/special-events.

For information about the play adaptation of The Haunted Life by Sean Daniels, based on the book by Jack Kerouac, visit mrt.org. The cast includes Vichet Chum, Joel Colodner, Tina Fabrique, Caroline Neff, and Raviv Ullman.

The pinnacle of MRT’s 40th Anniversary Season, The Haunted Life celebrates the life of Lowell’s own Jack Kerouac, a literary iconoclast and the father of the Beat Generation. In 1945 Kerouac lost his unfinished novella, an autobiographical coming-of-age story set in his hometown of Lowell.  The manuscript did not resurface until 58 years later in an auction catalogue at Sotheby’s Auctions. In 2014 Todd F. Tietchen, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, edited the publication of The Haunted Life, which includes the unfinished manuscript, period sketches, notes, reflections, and correspondence.

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