Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory present a New Stage Adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "The Haunted Life"

September 27, 2018

(ATLANTA)–Emory hosts a free “in process” reading of Jack Kerouac’s “The Haunted Life,” adapted for the stage by Sean Daniels, on Tuesday, October 9, at 7 p.m. in the Rose Library. The reading is presented by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT), the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory, the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, and the Estate of Jack Kerouac. A talk back with the artists will follow the reading.

Additionally, a selection of artifacts from the Rose Library’s Kerouac archive will be on display throughout the evening.

22-year-old Kerouac lost the handwritten, novella-length manuscript of “The Haunted Life” in 1944 in New York City, possibly in a taxicab. The manuscript finally surfaced in a collection for auction at Christie’s in 2002. A deeply-felt drama adapted for stage by Sean Daniels, “The Haunted Life” follows the coming of age story of college student Peter Martin and his relationship with his conservative father. Taking place during America’s last golden summer before entering WWII, it chronicles the cost of war on a small town, which is based on MRT’s home, Lowell, Massachusetts. 

Daniels, a former Atlanta local, co-founded Dad’s Garage in 1995. He is now embarking on his fourth season as Artistic Director at MRT, his credits as a playwright include his autobiographic play “The White Chip.” His recent directing credits include the MRT, Off-Broadway, and London productions of “The Lion” and the MRT and New York Stage and Film productions of “Little Orphan Danny.”

Carrie Hintz, head of collection services with Rose Library shares that “part of the mission of the Rose Library is to connect stories of human experience, and there are few more powerful experiences of connection than the ones that happen in the theatre.  Having the opportunity to share artifacts of Jack Kerouac’s life and hometown in a way that can hopefully inform and enrich this upcoming production of This Haunted Life is a perfect example of the connections that we strive to make every day, both with our histories and with our audiences.”

MRT will produce the world premiere, fully-staged version of “The Haunted Life”, directed by Daniels and christopher oscar peña, in spring 2019. This reading is free and open to the public. For more information contact Theater Emory at 404.727.5323.

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