Beat Generation (play)

Beat Generation is a play written by Jack Kerouac upon returning home to Florida after his seminal work On the Road had been published in 1957.[1] Gerald Nicosia, a Kerouac biographer and family friend has said that theatre producer Leo Gavin suggested that Kerouac should write a play; the outcome being Beat Generation.[2]

Beat Generation
First edition
AuthorJack Kerouac
CountryUnited States
PublisherThunders Mouth Press
Publication date
Oct 2005
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)

It was rejected by theatre companies and was shelved in warehouse storage until being re-discovered in a New Jersey warehouse in 2005.

A part of Beat Generation went on to provide the script for the 1959 film Pull My Daisy, which starred Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Gregory Corso, Larry Rivers, Alice Neel, David Amram, Richard Bellamy and Delphine Seyrig.[3] It was named after the poem "Pull My Daisy" by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Neal Cassady.[4] Kerouac provided improvised narration to the film.[5]

Since then excerpts have appeared in Best Life Magazine (July 2005), and the play has been published by Thunders Mouth Press. Beat Generation received its world premiere as part of the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival from October 10–14 in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts.[6] The play will be presented in a staged reading format by Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.[7]


  1. Sullivan, James; Sullivan, James (2012-10-11). "Jack Kerouac's Lost 'Beat Generation' Play Premieres". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  2. Glaister, Dan (2005-05-20). "'Lost' Kerouac play resurfaces after 50 years". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  3. "Pull My Daisy". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  4. Diggory, Terence (2004), "What Abstract Art Means in Pull My Daisy", in Skerl, Jennie (ed.), Reconstructing the Beats, Palgrave Macmillan US, pp. 135–149, doi:10.1057/9781403982100_10, ISBN 978-1-4039-8210-0
  5. Guidry, Ken; Guidry, Ken (2014-05-20). "Watch: 30-Minute Short 'Pull My Daisy' Written By Jack Kerouac & Co-Directed By Robert Frank". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  6. Trueman, Matt (2012-03-13). "Jack Kerouac play to receive world premiere". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  7. Desk, BWW News. "Tony Crane, Joey Collins to Lead BEAT GENERATION at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 10/10-14". Retrieved 2019-11-22.

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