PLAY/ground Micro-interview: Steven Dietz

Steven Dietz B-W 7447[1]Boston Court: In what way has this feeling of wanderlust changed from the post-war era in which your play is set, and how has it remained the same? Or has it changed at all? Is there something inextricable about the need for adventure and American youth?

Steven Dietz: Oh, I’d love to know this and I don’t … but let me hazard a guess:  I think the need to run our lives past the “out there” must be as strong now as it has ever been.  However, I think wanderlust now often manifests itself in a virtual way.  We are given such a rich illusion of the “out there” – such a seductive feeling that we are “going places” when we Google our way across the world – that I wonder if we are willing to risk the fundamental hardship that comes with an actual, not virtual, quest.  “The road” to me is not romantic in the least;  it is a conscious disruption of the norm, of the habit of American life.  That takes guts and a wild soul and perhaps a healthy amount of societal disregard.  And that is likely the gift that Youth gives to a culture-at-large:  the beautiful naiveté;  the beginner’s disregard for consequence.


Steven Dietz’s play Mad Beat Hip & Gone will be presented Saturday, November 8th at 11am.

The reading is free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended.

To reserve, call 626-683-6883 or email

Steven Dietz’s thirty-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over one hundred regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway and in twenty countries internationally.  His work has been translated into ten languages.

Mr. Dietz is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, for Fiction (produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, Off-Broadway), and Still Life with Iris; as well as a two-time finalist for the American Theatre Critic’s Steinberg New Play Award, for Last of the Boys, and Becky’s New Car.

Mr. Dietz received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet; the 2007 Edgar Award® for Drama for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure; and the AATE Distinguished Play Award for Jackie & Me, adapted from Dan Gutman. Other widely produced plays include Yankee Tavern, Shooting Star, God’s Country, Private Eyes, Inventing van Gogh and The Nina Variations.

Recent work includes Rancho Mirage (Edgerton New Play Award, NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Bloomsday (commissioned by ACT Theatre, Seattle.), and The Shimmering.

Mr. Dietz and his family divide their time between Seattle and Austin, where he teaches playwriting and directing at the University of Texas.


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