Mad Beat Hip & Gone

April 3, 2013 - April 28, 2013
Show Info

"Fueled by Dietz's characteristic humor and a bittersweetness often seen in his work ... Mad Beat Hip & Gone will soon be making its own way across America ... catch a ride while it's still inside the Austin city limits!"
— The Austin Chronicle (Read more.)

Steven Dietz, the most-produced playwright in America who also calls Austin home, created this World Premiere specifically for ZACH's first season in the Topfer. In the late 40's and early 50's, Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady famously went "on the road." But what about Danny Fergus and Rich Rayburn -- the young guys in the car right behind Jack and Neal, the guys whose history never ended up in books? What were these kids searching for in those "mad days" of "gone kids" trying so hard to be hip? With live jazz and exuberant theatricality, this valentine to American wanderlust chronicles our rich and elusive dreams.

In conjunction with MAD BEAT HIP & GONE, ZACH will launch its new Balcony Play series, consisting of a 10-30 minute plays performed free for the public prior to mainstage productions. Drawing inspiration from the Juliet Balcony overlooking the main entrance of ZACH’s new Topfer Theatre and from famous balcony scenes from plays and musicals, these new plays will invite a diverse audience of patrons and pedestrians alike to gather on ZACH’s People’s Plaza to enjoy this original, site-specific work. ZACH Associate Artistic Director Sarah Rasmussen (Head of MFA Directing Program, UT Austin and Associate Director, Black Swan Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), will build on ZACH’s partnership with UT, involving MFA students in both the design and direction of the plays.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Presented by

National Endowment for the Arts

Make it Dinner and a Show: Click here for Dining Discounts.

Please Note: Ticket price is not refundable. Late-comers are seated at the discretion of the House Manager. Unclaimed seats at curtain time are subject to release to patrons on standby.

Click on the images below to view
the MAD BEAT HIP & GONE gallery.

(L-R) Rich (Jon Cook) and Danny (Jacob Trussell) on the road with Honey (Erin Barlow). Photo: Kirk Tuck

Saxophonist Topaz McGarrigle.
Photo: Kirk Tuck

Honey (Erin Barlow) in the World Premiere of Steven Dietz's MAD BEAT HIP & GONE. Photo: Kirk Tuck.

Production Photos Courtesy:
Kirk R. Tuck


About the Company

ERIN BARLOW (Honey) – joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses, Woyzeck and No Exit with The Hypocrites; Red Angel, The Love of the Nightingale and Soldiers: The Desert Stand with LiveWire Chicago Theatre. OTHER THEATRE: The Cataract and The Chronicles of Badass Women at the University of Texas- Austin, (ICU) at FronteraFest. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: B.A. in Drama from the University of Arkansas.


JON COOK (Rich) – joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. THEATRE: Tigers Be Still and The Aliens with Hyde Park Theatre; Emergency Prom, Blue Point, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom and The Idiot with The University of Texas Department of Theatre & Dance. OTHER CREDITS: B.A in Acting from University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre & Dance.



BABS GEORGE* (Mrs. Fergus) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Becky’s New Car and The Sisters Rosensweig. REGIONAL THEATRE: Gun Shy at Portland Center Stage, Night of the Iguana and Charley’s Aunt at Pioneer Theatre. FILM: Sin City and Blue Sky. OTHER THEATRE: Other Desert Cities at Austin Playhouse (just one of dozens of plays as a company member), Much Ado About Nothing at Austin Shakespeare, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at St. Edward’s, Ghosts at Penfold Theatre, The Cherry Orchard at Breaking String Theatre, All My Sons at Palindrome and The Glass Menagerie at TexArts. TELEVISION: The Lying Game, Friday Night Lights and My Generation. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: M.F.A. in Classical Acting from The Shakespeare Theatre and The George Washington University. Creator and director of The State Theatre School of Acting. She has instructed in Theatre Departments at Texas State, St. Edward’s University, The University of Texas at Austin and Southwestern University.

RICK ROEMER* (The Alberts) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Xanadu (Danny Maguire/Zeus). REGIONAL THEATRE: Rick performs regularly with Austin Playhouse, where he is a company member, as well as in productions at the State Theater, Salvage Vanguard Theater, UT Austin and Austin Shakespeare. Rick has also worked Off-Broadway, in national tours and in regional theaters all across the country. INTERNATIONAL: The Birds, The Virgin and the Unicorn, as well as directing the premiere of Durang, Durang at the Rhodopi Drama Theatre in Smoylan, Bulgaria. TELEVISION: Wildest Dreams, Santa Barbara. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Rick received his Ph.D. in Theatre from UCLA and is currently a Professor of Theatre at Southwestern University, where he regularly directs and teaches acting, directing and musical theatre. Rick is the author of Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.

JACOB TRUSSELL* (Danny) – joins ZACH Theatre for this first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: Other Desert Cities, Chess, The Fantasticks and A Funny Thing Happened... with Austin Playhouse; Jubilee with Rubber Repertory, Flying with Breaking String Theatre, Hillcountry Underbelly and Baal with Paper Chairs, Pattern Nation: Waves and The Family of Ree with Pollyanna Theatre Company. OTHER THEATRE: Assassins, Bat Boy and Sweeney Todd with Summer Stock Austin; Peer Gynt, Cloud 9, Parade, Cyrano De Bergerac, Ring Round the Moon, Kneeling Down at Noon, Macbeth, City of Angels and The Pajama Game at Mary Moody Northen Theatre; Adam Sultan with Physical Plant at Fusebox Festival; You Are Invited with Imploding Fictions at Brisbane’s Anywhere Theatre Festival; Shift/Switch/Go with Ariel Dance Theatre. AWARDS B. Iden Payne - Best Actor in Drama (2010), W.H. ‘Deacon’ Crain Award (2010). ADDITIONAL CREDITS: B.A. in Theatre with an Acting Emphasis from St. Edwards University.

TOPAZ McGARRIGLE (The Sax) - joins ZACH Theater for the first time with this production. He has released numerous albums and toured the country extensively. While living in New York City, he released The Shrine, Listen!, The Zone and Afro-Dub Sessions. After moving back to Austin, Topaz & Mudphonic released Music for Dorothy and Topaz formed Hellfire Social and produced and acted in Hellfire’s short film Running. His music has appeared in Sex in the City and in many independent films. Topaz is also now co-owner of The Sahara Lounge here in Austin.


*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.



About the Artistic Staff

STEVEN DIETZ (Playwright & Director) – is pleased to return to ZACH Theatre, where he previously directed Doubt and Dividing the Estate, as well as his plays Becky’s New Car and Shooting Star (world premiere). Mr. Dietz’s 30-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at more than 100 regional theatres, as well as Off-Broadway and internationally. His work has been translated into 10 languages. Mr. Dietz is a two-time finalist for the American Theatre Critic’s Association Steinberg New Play Award for Last of the Boys and Becky’s New Car. He received the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award for his plays Fiction and Still Life with Iris, the Edgar Award for “Best Mystery Play” for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet and the Yomiuri Shimbun Award (the Japanese “Tony”) for his adaptation of Shusku Endo’s Silence. Recent work includes the widely-produced conspiracy thriller, Yankee Tavern, and the all-ages baseball adventure, Jackie & Me (adapted from Dan Gutman). He has directed premiere productions of new plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre (Chicago), City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh), Westside Arts (Off-Broadway) and the Sundance Institute, among others. Mr. Dietz and his family divide their time between Seattle and Austin, where he teaches playwriting and directing at UT.

MICHAEL RAIFORD (Scenic Design) – is a Scenic and Costume designer based in Austin, TX. National/Regional Credits: Michael has designed 20 shows at Actors Theatre of Louisville including a dozen world premieres at The Humana Festival of New American Plays. Other regional credits include: GEVA, Cleveland Playhouse, Central City Opera, Kansas City Rep, The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Ford’s Theatre (Washington DC), Opera Boston and The New Victory Theatre (NYC). In Austin: Ballet Austin’s The Magic Flute and The Mozart Project; Austin Lyric Opera’s Rigoletto; Rude Mechanicals’ Tesla and Big Love. AT ZACH THEATRE: 20 years and 100 productions including recent favorites: Tru, Ragtime, God of Carnage, Spring Awakening, Hairspray, and many more. In addition, Michael works as a Creative Consultant in many fields including architecture, advertising and, yes, even marching band and drum corps (The Cavaliers and The Academy). Michael received his M.F.A. from UT where he also taught design for 10 years and is a Member of United Scenic Artists. To see more of his work visit:

MICHELLE HABECK (Lighting Design) – AT ZACH THEATRE: 33 Variations, Xanadu and Dividing The Estate. BROADWAY: Slide Artist for Thoroughly Modern Millie; Associate Lighting Designer for The Boy from Oz and King Hedley II; Assistant Lighting Designer for Movin’ Out. OPERA: Associate Lighting Designer for Julie Taymor’s Grendel. OFF-BROADWAY: Fifty Words. REGIONAL: An Enemy of the People, A Skull in Connemara, Let There Be Love, Things of Dry Hours and Elmina’s Kitchen for CenterStage; WAS (dir. Tina Landau) and Dangerous Beauty (dir. Sheryl Kaller) at AMTP; A Raisin in the Sun and Gem of the Ocean at The Guthrie; Love Song, The Chosen and Ten Percent of Molly Snyder for Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Michelle also designs for The Goodman, Alliance, Penumbra, Writer’s, Lookingglass, among others. AWARDS: NEA/TCG for Design, The University of Texas Faculty Fine Arts Award.

SUSAN E. MICKEY (Costume Design) - joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: School For Lies, Madness of George III (Jeff Award) and many others at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Henry VIII, The Visit and 13 more productions at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival; productions at most major regional theatres, including The Guthrie Theatre, The Huntington Theatre, Arena Stage (Helen Hayes nomination for Blues in The Night), Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage and Dallas Theater Center. TELEVISION: The Catlin’s, Mama Flora’s Family, Miss Evers’ Boys (Cable Ace Nomination). FEATURE FILM: The Adventures of Ociee Nash, Driving Miss Daisy (set costumer). ADDITIONAL CREDITS: Senior Associate Chair and Head of Design & Technology at The University of Texas.

SERRET JENSEN (Hair & Makeup Design) – AT ZACH THEATRE: 33 Variations and Spring Awakening. Serret is the owner of Wig Witch Studios and currently serves as the resident wig, makeup and special effects designer for Divergence Voal Theater in Houston and BookPeople’s Literacy Camps for Children in Austin. Since 1995, Serret has created wig and makeup work for numerous productions with the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Houston Ballet, Theater Under the Stars and the Society of Performing Arts, as well as several national touring shows.


COLIN LOWRY (Projection Design) – has designed video for ZACH Theatre since Jouét in 2001. Some other favorite design credits include The Book of Grace, Rent, The Laramie Project, Ragtime and 33 Variations (ZACH Theatre); My Favorite Year (Zilker Theater Productions); Gyre, Flush and Everything Between (Ariel Dance Theatre); Requiem for Tesla and How Late It Was How Late - 2003-2004 Austin Critics’ Table Award for “Video Design” (Rude Mechanicals). Colin also produces/project manages live events/productions as well as designs/edits video/animated content for short subjects, advertising, live events, theatrical projection design and interactive museum installations. Extensive project profiles can be found at

CRAIG BROCK (Sound Design) – is ZACH Theatre’s Resident Sound Designer, in addition to working as a recording engineer and music producer since 1989. AT ZACH THEATRE: Tru, White Christmas, Ragtime, Xanadu, Dividing The Estate, The Laramie Project, The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, Next to Normal, Rent, Metamorphoses, The Drowsy Chaperone, Becky’s New Car, Our Town, Flaming Idiots, Spelling Bee, Love, Janis, The Grapes of Wrath, Let Me Down Easy, Shooting Star, Caroline, or Change, The Clean House, Altar Boyz, Porgy and Bess, Speeding Motorcycle, High School Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar/Jesucristo Superestrella, Take Me Out, Rocky Horror, I Am My Own Wife, Urinetown, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Rockin’ Christmas Party and The Santaland Diaries. REGIONAL THEATRE: Evil Dead, City of Angels, Dream, Annie, The Music Man and Starlight Express. Album credits include: El Tri, Mana, Luis Miguel, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, Guns & Roses, David Crosby, Stephen Stills.

JUSTIN COX (Properties Design) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Properties Design for 33 Variations and Tru; Props Artisan for White Christmas, Ragtime, Dividing the Estate, Hairspray and The Santaland Diaries. OTHER THEATRE: Pride and Prejudice, Twelfth Knight, Arcadia, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Man and Superman at Austin Shakespeare; Invisible Inc. at Hidden Room Theatre; Twelfth Labor at Tutto Theatre; Leonardo and His Flying Machine with Puppetrunk Theatre (Puppet Design Team). FILM: The Legend of Hell’s Gate with 4Go West Productions (Set Dresser). TV: Impaled! with Oxford Scientific Films for Discovery Channel US and Five UK (Special Effects Prop Design & Set Dress). OTHER CREDITS: Production team member at Looking for Shakespeare, an at-risk youth camp in New York.

TINA GRAMMAN (Fight Choreography) has coached and choreographed numerous fights for ZACH Theatre - including Ragtime, God of Carnage, Spring Awakening, August: Osage County, Book of Grace, Porgy and Bess, Take Me Out, Omnium Gatherum, Cabaret and others - plus Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and others for Austin Shakespeare; Peter Pan at the University of Texas; and she served as Fight Director for the Edward Albee New Playwright Workshops in Houston. She has taught Stage Combat to youth and adults at ZACH Theatre, Austin Community College, Austin Children’s Theater and elsewhere for all ages. She is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, an Actor Combatant in unarmed, single sword and broadsword. She earned her M.F.A. from the University of Houston, and recently served as a Young Master Panelist for Texas Commission on the Arts. She is a founding member of Austin’s Creative Fund, and is a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Austin Essential Class. She is currently nominated by the State Board of Education to revise the Fine Arts Theatre TEKS.

JUSTIN J. SMITH (Technical Director) – is a recent addition to the ZACH Theatre family with this inaugural season of the Topfer Theatre. He has had the pleasure of working for the Heritage Theatre Festival in Charlottesville, VA, Summer Repertory Theatre in Santa Rosa, CA, and Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. He earned his B.A. from Southwestern University and his M.F.A from University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with a focus in Technical Direction.


PAUL FLINT (Director of Production) – joined ZACH Theatre in 2008. He earned his B.F.A. from Shorter College and M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, with a focus on Technical Direction, Scenic Design and Arts Management. His theatre credits include the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Ga, Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY, Vitalist Theatre Company in Chicago, Ill., and he is a founding member of Seaside Repertory Theatre in Seaside, FL. Paul is the author of Managing the Creative Mind: A Technical Director’s Process.


BLAIR HURRY (Costume Shop Manager) – grew up in Austin and studied Costume Design & Technology at the University of Texas. Her costume design works at ZACH Theatre include The Santaland Diaries, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, Metamorphoses, Shooting Star (2009- 2010 Season), Farm to Market, Call It Courage, Brother’s Boyfriends and other Criminals, Give a Mouse a Cookie, Sideways Stories (ZACH’s Performing Arts School). Other local designs include Vampyress (Vortex Theatre), Parade: A Musical (St. Edward’s University), The Famous Rio Grande, The Trojan Women and Cabaret (University of Texas). Prior to ZACH, she built costumes for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Ohio Light Opera Company and STAGES: St. Louis. She also worked as Head of Wardrobe and Make-up for the national tour of Playhouse Disney’s The Doodlebops LIVE! and the 2008 national tour of The Moscow Ballet’s The Great Russian Nutcracker. She is currently an active member of the local 205 IATSE union.

VICTORIA S. COADY* (Production Stage Manager) – joined ZACH Theatre in July 2012. REGIONAL THEATRE: The Rocky Horror Show at American Repertory Theatre’s OBERON, Xanadu, The Drowsy Chaperone, Striking 12, Body Awareness, Adding Machine: A Musical; [title of show] at SpeakEasy Stage Company; Producer for toUch Performance Art’s AcousticaElectronica in Boston and New York. OFF-BROADWAY: The Merchant Of Venice in New York and the Royal Shakespeare Company, UK with Theatre for a New Audience, The Jew Of Malta, Sore Throats and All’s Well That Ends Well with Theatre for a New Audience NYC. EVENT MANAGEMENT: Harvard Arts Medal 2012 presented to Tommy Lee Jones, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation launch event at Harvard University.

JESSICA HUTCHINSON (Assistant Director) joins ZACH Theatre for the first time with this production. REGIONAL THEATRE: Assistant to the Director for The Crowd You’re In With at Goodman Theatre. OTHER THEATRE: Director of Arcadia, The Dining Room and The Man Who Was Thursday at New Leaf Theatre and Hideous Progeny at LiveWire Chicago Theatre. ADDITIONAL CREDITS: M.F.A. Directing candidate at University of Texas at Austin.



CATHERINE ANNE TUCKER* (Stage Manager) – AT ZACH THEATRE: Stage Management for White Christmas, Ragtime, Dividing the Estate, Next to Normal, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins; Metamorphoses; Beehive; Rockin’ Christmas Party; Caroline, or Change; Porgy and Bess; Seussical the Musical; High School Musical and various special events. REGIONAL THEATRE: Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at Geffen Playhouse, Much Ado About Nothing at Austin Shakespeare Festival and Cyrano de Bergerac at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. OFF-BROADWAY: Lapsburgh Layover and Be a Good Little Widow with Ars Nova, I Never Sang For My Father with Keen Co. and Sparkling Object with CPP. OTHER CREDITS: Special Events Manager for NAAP and Dusty Film Festival NYC; Theatre Arts B.F.A. with an emphasis in Stage Management from Southern Oregon University.

TAYLOR NOVAK (Assistant Stage Manager) – Moved to Austin from San Angelo, Texas, almost two years ago and worked as an intern at ZACH Theatre under the Stage Management team for August: Osage County. She has run deck crew for Hairspray, Spring Awakening, Next to Normal, Dividing the Estate, Xanadu, Ragtime, White Christmas, 33 Variations, Goodnight Moon, and many events and galas. Her other areas of interest at ZACH Theatre include electrician work and stage operations.


*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.


Rich and Maggie Pyle

Kirk R. Tuck Photography


Written and Directed by STEVEN DIETZ (Becky's New Car, Shooting Star) • Co-Commissioned by the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts
Please arrive early for parking.

Exclusive! Free Balcony Plays & Special Events
Click here to read Playwright Steven Dietz's Notes.
Click here to read more about the Beat Generation.

Bar opens 1 hour before showtime. Drinks welcome inside the theatre.

Season Sponsors:
Holiday Inn Schlotzskys
202 South Lamar - Austin, TX 78704 - Phone 512-476-0541
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