Beat Generation

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Beat Generation is a Nordic larp based on the lives and work of the members of three artistic and literary movements of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The larp is a three-day event, with workshops Friday night, play all day Saturday, and debriefs Sunday morning (in a 1960s diner). The larp recreates a 1960s "Happening" during which artists, musicians, poets, writers, dancers, filmmakers, photographers, and muses got together to "dig" the scene and each other.

Participants portrayed actual historical figures from the Beat, Neo-Dadaist, Abstract Expressionist, Folk Music, gonzo journalism, and Factory movements. Combining luminaries from the Beat Writers (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Herbert Huncke, Joyce Johnson, Carolyn Cassady, Diane DiPrima, Hettie Jones, LeRoi Jones, Gregory Corso, etc.), with New York artists, critics, and producers, (Frank O'Hara, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Willem DeKooning, Elaine DeKooning), with the folk movement (Dave Von Ronk, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Lenny Bruce), the Village Voice and the literary underground (Linda Solomon, Norman Mailer, Fred McDarrah), the Factory (Andy Warhol, Baby Jane, Ultra Violet, Edie Sedgwick, etc.), the larp was about art and being an artist at a crucial political time in New York City, fall 1963 just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The larp took place in a private New York City penthouse (and on its fire escape) in the historic SoHo area in April 2018. There were 32 participants. Since the larp was a happening, not merely about a happening, the participants were tasked with creating art, music, writing, and spontaneous performances as their artist-characters. These design choices gave rise to the Expression Wall mechanic, where artistic and creative output during a larp is collected and placed in conversation with each other for continued iteration, inspiration, and documentation.

Beat Generation also used Nordic mechanics for drug use and sex simulation, such as ars amandi, and techniques from Just A Little Lovin'.

Beat Generation April 20, 2018 New York City Players: 32 Written, Designed and Produced by: Maury Brown Organizing Team: Maury Brown, Eric Mersmann, Jeff Dieterle