A BRIEF HISTORY OF
THE DRINKING & WRITING THEATER
Where did all of this start? With the play DRINKING & WRITING, an original show written and performed by Steve Mosqueda, Sean Benjamin, and Diana Slickman when we were ensemble members of the Neofuturists. The show explored the connection between creativity and alcohol. We sat at the bar and drank and talked about famous drinkers and writers, our drinking and writing, the effects of alcohol on the body and mind and family, and we drank…more. We performed it originally at T’s Bar-Restaurant in Chicago.
After the huge response for that first show, we decided to write another volume DRINKING & WRITING FESTIVAL: THE NOBEL EXPERIMENT. Once again, Sean and Steve with the addition of Chloe Johnston, performed the show in bars everywhere. Volume II focused on Prohibition Era writers, and there were a lot of them (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Parker, Millay, Mencken…).
We realized with the success of this second show we were onto something. So we formed our own theater, The Drinking & Writing Theater and set out to conquer the world with our own brand of theater, performing in bars across the country and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
We began to write more volumes of the show including DRINKING & WRITING VOLUME III, TO CURE A HANGOVER.
We offered to the world our in depth research conducted (on ourselves) in an attempt to cure the hangover. We included the writings by some of the greatest hungover writers including John Cheever and Charles Bukowski.
Besides writing shows we began producing all day events which included the art form of brewing good beer.
THE DRINKING & WRITING FESTIVAL was born in 2005, celebrating the life of a famous writer through special seminars, performances, the “2 drink minimum” writing contest and local craft beer.
The BEERFLY ALLEYFIGHT EAT! DRINK! WATCH! began in 2006 as the original Craft Beer Week event before there was ever a Chicago Craft Beer Week! This homebrewing/food/art competition is one of the highlights of the week and a fan favorite.
The TIED HOUSE FILM FESTIVAL where we asked film makers to create short films based on the 5 stages of intoxication, excitement, euphoria, confusion, stupor, coma and death… ok, 6.
AND we continued to write new shows including THE 12 STEPS OF XMAS,
BEER, a Neofuturist prime time show with 9 original songs, puppets a full band and performed in the Metropolitan Brewery here in Chicago and Breckenridge Brewery in Denver Colorado!
In 2010 we had the bright idea to walk the entire length of Western Avenue, the longest continuous street of a major city in the world, and stop at every bar and have a pint. Thus, The Western Avenue Project was born. A documentary was filmed during this 4 day project and has been viewed by thousands of dumb struck viewers. Jamie Budzick directed the 27 minute film.
All new shows were written in 2010 including our new Christmas show A BEER CAROL, a live radio performance with sound effects featuring Carolyn Benjamin,
DRINKING & WRITING VOLUME 5, THE CITY THAT DRINKS, featuring Jamie Budzick, Chip Smith and Danielle Zuckerman,
GOD VS HALL & OATES,
AMERICAN VARIETY WITH CAROLYN AND ALISON, 1 & 2
The BREWPRINTS, 40 SCENES ON HOPS,
In 2014 we premiered “THE EARLIEST KNOWN PHOTO OF MEN DRINKING BEER” at the Neofuturist Theater featuring Kevin Alves and Carolyn Benjamin,
and at the same time, BRECHTOBERFEST featuring Jamie Budzick and Matt Massaro,
Which leads us to VS – A BATTLE OF ART began in April 2015 and is an ongoing show with new topics and new ensemble members.
And our most recent full length show,
“STD – Sensuously Transmitted Drama – Love Poured Neat”
Written, produced and directed by Steve and Lady Grace Murphy, “STD” explored, prodded, dissected and examined everything to do with the great emotion of LOVE.
The relationship of Simone de Beauvoir and the great Nelson Algren was a highlight of the show…
As well as some kick ass dancing on the bar!!!