Kirk is one of five artistic directors of the Rude Mechs theatre collective. With the Rudes, Kirk has written and adapted many plays, including “Lipstick Traces,” “Method Gun,” and “Not Every Mountain,” which is premiering in 2018 at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.
He is a novelist and playwright living in Austin, TX with his wife, the poet Carrie Fountain, and their children, Olive and Judah. In 2015, Kirk’s debut novel, Rules for Werewolves was published by Melville House. And Kirk is currently at work adapting it for the screen.
Every other year Kirk fixes one of Shakespeare’s least-produced plays by rewriting it in contemporary English, updating the curse words and sexual puns, cutting the characters down to ten and gender screwing that cast toward parity, then editing the whole thing down to less than an hour and a half with no fidelity to the original. The Rude Mechs have produced all of them! So far we have gotten to “Fixing King John,” “Fixing Timon of Athens,” and in March of 2018 the Rudes produced “Fixing Troilus and Cressida.” Next up is probably “Fixing Henry VIII. Kirk is also working on a series of plays that require no set, no actors, no theatre, and no anything. (Thanks for the idea, Celine.) “The Replacement Tapes,” is currently “on tour,” which means you get a box with a tape recorder and headphones and after gathering eight friends, you create the play simply by following the tape’s instructions. In Christmas of 2017, the Rudes workshopped “A Karaoke Christmas Carol,” using the same principals to allow audiences to invite three ghosts into their presence.
Kirk’s plays have been produced all over the world in all sorts of forms. In 2014 Playwrights Horizons produced “Your Mother’s Copy of the Kama Sutra” and commissioned, “My Heart is a Library, Yours is a Museum,” which is in development now. The Foundry Theatre has produced several plays by Kirk, including “Major Bang” which toured nationally and internationally, and “How Much is Enough?” a play composed entirely of questions answered by the audience. And this year Kirk premiered a new play at the Seattle Children’s Theatre entitled, “The Lamp is the Moon,” about a girl who hates naps and wants to be an astronaut now. In 2018 a new play will premiere at the University of Texas at Austin about Leonard Bernstein, celebrating his centenary, a commission from UT Austin College of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre and Dance and Texas Performing Arts; it is currently titled, “A Plan and Not Quite Enough Time,” Bernstein’s recipe for making a great work of art.
And Kirk is at work on a new novel, The Vow, about a man who takes a vow of silence on a whim, without first talking to his wife or employer and as the man finds a greater sense of inner peace, his life falls apart around him.
The Cold Record
Written and Performed by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Alexandra Bassiakou Shaw
A secret performance.
A one man show.
The story of a 12 year old boy
who tries to set the record
for the most days leaving school sick with a fever
and in the process falls in love with the school nurse
and learns to appreciate punk rock.
You’ll leave with a mix tape
made from the audience’s memories
and a promise never to speak about what you witnessed
or else you’ll get kicked out.
Kirk Lynn’s The Cold Record is a play that fits in a tote bag. Inside are wonders made from minimal materials — a tape recorder and headphones. The Cold Record is part of a series of portable projects that the Rude Mechs have been developing since losing their longtime home and venue, The Off Center. Written and performed by Lynn, this tape play can be performed anywhere, it just needs an audience who can keep a secret. Lynn’s insightful wit and inventiveness are on full display in this latest project, leaving you with a mixed tape of experiences and songs to live by.
Traveling Personnel: 1
Running time: 60 minutes
Performance space: Variable
The Cold Record
Worldwide Touring 2018-20 OPEN