Bike America

by  Michael Lew

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4m, 3f

Bike America is a wildly theatrical picaresque journey that crams the entire continent onto one stage. The play takes the audience on a cross-country bike trip from Boston to California, with stops in big cities and small towns along the way. Our feckless heroine Penny is looking to bring more meaning into her life, to find a lifestyle that suits her and a town that feels like a home...

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Bike America

by  Michael Lew

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Not Applicable
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Kendeda, From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Award-winning playwright, Mike Lew's Bike America is a wildly theatrical picaresque journey that crams the entire continent onto one stage.

The play peddles the audience along a cross-country bike trip from Boston to California, with stops in big cities and small towns along the way. Our feckless heroine Penny is looking to bring more meaning into her life, to find a lifestyle that suits her and a town that feels like a home... so she drops her clingy boyfriend in Beantown and takes off for Santa Barbara! Along the way she befriends a colorful crew of bikers: Ryan, the health nut biking instructor; Tim Billy, the innocent wanderer; Annabel and Rorie, the badass activists seeking to get gay-married in every state they hit on the trip; and the mysterious Man with the Van who carries their stuff. Featuring a flexible and diverse cast, Bike America is a multi-state, multi-generational odyssey to discover our obsession with happiness.
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Accolades

  • WINNER - 2012-2013 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award

Reviews

REVIEWS
Bike America is a trip full of verve... It’s easily one of the better new plays by a young American writer I’ve seen in a long time” - Village Voice, Read More

“Lew adroitly captures the cross-country genre in his own uniquely cartoonish way, elevating the United States to a mythical land full of magic and monsters.” - Theater Mania, Read More


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BIKE AMERICA: The Story of A Generation
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Videos

  • Promo - BIKE FOR BIKE AMERICA (Mike Lew
  • Maxamoo Interview: Mike Lew, Bike America
  • Maxamoo Interview with Mike Lew
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Keywords

Friendship

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Outdoor
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £52 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: You’ll need some stationary bikes. Or you could also use half-bikes with the backs cut off and do bike puppetry. It’d be nice to have a big map upstage with the route marked on it and city markers that light up as they progress down the route. It’d also be nice to have video projections of the road. Ahhhh… it’d be nice…
  • Additional Features: No intermission
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

4m, 3f
PENNY - (F, 20s, any ethnicity) - our heroine 
TODD - (M, 20s, any ethnicity) - her clingy long-distance boyfriend 
RYAN - (M, 30s, any ethnicity)- a crunchy granola biking instructor 
TIM BILLY - (M, 20s, Black) - a cross-country bicyclist 
ANNABEL (F, 30s-40s, Asian or Hispanic) - a cross-country bicyclist/Rorie’s wife 
PATTY - a Brooklyn artisanal cheese maker
MOM - Todd’s mom, an Allentown she-bear
RORIE - (F, 30s-40s, Black) - a cross-country bicyclist/Annabel’s wife 
MARILYN - a Connecticut homeowner
LAURALIE – a Kentucky bartender
MAN WITH THE VAN - (M, 40s, any ethnicity) - a grizzled shamanistic porter
GENE - a Brooklyn artisanal cheese maker
STUART - an Ohio YMCA director
CARLO – an Arizona county clerk
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Performed by a cast of 7 actors (3F, 4M). 

Resources

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Authors

Michael Lew

Mike Lew’s plays include Teenage Dick (Public Studio, O’Neill, St. Louis Rep, Florida Studio Theater, and Playwrights Foundation workshops; Vineyard reading), Tiger Style! (Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill, CTG, and Juilliard workshops), microcrisis (Ma-Yi, InterAct, and Next Act produc ...

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Bike America was originally produced on February 6, 2013, by Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Susan V. Booth, Artistic Director.

Bike America received its New York premiere on October 1, 2013, by Ma-Yi Theater Company, Ralph B. Peña, Artistic Director, Jorge Z. Ortoll, Executive Director.

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