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Date & Venue

In person at Playwrights' Center

Monday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Video available online

March 18 - March 24

Four hundred years ago, a desperate Apothecary sold poison to a heartsick boy named Romeo. This Apothecary – still alive in the present – is determined to atone for his part in the death of this boy and his beloved Juliet. Encountering a troubled young woman and a guileless young man, the Apothecary contrives to build a romantic love that cannot be destroyed … with dangerously emotional results. Vial Man is a lively theatrical concoction of magic, loss and the consequences of true passion denied. What becomes of love that cannot say its name?

From Steven

A student said to me: ‘If I make those changes, my play will just be a love story.’ The word ‘just’ stuck with me. As though a play about life’s most rare and inexplicable occurrence would somehow not be enough. We are too smart for love. We diminish through irony, dismiss through sarcasm, belittle through judgment a thing we claim to revere: romantic love. How might someone atone for underestimating love’s impact?

Steven Dietz

The playwright
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based inAustin, TX
Steven Dietz's thirty-plus plays and adaptations have been seen at over one hundred regional theaters, as well as Off-Broadway. International productions have been seen in over twenty countries. In 2019, Dietz was once again named one of the 20 Most-Produced Playwrights in America by American Theatre Magazine.

Recent world premieres: How a Boy Falls (Northlight Theatre, Chicago); Dracula: Mina's Quest (ACT Theatre, Seattle); The Great Beyond and The Ghost of Splinter Cove (Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, Children's Theatre of Charlotte). Upcoming premieres: Gaslight (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company/Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Murder on the Links (North Coast Repertory Theatre/Laguna Playhouse).

Dietz was awarded the American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg New Play Citation for Bloomsday; the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award for both Fiction and Still Life with Iris; the PEN USA Award in Drama for Lonely Planet; and the Edgar Award ® from the Mystery Writers of America for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.

His work has been premiered/produced at the Roundabout Theatre Company (NYC), Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago), Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Old Globe Theatre (San Diego), Seattle Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, Northlight Theater (Chicago), Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), ACT Theatre (Seattle), and the McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton), among many others.

Other widely produced plays include Becky's New Car, This Random World, Last of the Boys, Rancho Mirage, Shooting Star, Yankee Tavern, Inventing van Gogh, Private Eyes, Rocket Man, God's Country, and The Nina Variations.

Dietz taught in the MFA Playwriting and Directing program at UT/Austin for twelve years. He currently serves as a Dramatists Guild "Traveling Master"—teaching workshops in playwriting, story-making, and collaboration across the U.S.

Dietz and his wife, playwright Allison Gregory, divide their time between Austin and Seattle.