Baron of Brown Street

Logline: A homeless man living under an Akron, Ohio bridge struggles with tough life choices as a parade of strangers invade his simple life following a news story of how he forgave the street punks who set him on fire and laughed while he burned. (inspired by true events)

LATEST NEWS: BARON OF BROWN STREET is now available for pre-order from Ghost Light Publications via: https://ghostlightpubs....
Logline: A homeless man living under an Akron, Ohio bridge struggles with tough life choices as a parade of strangers invade his simple life following a news story of how he forgave the street punks who set him on fire and laughed while he burned. (inspired by true events)

LATEST NEWS: BARON OF BROWN STREET is now available for pre-order from Ghost Light Publications via: https://ghostlightpubs.com/products/baron-of-brown-street-by-eric-mansfield

The play enjoyed a strong 6-night world premiere run at Rubber City Theatre in Akron in September 2023 followed by performances in early 2024 with Lakeland Community College.

The Kennedy Center awarded Eric Mansfield with the 2023 Jean Kennedy Smith National Playwriting Award - second place - for this dramatic play inspired by true events.

MORE NEWS: This play won FIRST PLACE at the annual new play competition with Market House Theatre in Paducah, KY. A summer-fall production announcement is forthcoming.

Also, this play's development includes a March reading and feedback session with the talented artists of Elephant Room Productions in Philadelphia.

Synopsis: Lenny King, a homeless man living alone in a tent under Akron’s Brown Street bridge, becomes an overnight celebrity after a newspaper story details Lenny’s kind heart in forgiving three teens who set him on fire and laughed at his pain. Enduring the physical and emotional scars of a man abused by life and his own bad decisions, Lenny must now fend off strangers looking to exploit him for their own publicity, including a quick-buck attorney, nosy photographer, judgemental local church members, pushy developers and others. Still, the news article also brings others from Lenny's past looking to help him and to reconnect.

With each new visitor to what had been his quiet oasis, Lenny fights to retain what’s left of his privacy and dignity while providing life lessons to those who make ignorant assumptions about the homeless.

Light-hearted, gritty, and yet dramatically poignant, The Baron of Brown Street turns the tables on those quick to pass judgment based on where someone chooses to lay their head while providing deep insight into the heart of a man torn between continuing his simple life of homeless depression or choosing one last chance at redemption.
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Baron of Brown Street

Recommended by

  • Jarred Corona:
    26 May. 2022
    What's the point of forgiveness? Do we forgive because it makes us feel better? Do we forgive out to attempt goodness, to preserve the future, to heal our hurt, to heal someone's hurt? Or does forgiving heal our guilt? If we forgive someone else, then maybe that means someone will be capable of forgiving us. We humans, in all our tricky plurality, have a hard time forgiving ourselves. Eric Mansfield's script doesn't excuse Lenny's choices, but it does explore them. Come under his bridge, and join the chorus of people gawking at him like he's a character in a play.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Kent State University at Trumbull - "Sips and Scripts"
    ,
    2023
  • Reading
    ,
    Dramatist Guild - End of Play
    ,
    2022

Production History

  • University
    ,
    Lakeland Community College
    ,
    2024
  • Professional
    ,
    Rubber City Theatre, Akron, OH
    ,
    2023
  • Professional
    ,
    Market House Theatre, Paducah, KY
    ,
    2023

Awards

Runner Up
,
Jean Kennedy Smith National Playwrighting Award
,
Kennedy Center
,
2023
Winner
,
Annual New Play Competition
,
Market House Theatre - Paducah, Kentucky
,
2023