“The Wake of Dick Johnson” at Hollywood Fringe Festival

"The Wake of Dick Johnson" at Hollywood Fringe Festival. Pictured: Luke Walker | Photo credit Brian Bowen Smith

Luke Walker’s Off-Broadway self-penned play, “The Wake of Dick Johnson,” arrives at the 2021 Hollywood Fringe Festival with some powerful New York reviews and a distinct aura of enviable inevitability.  

“The Wake of Dick Johnson” poses questions on where we all go…in the end.  Yet, isn’t that something we’ve all been pondering a little more than usual lately?  Luke Walker’s “wake” is a deep dark dive – vivid, excruciating and beautifully wrought.  Perfect Fringe fodder.

But we had a few questions!  So we asked.

How did you come up with the idea for “The Wake of Dick Johnson?”

It came to me as a vision in my sleep. I was awoken in a drunken fever with the whole play vividly in my mind from start to finish. 

“The Wake of Dick Johnson"

Why a solo show?

I’ve been writing for 20 years, and over that course of time I’ve gradually reduced and reduced. This was a result of frustration. Not having any open doors, or supportive people in my life. I learned not to trust other creatives to have integrity, and I learned I had to do everything myself to get things done. With few exceptions,  I’ve been largely by the entertainment industry for my of my career. That alienation and my own traumas which left me introverted and insecure, created an environment where I was unable to receive any creative support at all. It all had to be me in the end. 

Do you think given what the world is going through right now that the subject is more relevant?

I think the subject matter of this play is always relevant. If you’re paying attention, and seeing past the graphic language and comedic interludes, the message is to be a good person. Put good energy into the universe all the time. If we don’t live life to be good, we infuse toxicity into a universe already over saturated with bad. 

“The Wake of Dick Johnson"

Any plans for the show moving forward?

I’m in discussions about a full run in the fall, but my goal is to find a professional actor to take the role of Dick Johnson on, so that I can simultaneously focus on launching other plays and movies.

What tips or guidance do you have for show creators and solo artists.

“The Wake of Dick Johnson"

You can only count on yourself. Don’t expect any help from anyone. You have to work and work hard. This can mean another eight hours of work each day after you punch out of your day job. You can also never quit. Many people would like to see you give up and disappear. If you let them get to you, if you don’t have the fortitude to fight, it won’t ever materialize.  

What do you hope an audience will come away with after seeing your show?

I new perspective on life, death and the universe. How important it is to lead an honorable life, and how the things we do in this existence impact the entirety of the universe. 

“The Wake of Dick Johnson"

“The Wake of Dick Johnson” is one of the few live plays at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year.


Eight performances August 5 through 26:

Thursday, August 5 at 8pm
Friday, August 6 at 8pm
Monday, August 16 at 8pm
Tuesday, August 17 at 8 pm
Wednesday, August 18 at 8pm
Monday, August 23 at 8pm
Tuesday, August 24 at 8pm
Wednesday, August 25 at 8pm


Hudson Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038