Joynes Events: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Robert Schenkkan
Thu, March 24, 2011 • 7:00 PM • Joynes Room, Carothers (CRD) 007, 2501 Whitis Ave. Enter through the east doors of the honors quad
The Kentucky Cycle, Pulitzer Prize Winner, 1992
ROBERT SCHENKKAN was born in Chapel Hill, N. Carolina but grew up in Austin, Texas. As a Plan II Honors student he received a B.A. in Drama from the University of Texas at Austin (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and Friars' Society) and an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts (Acting) from Cornell University.
UT/Plan II alumnus Robert Schenkkan won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play The Kentucky Cycle. He'll return to Austin to give a presentation in the Joynes Reading Room and to participate in Plan II's 75th anniversary celebration. Schenkkan will discuss scenes he wrote for the HBO miniseries The Pacific (for which he received two Emmy nominations). Actors from the UT Drama department will read a scene from Schenkkan's new play, Docent. The playwright will discuss the differences between writing for the stage and writing for the screen.
(from Robert Schenkkan's website)
Schenkkan is the author of ten full-length plays. The Kentucky Cycle was the result of several years of development, starting in NYC at New Dramatists and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. The two part epic was later work shopped at the Mark Taper Forum, EST-LA, the Long Wharf Theatre, and the Sundance Institute. The complete "cycle" was awarded the largest grant ever given by the Fund for New American Plays and had its world premier in 1991 at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle (Liz Huddle, producer) where it set box office records. In 1992, it was the centerpiece of the Mark Taper forum's 25th Anniversary Season. There it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the first time in the history of the award that a play was so honored which had not first been presented in NYC. It also won both the PEN Centre West and the LA Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Play. In 1993 it appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and opened on Broadway in November of that year where it was nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards.
Schenkkan has produced numerous award-winning plays, including two works for children and several one-acts. His
film work includes: The Quiet American directed by Phillip Noyce. For television he wrote the miniseries Crazy Horse (TNT), Spartacus (USA NETWORD) and The Andromeda Strain. He has written films for Sidney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, and Kevin Costner among others. He is currently writing a film, The Rules, for Dreamworks, and is a writer/producer for Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks and HBO’s epic miniseries, The Pacific.
Schenkkan is the recipient of grants from New York State, the California Arts Council, and the Vogelstein and the Arthur foundations. He is a New Dramatists alumnus and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the National Theatre Conference.