Robert Schenkkan, Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner, and two-time Emmy nominee, was born in Chapel Hill, North 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 (Most Distinguished Young Alumnus, Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, Friars' Society, and Harry Middleton Lecturer.) He received an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Cornell University.
Schenkkan is the author of 13 full-length plays, two full-length musicals, and a collection of short 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 workshopped 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 premiere at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle (Lizz Huddle, producer) where it set box office records. It was the centerpiece of the Mark Taper Forum's 25th Anniversary Season where 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 produced in NYC. It also won both the PEN Centre West and the LA Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Play. Later it appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and opened on Broadway where it was nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards. It is published by DPS.
All the Way premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival under the direction of Artistic Director, Bill Rauch. It won the inaugural Senator Edward Kennedy Award for Theater and History, and the Steinberg/National American Critics Association Best New Play Award. Starring Bryan Cranston, All The Way enjoyed a sold-out run at the American Repertory Theater in Boston, and opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater on March 6, 2014. All The Way swept the Awards that season for Best New Play winning the: Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Critics Circle, and Boston's Elliot Norton Award. The sequel, The Great Society, was commissioned by the Seattle Repertory Theater and will have its World Premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and SRT in July, 2014. Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates had its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. By the Rivers of Babylon first appeared at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Marriage of Miss Hollywood and King Neptune had its world premiere at the University of Texas at Austin, and is published by Playscripts, Inc. Handler premiered at the Actors Express Theatre, and is also published by Playscripts. Heaven on Earth premiered off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre and won the Julie Harris/Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award, and was a participant in the Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference. Final Passages premiered at the Studio Arena Theatre. Tachinoki (Critic's Choice, LA Weekly) premiered at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles. His musicals include The Twelve (book and lyrics), composer/lyricist Neil Berg, producer Joe Granno, and A Night at the Alhambra Cafe (book and lyrics).
Schenkkan has written three plays for children, The Dream Thief, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and A Single Shard. The Dream Thief had its premiere at Milwaukee's First Stage and is published by Dramatic Publishing. The Devil and Daniel Webster and A Single Shard premiered at the Seattle Children's Theatre and are published by Plays for Young Audiences (PYA).
Schenkkan has written numerous one-acts which are collected together and published by Dramatists Play Service as Conversations with the Spanish Lady. Among them is The Survivalist, which premiered at ATL's Humana Festival, went on to the EST Marathon in NYC, Canada's DuMaurier Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival where it won "Best of the Fringe" award.
Schenkkan's film work includes: The Quiet American directed by Phillip Noyce. For television he wrote the miniseries Crazy Horse (TNT), Spartacus (USA Network) and The Andromeda Strain. He is a two-time Emmy-nominated writer/producer for Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks and HBO's epic miniseries, The Pacific, for which he also won a WGA Award. He has written films for Sidney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Denzel Washington, Ron Howard, and Kevin Costner among others. He is currently writing Hacksaw Ridge for Randall Wallace to direct for Walden Media.
Schenkkan is a recent fellow at the MacDowell Colony, where he was made the Thorton Wilder Fellow, and 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, a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the National Theatre Conference, and is a Fellow of the American Theater.
His website is: www.robertschenkkan.com