ROBERT SCHENKKAN

PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT & SCREENWRITER

News

'Hacksaw Ridge' and Robert Schenkkan come to ASU

"Hacksaw Ridge" is a nontraditional war movie depicting the story of Desmond Doss, a war hero who survived World War II without ever picking up a gun, and won a Medal of Honor for saving dozens of his comrades. Andrew Hanks, a film junior, is the lead event organizer of Hollywood Invades Tempe, which screens movies and brings in filmmakers to speak to students. "We like to pick popular films or films that have just come out so they're fresh on people's minds," Hanks said. "'Hacksaw Ridge' being nominated for six Oscars and winning two, really just a powerful movie that came out in the past year. The fact that we could get Mr. Schenkkan just made it even better." To read more, click here.

Gripping All The Way (History Theatre)

The History Theatre’s production of All the Way is a rare thing: a gripping political drama about legislation. Playwright Robert Schenkkan’s Tony Award-winning play is an engrossing drama about the legislative battle to pass the modern day Civil Rights Act in a Congress that was divided not only on by party, but also by cultural beliefs concerning values including race (sound familiar?). Director Ron Peluso succeeds in grabbing the audience at the start and never letting go throughout the nearly three-hour production. To read more, click here.

LBJ, MLK, and HHH race to pass the Civil Rights Act in History Theatre's 'All the Way'

During one of the many crises punctuating her husband’s tumultuous presidency, Lady Bird Johnson (Jennifer Blagen) reminds her husband that bravery runs in his family. “When your great-grandmother was hiding under the floorboards while the Comanches were raiding her house, did she flinch? It’s just not in your blood.” In another play, that line might have played as a hackneyed pep talk. In All the Way, it’s a reminder that a long history of racial violence and exploitation can be conveniently minimized by white people who want to pride themselves on incidents of isolated courage. This Lyndon Johnson feels under-appreciated by Civil Rights activists, but it’s hard to applaud political compromise when there’s a burning cross in your front yard. To read more, click here.

New Robert Schenkkan play is next up for Borderlands

Imagine this: A terrorist attack in Times Square leads to the president declaring martial law. A massive round up of immigrants begins. The idea is to deport millions back to their home countries. Private prisons take them in until that can be done. The results are disastrous. Robert Schenkkan imagined just such a scenario in his new play “Building the Wall,” which Borderlands Theater opens in previews Sept. 27. To read more, click here. 

New Trustus Production Tackles Trump’s Proposed Border Wall

It could happen here. That cautionary warning is often used in speculative fiction, but is an integral theme of Building the Wall, coming this week to the intimate, black box-style Side Door performance space at Trustus Theatre.  To read more, click here.

BUILDING THE WALL Opens at Trustus Theatre, 10/6!

Trustus Theatre brings Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Playwright Robert Schenkkan's newest political thriller play, Building the Wall, to the Side Door Theatre October 6-14, 2017 for its Southeastern premiere. Directed by Jim O'Connor, this play explores the contemporary times that we live in and the potential result of our communities failing to stay vigilant and letting their voices go unheard. To read more, click here.

In 'Building the Wall,' President Trump declares martial law, and tragedy follows

In the not-so-distant future, a terrorist strike in New York has led President Trump to declare martial law and force millions of immigrants into detention camps. The situation quickly spirals out of control, and as chaos reigns in the haphazardly constructed bureaucracy, mass deaths quickly follow. That is the scenario New York-based writer Robert Schenkkan imagines in “Building the Wall,” a play running Sept. 23-Oct. 8 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The play opens after the catastrophe has happened and revolves around a conversation between historian Gloria (played by West Palm Beach actor Karen Stephens) and detention-center supervisor Rick (Coral Gables actor Gregg Weiner), who is awaiting sentencing for “just following orders” when carrying out the federal policy that resulted in the deaths of scores of people under his charge. To read more, click here.

All the Way’ playwright responds to anti-immigration rhetoric - and Donald Trump

Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. To read more, click here.

Building the Wall, a Timely Trump Dystopia at the Arsht

Hurricanes swirling the trees and seas into a frenzy, earthquakes shaking buildings into rubble, the government restricting the rights of Americans as the country becomes more dangerous for its own citizens — it’s not hard to imagine that perhaps this is the end of days. Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning, Emmy-nominated playwright Robert Schenkkan was inspired last October to illustrate his own imagined dark times in his play Building the Wall. It was written as a reaction to Trump’s cries to build a wall between Mexico and America to keep illegal immigrants out of the States. The two-person play, which takes place in a dystopian, Trumpian American prison, was penned well before the Donald took office. But with this work, Schenkkan captures the fear and horror many feel while living under this administration. To read more, click here.

Building the Wall - Miami New Times

As if the current political climate weren't dire enough, many of the Floridians who voted for Donald Trump were recently made refugees themselves by Hurricane Irma in an ironic twist of fate. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall revolves around an immigrant detention center as it spirals into chaos after implementing Trump’s policies. For a disturbing and human look at the consequences of xenophobic laws and bureaucratic negligence, see this play starring local actors Gregg Weiner and Karen Stephens. 7:30 p.m. Thursday through October 8 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 877-949-6722; arshtcenter.org. Tickets cost $34 to $54.

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