I thought writing plays was hard. And then I wrote a musical.
Tonight, THE 12 opens at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. My collaborator (Neil Berg, Music and co-lyrics) and I have been working on this for seven years. THE 12 has been workshopped in Manhattan at the China Club (twice), BB King’s in Times Square, the Signature Theater, across the river at the Riverdale Performance Center, at St. Joe’s High School in New Jersey, and in Ft. Lauderdale at the Broward Center. We were scheduled to have our premiere at the San Jose Rep and hired designers and begun casting when SJR suddenly announced they were bankrupt. At that point I gave the script to Doug Langworthy, Lit Manager at DCPA, and he showed it Kent Thompson who was looking for “something unusual…” And here we are.
I have wrestled with my own ambivalence about this musical for many years mostly because it reflects my own profound spiritual ambivalence. Belief has always seemed to me to an intensely private issue, which is probably why I belong in the Groucho Marx category, “I don’t care to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” And yet here I’ve written a musical about it. If we have succeeded it’s because THE 12 focuses on something everyone has shared at one time or another, the very human experience of a “Dark Night of the Soul” - that moment when the idea, movement, cause, or relationship into which you have put everything, fails completely. How do you go forward after that? There are no Big Miracles here. Just the small daily miracle where we rise up – flawed, flailing, failing – and determine, once again, to try to be more compassionate, a little braver about speaking up against injustice, and above all, more loving. That, it seems to me, is worth singing about.
See you at the Opening.
Playwright Robert Schenkkan's epic leap back from LBJ to "The 12"
March 29, 2015
"They rode into town to clamoring crowds and shouts of hosannas, to palm fronds lofted. Actually, it was the Nazarene who rode. And he was famously seated on the humblest of steeds, a donkey. But nearly two millennia before a rock opera bearing his name opened on Broadway or "Godspell" begat Top 100 hit single "Day by Day," Jesus Christ and his disciples arrived in Jerusalem like a rock star and his entourage." To read more, click here.
Denver Center Theatre Company 2015-16 season announcement
March 13, 2015
Of the season's upcoming offerings, Robert Schenkkan's "All the Way" feels particularly timely — and is likely to remain so — in light of the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the movie "Selma."To read more, click here.
What Would Jesus’s Disciples Do? In New Musical ‘The 12,’ They Rock Out
March 13, 2015
DENVER: Robert Schenkkan had just written two plays about a charismatic leader who made a world-changing difference in millions of people’s lives, despite the meddling and misunderstanding of his inferiors. So what better way to follow up All the Way and The Great Society—a pair of historical dramas about President LBJ’s struggle to pass landmark civil rights and public welfare legislation, where the former play went to Broadway and nabbed a best play Tony—than to write about Jesus and his squabbling, imperfect disciples? To read more, click here.
THE TWELVE opens rehearsals with a mandate to dig deep
March 5, 2015
When Producing Artistic Director Kent Thompson was considering The 12 to fill the final slot of the DCPA Theatre Company’s 2014-15 season, he knew the new musical would make for a unique and unusual choice and that the story would be compelling, and the music engaging. To read more, click here.
SCHENKKAN VOTED ONTO DRAMATIST GUILD COUNCIL!
March 4, 2015
The DramatistsGuild is pleased to announce the election of our newest Council Member.
As a result of the 2015 Council Election, Robert Schenkkan has been elected to join the ranks of our esteemed Council. The term is for three years.
Schenkkan Heads to Summit Theater Festival
February 19, 2015
Robert Schenkkan will be attending Denver Theater's 2015 Summit Theater Festival, February 20-22. Hope to see you there!
Christina Sajous & More Join Cast of DCPA's THE 12; Full Company Announced!
February 19, 2015
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has announced the full casting for the Theatre Company's world premiere of The 12,a brand new rock musical with book and lyrics by Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan (All The Way) and music and lyrics by Neil Berg (Grumpy Old Men). To read more, click here.