It is nearly impossible to escape the shadow of Lyndon B. Johnson in Texas — and as a young boy, playwright Robert Schenkkan never tried.
The 36thpresident of the United States was his childhood hero.
Growing up in the heart of Austin — Johnson’s birthplace and hometown — Schenkkan was never far from the LBJ Presidential Library or the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and “everyone you ran into knew LBJ or had a handful of LBJ stories,” he said, including his parents. “When I grew up in my house, LBJ was one of the good guys,” Schenkkan said. The family cheered on the incumbent through the Johnson-Galore election. But just two years later, relations in Vietnam “ramped up in an extraordinary manner,” he said. And the eldest Schenkkan brother was nearing draft age. To read more, click here.
TODAY: All The Way with Robert Schenkkan
March 31, 2019
SUNDAY, MARCH 31ST, 2019, 3PM
Tickets are still available for TODAY's screening of ALL THE WAY, with Robert Schenkkan! Directed by Jay Roach in 2016, ALL THE WAY stars Bryan Cranston as President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Both the play and the film describe Johnson’s efforts to muster support from Congress and among the civil rights leaders (Martin Luther King Jr. is played by Anthony Mackie), for the Civil Rights Act; and to get it passed. “In Cranston’s hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it”, wrote ‘New York Times’ television critic Neil Genzlinger when the film was released.
Pierson High School Auditorium
200 Jermain Ave, Sag Harbor
This screening is free, but a suggested $15 donation would be most appreciated!
The New Harmony Project Unveils Lineup for 2019 Conference
March 10, 2019
The New Harmony Project, an organization dedicated to supporting writers whose work emanates hope, has unveiled the lineup for its upcoming spring conference. The annual event, which will be held in New Harmony, Indiana, will support new works by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan (All the Way), Donnetta Lavinia Grays (Last Night and the Night Before), Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), and Erika Dickerson-Despenza (Cullud Wattah), among other writers. The 33rd annual New Harmony Project conference will take place May 20–June 2. To read more, click here.
Schenkkan Interviews Greg Sargent for Brennan Center for Justice!
October 13, 2018
On October 30th at Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square, New York City, Robert Schenkkan will interview Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent about his new book, AN UNCIVIL WAR. This event runs from 12:00 to 2:00 PM and is organzied by the Brennan Center for Justice. Tickets available at Eventbrite.
Palo Alto Players Presents ALL THE WAY
October 13, 2018
History and politics take center stage as Palo Alto Players continues its 2018-19 season with the Bay Area premiere of the Tony Award-winning play ALL THE WAY. Written by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle), the riveting historical drama depicts "accidental president" Lyndon B. Johnson's intense first year in office as he struggles to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. ALL THE WAY is directed by Peter Allas, associate artistic director of The Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School, and features a cast of 19 local Bay Area actors, bringing to life more than 60 historical figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, and Lady Bird Johnson. ALL THE WAY runs November 2 - 18 at the Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. For information or tickets, visit paplayers.org or call 650.329.0891. To read more, click here.
‘Great Society’ at the History Theatre is towering, tragic
October 13, 2018
Almost exactly a year ago, the History Theatre took a big gamble, putting a big cast on stage to perform a big play of big ideas: “All the Way” chronicled the presidency of Lyndon Johnson from his tragedy-filled ascension in November 1963 to his election victory a year later. It was a master class in politics and theater.
The company reunited the major players from that cast to open the St. Paul theater’s 41st season with “The Great Society,” the second half of Robert Schenkkan’s LBJ duology. And it is, if anything, an even better piece of theater … more nuanced, more complex; with higher stakes and even more finely honed performances. To read more, click here.
BWW Review: Consummate Performance Anchors THE GREAT SOCIETY at History Theatre
October 13, 2018
Pearce Bunting delivers a visceral gut punch as Lyndon B. Johnson in THE GREAT SOCIETY. Rarely in 50 years of serious theater-going have I seen a more fully inhabited physical performance. It's masterful. Menacing and charming by turns, Bunting channels LBJ's ability to manipulate people into positions they didn't originally intend. The arc he travels is long: beginning brash and aggressive, we see him move incrementally into weariness and eventually descend to emotional exhaustion. And all of it is credible. To read more, click here.
Reading of new play, HANUSSEN, in LA September 8
August 24, 2018
As part of the PlayLA Festival, there will be a one time public reading of HANUSSEN. Here is the website for more details: playlafestival.org
Review - Building the Wall during the Trump terror - Miro Magazine UK
May 11, 2018
Robert Schenkkan’s new play offers a chilling view of the near-future that is blisteringly tangible, comments Editor in Chief Josh Brown.
"24 hours after Robert Schenkkan’s Building The Wall opened at the Park Theatre, ABC News reported that President Donald Trump had threatened to close down the US government in a new push to secure a wall along the border with Mexico to keep out immigrants. Speaking during an event billed as a tax reform roundtable, Trump said: “We’re going to get the wall, even if we have to think about closing up the country for a little while. We have absolutely no choice. And we’re going to get tremendous security in our country.” To read more, click here.
Building The Wall - Theatre News Review
May 8, 2018
Walking into the Park Theatre for Robert Schenkkan's new play, 'Building the Wall' feels as if you've taken a wrong turning and have ended up somewhere very different to everyday life. Fluorescent lights buzz and there are sounds of locks clicking. The most arresting sight is a huge glass box filling the entire stage. Inside, a lone man in penitential orange sits tapping his socked feet. Building The Wall is a gripping political thriller that examines a dystopian future. One that, according to director Jez Bond, feels “horribly possible.” And indeed it does from the outset. Schenkkan has presented the audience with a play that explores the issues surrounding immigration in America and nothing that Rick, the prisoner being interviewed, shares with his interviewer Gloria, is any more outlandish or brutal than some of the current political sentiments. To read more, click here.