Robert Schenkkan’s Protest: A Portable ‘Wall’

How do you write a play about the Trump presidency when real events threaten to change the script seemingly daily, even hourly? In Robert Schenkkan’s case, the answer is: Get very angry and write very quickly. The National New Play Network’s rolling premiere of Schenkkan’s Building the Wall opens March 18 at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood, the same day the two-character play will be published in hardback. Productions are also scheduled for Curious Theatre Company in Denver and Borderlands Theater in Tucson, Ariz. Set in 2019, Building the Wall finds a writer interviewing the supervisor of a private prison who’s been prosecuted for carrying out Trump’s federal policies surrounding immigration and deportation. American Theatre spoke to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Kentucky Cycle and All the Way. To read more, click here.

Stories of Scalia, Simone and Lyndon Johnson in Arena Stages next season

The Great Society, Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to his enormously successful All the Way, will run between February 2 and March 18 of next year. In The Great Society, the wily, larger-than-life Lyndon B. Johnson simultaneously tries to prosecute an unpopular war and advance a historic social program while running a racially fraught nation. “[The Great Society is] impressive in its scope, surprisingly energetic and shines a bright, clear light on a pivotal moment in American history, as postwar optimism began to dim, as cracks in the polity became ever more apparent,” Charles Isherwood of the New York Times said. “I came away more impressed than I was with ‘All the Way’ — and, ultimately, more moved.” Kyle Donnelly, who direct All the Way at Arena last year, will direct this year, and Jack Willis returns as Lyndon Johnson. To read more, click here.

Pulitzer Prize-winning UT alum uses writing as a force for change

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Robert Schenkkan said he depends on the pen when the sword fails, and called on writers to use their words as a force for change. Schenkkan touched on issues relating to freedom of press, refugees and climate change, and said he felt it was his responsibility to make them known in a lecture hosted by Plan II Thursday.  “I have never felt the urgency … that I feel today,” Schenkkan said. “As an artist, I had to act. I had to act now.” To read more, click here.

Oscar Winners ‘Hacksaw Ridge,’ ‘Manchester’ Soar to Top of Disc Charts

Two Academy Award winners – and Best Picture nominees – were released on disc by Lionsgate just before the Oscars and promptly vaulted to the top of the national home video sales charts the week ended Feb. 26. “Hacksaw Ridge,” the Mel Gibson-directed biopic of a pacifist war medic that won Oscars for Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, debuted at No. 1 on both the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, and NPD’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc Sales chart. To read more, click here.

"Hacksaw Ridge" wins Oscar for sound mixing!

Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace win for "Hacksaw Ridge.”

Other nominees include:

Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye, “Arrival” w

Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow, “La La Land”

David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth, “13 Hours"

'Hacksaw Ridge' wins film editing Oscar!

"Hacksaw Ridge" won the Oscar for film editing.

Other nominees include:

Joe Walker, “Arrival”

Jake Roberts, "Hell or High Water"

Tom Cross, “La La Land”

Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon, “Moonlight”

‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ & ’13th’ Among Humanitas Prize Winners

It was a double double win at the Humanitas Prize ceremony today, with Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge taking the top feature film award and Ava DuVernay’s 13th and Jim: The James Foley Story sharing top documentary honors. To read more, click here.

Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL Will Premiere at Fountain Theatre, Roll Across U.S.

A new play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way, Hacksaw Ridge), written in direct response to the immigration policies of the Trump administration, reveals how those policies might lead to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion. Building the Wall opens at the Fountain Theatre on March 18, the first in a series of productions set to take place at theaters across the U.S. as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. To read more, click here.

Denver’s Curious Theatre to produce playwright’s rapid response to the Trump era

Denver’s Curious Theatre will be among the first sites in the country to present Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan’s new play, a political protest piece.

“Building the Wall,” a work of “speculative fiction,” opens April 4 at Curious, in what will be only the show’s second production after Los Angeles.

Schenkkan’s previous works, “All the Way” (Tony Award 2014) and “The Kentucky Cycle” (Pulitzer Prize 1992), took years to complete. But anger is a good accelerator: The new play was written “in a white-hot fury” in the two weeks prior to the Inauguration. To read more, click here.

“The Great Society” speaks powerfully to today through the politics of yesterday

The current political climate in the United States is tense, perhaps the worst it’s been in recent memory, but Robert Schenkkan’s “The Great Society,” playing through March 5 at Zach Theatre, reminds us that our country’s political history has seen many periods of great regression.To read more, click here