BIOGRAPHY | Robert Schenkkan

Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer-prize winning, Tony Award-winning, Writer's Guild Award-winning, three-time Emmy nominated writer of Stage, Television, and Film. He is the author of fourteen original full-length plays (including WICA’s production of The Kentucky Cycle in 2010), two musicals, and a collection of one-act plays. He co-wrote the feature film, Hacksaw Ridge (six Academy Award nominations) and The Quiet American, and his television credits include: All the Way, The Pacific, The Andromeda Strain, and Spartacus.

Learn more about Robert Schenkkan here.

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The Investigation | August 24, 2019

ARTICLE | How Mark Rothko Unlocked the Emotional Power of Color


“The name Mark Rothko is synonymous with sensitive canvases that feature arrangements of rectangular panes in vivid hues. The artist was a skilled colorist. The great joy of experiencing his paintings is looking at how the colors, shapes, and backgrounds interact with one another, particularly around the edges. The soft, brushy borders that surround his color fields create one mood, while the sharper, straighter lines of the central forms elicit another. Alternate juxtapositions of similar or divergent tones—shades of deep blue against dark purple or bright red against brown—elicit disparate emotional responses. In employing a signature structure, Rothko found infinite variation.

Untitled (Red, Orange) , 1968

Untitled (Red, Orange), 1968

Despite his devotion to this modern, abstract mode, Rothko derived significant inspiration from ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art and architecture. An erudite researcher, the artist transformed his scholarly understanding of art history into pared-down paintings. If they can at first feel opaque to the viewer searching for reference points, Rothko didn’t mind. “My pictures are indeed façades (as they have been called),” he once said. “Sometimes I open one door and one window or two doors and two windows. I do this only through shrewdness. There is more power in telling little than in telling all.” That mystery and complexity have given him one of the most enduring and esteemed reputations in 20th-century art…” more


ARTICLE | Is "Next to Normal" Normal?

“A few months ago I headed to New York for my friend Jenny Fisher’s 50th b-day celebration along with a few high school friends. I sprung for tickets to Next to Normal, a play described to me as a musical about familial dysfunction. When we waffled about our other activities, I suggested that we see Ground Zero. I wanted to physically experience for the first time the spot that remains seared in the memory of every living American. My friends appreciated the free tix, but thought I was nuts. “What’s next on the Depression Tour?” They razzed. “Graveyards? Prisons? Hospitals for the terminally ill?”

Next to Normal is fabulous; make time to see the show. The script zings, both funny and painful. The music pulses, keeping a tough subject palatable—even entertaining. If you’ve seen the show and read my book you might understand why I was sobbing by the end of the first act. Middle-aged Diana, the play’s lead, is adored by her husband Dan, but drops into a deep depression. Despite medication and psychotherapy, she catapults further. Diana attempts suicide followed by ECT. The details are different, but this story is my story on stage…” more.

Julie K. Hersh, Psychology Today


Next to Normal | Apr 05-20, 2019