Fund for New American Plays

The Kentucky Cycle

Intiman Theatre, Seattle, WA

The Kentucky Cycle is a nine-play series that chronicles the changing fortunes of the Rowen family over 200 years in the Eastern Kentucky portion of the Appalachian mountains. It tells the violent history of a family and a region, from earliest pioneer settlements through Civil War battles, the coal mine union wars of the 1930s and '40s, and the environmental and economic wars of the present time--a history marked by savagery, greed, love, longings, and rape of both the people and the land of this beautiful mountain region.

Robert Schenkkan was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin (Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude) and an MFA in Theatre Arts from Cornell University. He has worked as an actor/writer on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in film, television, and at regional theaters across the country. He is the author of The Kentucky Cycle, filmed for HBO by Kevin Costner; Heaven on Earth; Final Passages; and Conversations with the Spanish Lady and Other Plays (all published by Dramatists Play Service). His awards include the L.A. Drama Critics Circle, the Pen Center Award, John Gassner Award Nomination, Burns Mantle "Best Plays of 1993" and "Best Short Plays of 1993," the Outer Critics Circle Nomination, and the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. He is a grant recipient from the California Arts Council, the New York Caps Grant, and the Arthur and the Vogelstein Foundations. Schenkkan is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City and an alumnus of New Dramatists. His film work includes: Magic (Showtime), The Long Ride Home (Fox Family), Crazy Horse (TNT), Our Fritz (Warner Brothers), and West of the Rising Son (Interscope). He is currently adapting Graham Greene's The Quiet American for Paramount Pictures. Robert and his wife, Mary Anne, have two children, Sarah and Joshua, and live in Seattle.

Director: Warner Shook
Set Designer: Michael Olich
Lighting Designer: Peter Maradudin
Costume Designer: Frances Kenny
Composer/Sound Designer: James Ragland
Featured Performers: John Aylward, Lillian Garrett-Groag, Gail Grate, Scott MacDonald,
Jeanne Paulsen
Running Dates: May 23-July 13, 1991

Return to Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Home Page