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1000 Playwright Interviews The first interview I posted was on June 3, 2009.  It was Jimmy Comtois.  I decided I would start interview...

Sep 6, 2017

I Interview Playwrights Part 984: Robert Schenkkan

Robert Schenkkan

Hometown: Born in Chapel Hill, NC but raised in Austin, Texas.

Current Town: Live in NYC.

Q:  What are you working on now?

A:  Writing a movie for Redford to direct about the Manhattan Project, a movie for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Amazon about the Klan in South Carolina, and another movie for Imagine. I have a new play, HANUSSEN, several commissions I owe, and of course, I continue to follow/manage the rollout of BUILDING THE WALL. Over the next six weeks I will visit productions in Austin, Miami, Vienna, and Tucson.

Q:  Tell me, if you will, a story from your childhood that explains who you are as a writer or as a person.

A:  I grew up in Austin, Texas and every summer my parents used to drive us (me and my three brothers) to West Palm Beach, FL where we would stay with our grandparents. Hard to keep four boys quiet for long and our favorite entertainment would be when our father would make up a story. These epic serials could go on hours from one improbable adventure to another. Storytelling in its purest form. When I describe what I do now, I simply say, “I’m a story teller.”

Q:  If you could change one thing about theater, what would it be?

A:  Tickets would be cheap so everybody could attend regularly.

Q:  Who are or were your theatrical heroes?

A:  Miller. Becket. Shepard and O’Neill.

Q:  What kind of theater excites you?

A:  Theater that both moves and surprises me.

Q:  What advice do you have for playwrights just starting out?

A:  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Q:  When not writing on a computer, what's your go-to paper and writing utensil? When on computer, what's your font?

A:  I use yellow legal pads and Uniball Vision Elite black pens. I work on computer with Times New Roman font.
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