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The Kentucky Cycle


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About the Author

Robert Schenkkan is a Pulitzer Prize-, Tony Award-, and Writers Guild Award-winning author of stage, television, and film. He has been nominated for two Emmys and is the author of thirteen original full-length plays, two musicals, and a collection of one-act plays. He cowrote the feature film The Quiet American, and his television credits include The Pacific, The Andromeda Strain, and Spartacus. His most recent play is The Great Society.


Praise for The Kentucky Cycle

"Serious drama with a dark center . . . an epic."--New Yorker "Riveting theater . . . [a] monumental work."--Los Angeles Times "From moonlight skirmishes between pioneers and Cherokee to daylight thievery by speculators and tame judges, from Civil War marauders to union-busting goon squads, from the last gasp of industrial fever to the fresh air of environmentalism--Robert Schenkkan's The Kentucky Cycle aspires to nothing less than the history of the U.S., spanning two centuries in seven hours . . . What makes the work so hauntingly memorable is a poetic impulse, not a prosaic one . . . The plays strive for mythic power--and attain it."--TIME "Much like Dances with Wolves, [The Kentucky Cycle] takes a revisionist stance toward U.S. history, but does so with better writing, more grit and no pastoral nostalgia."--USA Today "There are nine plays in all--each written with the kind of impassioned economy which immediately evokes memories of Sophocles and Euripides, short, taut, bloody actions."--TheaterWeek "As vast and bold as the emerging nation itself."--Variety Praise for The Great Society "Schenkkan doesn't need to draw any diagrams to make us feel how relevant the issues it explores remain . . . impressive in its scope, surprisingly energetic and shines a bright, clear light on a pivotal moment in American history . . . I came away more impressed than I was with All the Way--and, ultimately, more moved."--Charles Isherwood, New York Times "Panoramic, instructive and generally enthralling . . . We view an onslaught of challenges and crises, from Johnson's increasingly embattled viewpoint--brilliantly counterpointed by the parallel experience of civil-rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. . . . forcefully evokes a tumultuous era, one (as Schenkkan pointedly reminds us) that set the stage for our current political and social landscape."--Seattle Times "The Great Society continues a profound and searching engagement with a key era of recent US history . . . moves at top speed, hurtling onwards. There is hardly a slack moment . . . Schenkkan is a master of one and two line scenes that quickly shift focus . . . it all works brilliantly . . . When the lights came on at around 4:15 PM on opening day and we had to file out into the screaming late July Ashland sun, I was a little sad that we weren't heading off on a dinner break before returning to follow the story ever onward--through Nixon, and Ford, and Carter."--Portland Theater Scene Praise for All the Way "All the Way puts the theater of politics on stage, and produces a masterful story that all Americans should see."--Nancy Pelosi "All the Way illuminates in intricate detail . . . how Johnson bent a recalcitrant Congress to his purpose, as if engaging in a long arm-wrestling contest with hundreds of other combatants, as he labored to pass a signature piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964."--Charles Isherwood, New York Times "Jaw-dropping political drama . . . Johnson was famously crude, rude, and ruthless. Schenkkan, a Pulitzer Prize winner for The Kentucky Cycle packs all that into his rich character-study . . . In this beautifully built dramatic piece, it takes the scribe just under three (perfectly paced) hours to cover that tumultuous year, from November 1963 to November 1964, in which Vice President Johnson assumed the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, engineered the passage of a landmark civil rights bill, and was elected in his own right as our 37th president."--Marilyn Stasio, Variety "One of the most fabulous theater things ever . . . You'll see and understand better the towering ego, political acumen, power-grabbing personality, honesty, the truth, and the lies of one of the greatest characters America has ever produced . . . Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to recent history made real again, in All the Way."--Liz Smith, Huffington Post "All the Way is a great history lesson for voters and politicians who are concerned about the quality of America's civic life."--Julian Zelizer, CNN "An action-packed new play about a seismic moment in American history."--Frank Rizzo, Variety "A worthy reappraisal [of Johnson] . . . All the Way is mainly about what made Lyndon Johnson so vital a figure in our modern history, a man of vast capacities who, for all his flaws and personal tics, made the most of our messy democratic process."--Peter Osnos, Atlantic "With a cinematic sweep and an eye toward teasing out parallels to our current political gridlock, Schenkkan artfully traces the first year of LBJ's presidency."--Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly "A magnificent work . . . It's a brilliant portrayal no less epic than the great tragedies of classic literature."--Roma Torre, NY1 "Schenkkan and [director] Rauch are very good at choreographing the internal rhythms of political life."--Hilton Als, New Yorker

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