Resident Playwright2012 -- 2019
Playwright Kenneth Prestininzi is currently working on his two person musical, TOM VISITS HIS SISTER ROSE ONE LAST TIME, music by Katya Stanislavskaya, that was workshopped at New Dramatists, May 2014. His play COOKIE PLAY will premiere at Trap Door Theater in Chicago in January 2015 under the direction of his long time collaborator Kate Hendrickson. COOKIE PLAY is his fourth collaboration with Trap Door Theater and Ms. Hendrickson. His play UGMO AND EENIE GO DOWN THE RUSKI HOLE received unanimous praise when performed in Boston, June 2014. He is also working on a commission from Trinity Rep. His play BIRTH BREATH BRIDE ELIZABETH was featured at The Next Thing Festival in Boston in 2013 and was invited by the Boston Mayor's office to appear at FirstNights on December 31, 2014. His plays have been seen in Brighton, Boston, Chicago, Edinburgh, Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, Prague, Providence, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. BEHOLDER, produced by Trap Door Theatre (Chicago), directed by Ms. Hendrickson, received a Joseph Jefferson Award for best new play 2008-2009. New York City’s Frank Theatre Company recently produced his play, LOVE IN THE SEVENTH KINGDOM OF WRATH. Wearing multiple performance and theatre hats, Ken is also a director of new plays and has a long collaboration history with Charlotte Meehan, Greg Moss and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. He directed the premiere of Peter's play THE TOTALITARIANS in New Orleans and San Francisco. He has also directed new plays by Andy Bragen, Jennifer Haley, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Emily Young and revival productions of plays by Migdalia Cruz, Sarah Ruhl and Paula Vogel. He has received theatre awards from ACTF, California Arts Council, Christina Crawford, Djerassi Program, Gerbode Foundation, Goethe Institute, LEF, Millay Arts Colony, National Endowment of the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation and the San Francisco Cultural Equity Office. Ken is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Connecticut College, where he directs and teaches acting, playwriting and dramatic literature. He is the former Artistic Director of the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre and an associate artist with Sleeping Weazel. He was the Chair(Acting) and Associate Chair of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama 2008-2013. He has taught at ACT of San Francisco, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Brown University, Charles University (Prague), Cornell University, International Literary Arts (Mexico), Intersection for the Arts, Northwestern University, University of Iowa and West Coast Playwrights. He is also a long time teacher of the Creative Ensemble and began writing for specific ensembles with Jospeh Chaikin and Tracy Ward on the play TOUCH ME in San Francisco. He has done dramaturgy for modern dance companies, been a resident artist at Perishable Theatre, and served as treasurer of Performance Studies international. In his younger years, Ken studied with Maria Irene Fornes in Mexico and San Francisco.
Trap Door Theatre of Chicago opens COOKIE PLAY January 8. Morning in America grows dark as Homeland Security invades the heartland, in this comic dystopian all-too-close world. January 8 – February 14, 2015. Directed by Kate Hendrickson. Featuring: Lyndsay Rose Kane, Chris Popio, Mike Steele, Gage Wallace, & Carl Wisniewski. In Cookie Play, a mother from the heartland, fearing her son may be the next Edward Snowden, agrees to hold him captive in her basement to save both son and country. What happens next upends everyone’s moral equilibrium in this twisted, offbeat satire.
BIRTH BREATH BRIDE ELIZABETH, written and directed by Ken Prestininzi, and invited to the New Wave Festival 2013 by ArtsEmerson, has now been invited to the FirstNIght festival by the Boston Mayor's office, 2015. Stephanie Burlington-Daniels repeats her amazing performance as Mary Shelley-Breath, exploding precious ideas about brides, feminist icons and monsters as she croons Elvis Presley tunes. Cake is also featured. This is a Sleeping Weazel production.
Ken Prestininzi's lecture-play Birth Breath Bride Elizabeth is in The Next Thing Festival in Boston. ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage, in association with The Center for the Theater Commons and The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, presents a combustible combination of theatre, film, music, workshops and live-streamed events. Completely housed in ArtsEmerson’s Paramount Center in downtown Boston, The Next Thing (TNT) Festival (FEB 15-24) creates an unprecedented opportunity to dive deep into the world of contemporary performance.
I'm ecstatic and proud to be collaborating with New York City's dynamic and new theatre company FRANK on my new play that explores the joy, anger, fear and sorrow in the life of Caravaggio: Love in the Seventh Kingdom of Wrath. In this bravado love story, the painter Caravaggio stumbles through prayer and barroom brawls confronting flesh, desire, and a threatening chorus of angels. FRANK's ensemble creates a dangerous, lustful world of images, song and movement for the play about an artist, his model, and their wrathful secrets.