The Seven: New Works Festival 2011


Richard Kalinoski

Oshkosh, WI

An Interview with the Playwright

How did you hear about “The Seven”?

I discovered the contest at FUSION through the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis...I rarely enter short play contests but this one is clearly substantial...hence...

What was the impetus/basis/inspiration for writing the piece?

Formaldehyde is somewhat of a departure for was inspired by images left over from youth--at the dinner table with my parents and brother and sometimes found ourselves suddenly struck by my sometimes impetuous father.

Is this play representational of your writing style? Is it similar to or different from your other plays?

This short piece is an experiment in tension---with which I have experimented in almost all of my longer plays. It has an element of menace (I have no particular interest in "menace" except that sometimes it is an element in everyone's life--and menace in a domestic context is very painful).

What is the role of the short work in your playwriting career?

The chance to have my work known by an ambitious theatre company like FUSION is much appreciated.

What is your favorite play? Who is your favorite playwright?

Arthur Miller ...favorite play? Death of A Salesman...August: Osage County...I like [Friedrich Dürrenmatt's] The Visit, though a fine production would be hard to find.

What is your next playwriting venture?

Just recently one of my directors (Mark Hallen at Eastern University) won a prestigious award at Eastern to do development work on my play, Front Room (working title). I will be going to Philadelphia in July to work on the first draft of that full length play.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I was recently in Tallinn, Estonia where the Tallinn City Theatre installed my play, Beast on the Moon as part of its permanent repertory--they plan to run the play in rep for three years...their production was soaring, stunning, impossible and made possible by their world-class artistry and remarkable sensitivity.

Richard Kalinoski

Richard Kalinoski (Formaldehyde) Mr. Kalinoski’s most well-known play, Beast on the Moon, was chosen for the Humana Festival in March of 1995, and since has won the following: The Osborn Award (American Critics Assoc.) the Agnouni Award, (Armenian Relief Society of North America ) the Garland Award (Backstage West ), Best Play from the Repertory, Moliere Award (Prix Moliere), Paris, France, May, 2001 (in addition to four other Moliere Awards); the ACE Award, Argentina, for Best Play in the year 2001 in Argentina, October. Beast on the Moon has been translated into 12 languages as of April of 2005. In November, 2004 the play became part of the repertory of the Moscow Art Theatre. Beast on the Moon opened 27 April, 2005 Off-Broadway at the Century Center Theatre in Manhattan. The play ran 120 performances (including 17 previews) and was named one of five “ must see” plays in New York by the New York Daily News. In December of 2005 Richard Kalinoski was awarded the Khorenatsi Medal for contribution to the Arts from the Country of Armenia. The award is given by the President of Armenia (Robert Kachadarian).

Another full-length play, Between Men and Cattle, premiered at Interact Theatre in March of 2000 and was nominated for a Barrymore Award. Between Men and Cattle was first developed at the National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Center in July of 1995 and then later at the Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, IN) where it won the 1995 Riva Shiner Award. Between Men and Cattle was recently produced at both the OXArt Community Center in Oxford, Ohio (2006) and the Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee (2004). Between Men and Cattle ran for 10 weeks at the heralded Detroit Repertory Theatre between January 11 and March 18, 2007.

Mr. Kalinoski’s new play, A Crooked Man, was read publicly at the Salt Lake Acting Company in December, 2003 as part of the theatre’s Play Sounding Series. That same play was read at Allianak productions in Toronto in January of 2006 and at New Repertory Theatre of Massachusetts in the same month. A Crooked Man was chosen for the Dayton Future Fest in the summer of 2004 (enhanced reading, not a full production).

Mr. Kalinoski’s newest play, My Soldiers, was produced to acclaim at Eastern University in November, 2009. My Soldiers had its professional premiere at the Detroit Repertory Theatre in June, 2010. A production of the same play earned a spot at the Midwest regional American College Theatre Festival sponsored by the Kennedy Center in January 2011 (at Michigan State).

Since 1998 Mr. Kalinoski has been a director and playwright at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004. In 2005 Mr. Kalinoski received both the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Kerrigan Endowed Professorship from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. In September of 2007 Mr. Kalinoski received the McNaughton Rosebush Professorship from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for distinguished achievement in professional, teaching and service pursuits. In 2009 Mr. Kalinoski was promoted to full professor. In March of 2011 Mr. Kalinoski was awarded a second Endowed Professorship at UW Oshkosh. Mr. Kalinoski is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America.