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Gus Kaikkonen

Playwright

Gus Kaikkonen’s plays have been produced Off Broadway at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, the Production Company, in London at the New End Theatre and the Theatre Museum, Covent Garden in London; and at regional theatres across the US. Awards include grants from the New York State and Michigan Arts councils, the Lecomte du Nouys Playwriting Award, and Thurber and MacDowell Fellowships. The American Theatre Critics Association selected his play, Time Steps produced at the BoarsHead Theatre, as one of the ten best plays to open outside of New York. His musical Cindy Reilly won Michigan’s Thespie Award for Best New Play. His musical People Like Us, written with Todd Almond, won the 2002 New Hampshire Theatre Award for best new play. He has worked as a visiting artist at Juilliard (2004-present), NYU, Hofstra, Ohio State, Hendrix College, Connecticut College, and Louisiana College. He made his Broadway acting debut in the original cast of Equus. Other New York credits include Tommy Tune’s American premiere production of Cloud 9, and The Country Girl with Hal Holbrook. On television he co-starred in the PBS production of Willa Cather’s Paul’s Case with Eric Roberts, has appeared on Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent, and has had continuing roles on ABC’s All My Children and One Life to Live. He has performed at the Long Wharf, Folger, Goodman, Asolo, GeVa, Arden, American Heartland, Aspen, and BoarsHead Theatres, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse, where he was nominated for a Carbonell Award by the Southeastern Theatre Critics Association. He received Vermont’s 2000 Bessie Award for Best Actor for Richard III at the Lost Nation Theatre. Mr. Kaikkonen’s directing credits include Off Broadway productions of Antigone (Wall Street Journal Best of 2006) for the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, Arms and the Man, The Gentleman Dancing Master, I Have Been Here Before, and Heartbreak House at the Pearl, Macbeth with Stephen McHattie, Candida with Laurie Kennedy at Playhouse 91, Richard III with Austin Pendleton at Riverside Shakespeare, the New York premieres of Harley Granville-Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance with George Morfogen and The Charity That Began At Home with Kristin Griffith, and The Madras House, all at the Mint, Andrew John’s Fridays with Henderson Forsythe, Trish Johnson’s Second Prize: Two Months in Leningrad with J. Smith-Cameron, and Susan Sandler’s Under the Bed. In the regions, he has directed at Ford’s Theatre (Trying with James Whitmore), the Asolo, the Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Philadephia Shakespeare Festival, BoarsHead Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall, the Springer Opera House, and the Coconut Grove Playhouse (About Time with Theodore Bikel). For a season he was the resident assistant director for the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center. From 1990-03 he was the Artistic Director of Riverside Shakespeare Company in NYC, during which time he produced three seasons of works by Shakespeare and Shaw, as well as the world premiere of Iron Bars, by Arpad Goncz, the President of Hungary. Sine 1996 he has been the Artistic Director of the Peterborough Players, where he has staged more than 40 plays, including Mary Beth Hurt in Six Degrees of Separation, James Rebhorn in Later Life, and James Whitmore in Our Town, You Can’t Take it With You, About Time, Inherit the Wind, Tuesdays With Morrie, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. His Peterborough productions of The Cherry Orchard, You Can’t Take It With You, About Time, and Inherit the Wind won the 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 New Hampshire Theatre Awards for Best Professional Production and Best Direction. (As of 1976)

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