Associate Professor of Theater
Joined Connecticut College: 2013
B.S., Northwestern University
M.F.A., University of Iowa
• Playwriting • Creative ensemble • Performance studies • Theater history and literature
Kenneth Prestininzi is a playwright, director, dramaturg, teacher and producer. Prior to coming to Connecticut College, he was the Chair (acting) and Associate Chair of Playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and a Pembroke Fellow at Brown University.
He will direct "The Totalitarians" by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb in New Orleans, "El Grito del Bronx" by Migdalia Cruz in Providence and his own play Ugmo and Eenie Go Down THe Ruski Hole in Boston in 2014. His play, "Birth Breath Bride Breath Elizabeth" was a featured show in Boston's The Next Thing Festival (2013), alongside shows by Mike Daisy, Richard Maxwell, The Debate Society and Daniel Fish.
He has written and directed new plays for the last twenty years in Brighton (England), Cambridge, Chicago, Edinburgh, Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, Prague, Providence, and San Francisco, and has received theater awards from the American College Theater Festival, California Arts Council, Djerassi Artist Program, Gerbode Foundation, Goethe Institute, LEF Foundation, Millay Arts Colony, National Endowment of the Humanities, Rockefeller Foundation and the San Francisco Cultural Equity Office. His acclaimed play "Chaste" was recently produced at Trap Door Theatre in Chicago (Kate Hendrickson, director), where previously his play "Beholder" received a Joseph Jefferson Award for best new play. His original plays include: "A License to Love," "AmeriKafka,""As American As," "Beholder," "Chaste," "Love in the Seventh Kingdom of Wrath," "The Monkey from Zanzibar," "Ria and Bobby," "Ugmo and Eenie Go Down the Ruski Hole," and the chamber operas "Ariadne," "The Response" and "Servitude of a King."
Currently the artistic director of Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep (playwrightsrep.com) where he also teaches the creative ensemble, he has taught playwriting and performance courses at ACT of San Francisco, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Cornell University, Intersection for the Arts, Northwestern University, University of Iowa and West Coast Playwrights.
Ken is a dramaturg and director of new plays and recently directed/dramaturged "T.I.C." (Encore Theatre at the Magic Theatre) and "boom" (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory) by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and "Sweet Disaster" (Perishable Theatre) by Charlotte Meehan. He has continued his creative working relationship with playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and will be directing the premiere of "The Totalitarians" at Southern Rep, New Orleans, in 2014. He has also directed/produced plays by Andy Bragen, Irene Fornes, Jennifer Haley, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel and Mary Zimmerman. He has studied with Joseph Chaikin and Maria Irene Fornes. At Playwrights Rep, he also directed "Reunion" by Greg Moss, "In Spite of the Devil" by Andy Bragen and "Melena" by Emily Young, as well as oversaw new productions of plays by Charise Castro Smith and Marcus Gardley, among others.
Ken has the following professional associations: Artistic Director, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Providence, RI; Resident Playwright, New Dramatists, New York City, NY; Associate Artist, Sleeping Weazel, Boston, MA; NoPassport.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree (theater) from Northwestern University, a MFA (playwriting) from the University of Iowa, and has done extensive graduate work in theater and performance studies at Brown University, where he was a Pembroke Fellow.