Robert Koon

Robert Koon

Robert Koon is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where his plays Homecoming 1972 and St. Colm’s Inch were produced. His other work has been produced across the United States, and includes Vintage Red and the Dust of the Road (Joseph Jefferson Award Citation for New Work, ACTA Steinberg Award nominee), Odin’s Horse (Joseph Jefferson Award nominee, Ecodrama Playwrights Festival winner, NNPN Smith...
Robert Koon is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where his plays Homecoming 1972 and St. Colm’s Inch were produced. His other work has been produced across the United States, and includes Vintage Red and the Dust of the Road (Joseph Jefferson Award Citation for New Work, ACTA Steinberg Award nominee), Odin’s Horse (Joseph Jefferson Award nominee, Ecodrama Playwrights Festival winner, NNPN Smith Prize finalist), and Menorca,. He has also been a finalist for the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville. Robert has been awarded creative residencies at the Ragdale Foundation and the William Inge Center for the Arts. He has taught playwriting at The Theatre School at DePaul University and Independence Community College, and he currently teaches at the Playwrights Studio at Chicago Dramatists. In 2014, Robert was awarded the Baer Hall Award for service to the Chicago playwriting community. His recent acting work includes appearances in A Small Fire at Steep Theatre, The Roper for The Den Theatre, and Jet Black Chevrolet for The Side Project. He is also an Associate Artist at 16th Street Theatre. Robert holds an MFA from the University of California at Davis, and he is a member of the Dramatists Guild. For more information, go to www.robertkoon.com.

Plays

  • Cyclist Attacked by Mountain Lion
    On his morning bike ride on a local trail, Jerry comes upon a sign warning of a local sighting of a mountain lion. He successfully avoids an encounter with the predator, but as his day unfolds the presence of wildlife in the city becomes more and more pronounced…and more and more suspicious. Animals are found where they have no business being, and the appearances seem to coincide with humans disappearing....
    On his morning bike ride on a local trail, Jerry comes upon a sign warning of a local sighting of a mountain lion. He successfully avoids an encounter with the predator, but as his day unfolds the presence of wildlife in the city becomes more and more pronounced…and more and more suspicious. Animals are found where they have no business being, and the appearances seem to coincide with humans disappearing. Are the animals launching an attack on the humans who are annexing their territory, or is it something more sinister? As Jerry, the most helpful man they know, carries on assisting others, many of these same people begin to display a disconcerting degree of animal qualities. Are the humans themselves de-evolving—sliding back into their selfish, bestial nature? Along with his friends, Bernard and Lily, Jerry tries to discover an explanation for these occurrences, attempting all the while to fight off the animal world and cling to the unique qualities that make us human beings.
  • Menorca
    On a dig, Basque archaeologist Ale "Ollie" Osinalde finds the remains of a young woman where none were expected. This sudden discovery complicates the work at hand and, significantly, her relationship with her supervisor. As work and personal boundaries shift and are tested, Ollie is haunted by a memory of another unexpected body and another night of watching borders, with Border Patrol agent George...
    On a dig, Basque archaeologist Ale "Ollie" Osinalde finds the remains of a young woman where none were expected. This sudden discovery complicates the work at hand and, significantly, her relationship with her supervisor. As work and personal boundaries shift and are tested, Ollie is haunted by a memory of another unexpected body and another night of watching borders, with Border Patrol agent George. After lifetime spent as an immigrant in several lands, Ollie has been subjected to the boundaries imposed by others. As she excavates the remains, searching for clues to the misplaced woman under their feet, she struggles to define her own boundaries, and the context she can finally call home.
  • Vintage Red and the Dust of the Road
    The Irish tell a story of a man named Oisin, who went to live in an enchanted land only to return home and be crushed by the weight of his past. For Ted Wilk, that mythic story threatens to play out in his own life. Five years ago, Ted left his former life in California's Napa Valley to make a new one as a Chicago photographer. The transition has been successful and fairly complete--business is good,...
    The Irish tell a story of a man named Oisin, who went to live in an enchanted land only to return home and be crushed by the weight of his past. For Ted Wilk, that mythic story threatens to play out in his own life. Five years ago, Ted left his former life in California's Napa Valley to make a new one as a Chicago photographer. The transition has been successful and fairly complete--business is good, and he shares a loft with a new, young, Irish girlfriend, Niamh. This new-found comfort is disrupted by a late-night phone call, summoning Ted west once again, back home to the place he left behind--to his brother, sister, ex-wife, each nursing the wounds left by his departure. Caught between these two worlds, Ted wrestles to hold on to what peace he has in the present and what hope he has for the future, while trying not to be crushed under the weight of his past.
  • Odin's Horse
    In Nordic mythology, Odin hung from the tree of life so that, through this ordeal, he would learn the secret of the runes—the power of language, the ability to craft stories and create meaning. For Arman, the writer son of an American father and Icelandic mother, this challenge has come home in a thoroughly unexpected way. With a sudden move to the unfamiliar world of fame smothering his creative spark,...
    In Nordic mythology, Odin hung from the tree of life so that, through this ordeal, he would learn the secret of the runes—the power of language, the ability to craft stories and create meaning. For Arman, the writer son of an American father and Icelandic mother, this challenge has come home in a thoroughly unexpected way. With a sudden move to the unfamiliar world of fame smothering his creative spark, Arman has found that the one steady place in his life seems be his developing relationship with Callie. In search of a spark, he follows her to a new job—handling public relations for a Northern California logging company. In the redwood forest, Arman encounters Astra, a treesitter who confounds his expectations. Caught between two poles of an intensifying conflict, Arman reaches into his past in search of the key that will allow him to make sense of his surroundings, and negotiate a thicket of choices and consequences, both intended and unforeseen.
  • Homecoming 1972
    In 1972, Frank limped out of a war and back into the world. He came home to a divided nation, with “the establishment” clinging to a way of life pressured by forces of change, the young fighting to create a world in their image, and women struggling for autonomy. He arrives in his small northwest Minnesota home town to find it less familiar and in many ways more threatening than the war he’d left behind, a...
    In 1972, Frank limped out of a war and back into the world. He came home to a divided nation, with “the establishment” clinging to a way of life pressured by forces of change, the young fighting to create a world in their image, and women struggling for autonomy. He arrives in his small northwest Minnesota home town to find it less familiar and in many ways more threatening than the war he’d left behind, a world he finds he understands less and less. Shared loss leaves him unable to negotiate the uneasy distance separating him from his brother, a failed farmer turned highway patrolman, and his sister-in-law, a substitute teacher with her own sense of disquiet. Haunted by the ghosts of those who have crossed the nearby Canadian border, Frank finds his once-mundane world of football, cars, and Sunday dinners has turned suddenly cold. A sympathetic waitress offers occasional escape, but a recent college grad brings the buried unrest to simmer on the volatile surface. Caught between the realities of war and the absurdities of peace, they all stare down the iconic celebration of returning local heroes—the high school homecoming game—and its reminder of how much things have and have not changed.