David Tolchinsky

David Tolchinsky

David E. Tolchinsky is the Founder/Co-Director of Northwestern University’s MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage program. He is a longtime screenwriter (for various Hollywood studios) and a fairly new playwright and director. In 2015, he was voted Best Director for the New York production of his play, Where's the Rest of Me? (which was nominated for Best Play). He co-curated Sick by Seven (seven plays/films...
David E. Tolchinsky is the Founder/Co-Director of Northwestern University’s MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage program. He is a longtime screenwriter (for various Hollywood studios) and a fairly new playwright and director. In 2015, he was voted Best Director for the New York production of his play, Where's the Rest of Me? (which was nominated for Best Play). He co-curated Sick by Seven (seven plays/films about mental health in the modern world) at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago as part of its Incubator Series, and was no. 7 on New City's Film 50 2017: Chicago Screen Gems . His film credits include the experimental narrative Creature Companion (co-producer); the psychological thriller Cassandra (writer/director, currently in post-production), the documentary Fast Talk (co-producer), the dramatic thriller The Coming of Age (co-producer/screenwriter), the dark comedy Girl (associate producer/screenwriter, from Sony, starring Selma Blair and Tara Reid, on iTunes), and the documentary St. Catherine’s Wedding Ring (co-producer/co-director, premiered at Sundance). He is also the co-producer and composer on Debra Tolchinsky’s documentary True Memories and Other Falsehoods (currently in production). As a curator, Dave co-curated The Horror Show at Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs, New York City, Shimon Attie: The Neighbor Next Door at the Block Museum, Evanston, IL, and The Presence of Absence at the Hairpin Arts Center, Chicago. Dave just directed his dark comedy play about the rogue psychologist Wilhelm Reich, An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World , in New York City. Dave was the Chairman of NU's Department of Radio-TV-Film from 2007-2018. More at davidetolchinsky.com

Plays

  • An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World
    A man grapples with the strange feeling that something is wrong with his body although he can’t quite point to what, leading him to ponder the strange theories and life of 1950s rogue scientist Wilhelm Reich, and everything in the cosmos, as his marriage crumbles. A dark, screwball comedy.

    TESTIMONIALS

    "I’ve known writer/director/producer Dave Tolchinsky since the 80s and our...
    A man grapples with the strange feeling that something is wrong with his body although he can’t quite point to what, leading him to ponder the strange theories and life of 1950s rogue scientist Wilhelm Reich, and everything in the cosmos, as his marriage crumbles. A dark, screwball comedy.

    TESTIMONIALS

    "I’ve known writer/director/producer Dave Tolchinsky since the 80s and our days together at USC Film School. I always tend to put creative people in to one of two categories; those who instinctively get it and those who don’t. Dave gets it. He has always been very smart and intuitive in all of his creative works which are always thought provoking, well conceived and well structured. He masters the form, has been hired by Hollywood studios and has run a major film department. I personally saw his last play, Where’s the Rest of Me?, and thought the juggling of three narrative points of view within a one-act was expertly executed and its nomination as Best Play was well deserved. As for An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World, it seems to me to have all of the elements that make for a successful production: comedy, moving drama, the potential for innovative set design, an investigation of a pressing issue (the rise of diseases without testable origins and our desire to try different therapies in order to be well), and also introducing the world to an unknown, intriguing historical figure - Wilhelm Reich. It informs while it entertains and also puts humorous spins on historical characters Freud and Einstein - a device I have used myself with Shakespeare to some success. A smart guy doing smart work is, in my book, always someone you’d want to be in business with."
    -Karey Kirkpatrick, co-writer, the Broadway Musical SOMETHING ROTTEN, writer/director/composer of the WB animated feature SMALLFOOT, co/writer/director of OVER THE HEDGE among others.

    “It was wholly original, and completely involving. I love it's meta-theatricality and the ways in which it calls attention to its own artifice in pursuit of some larger truths. And the three parallel stories - Dave and Jane, the story of Wilhelm Reich, and the Incredible Shrinking Man - are so deftly woven together. It's a fascinating exploration of our fetishization of "wellness" and "sickness" as an innate state of being... I thought of . . . theaters that might be drawn to your wonderfully idiosyncratic voice and expansive sense of theatrical possibility....”
    -Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and head of the Dramatists Guild, Doug Wright

    “David E. Tolchinsky is the writer and director of the darkly funny psychological comedy An Attempt To Heal In The Contemporary World. In light of renowned researchers like Freud, Reich, and Rank, this piece purports to give you a fairly safe environment in which to ponder your mental health status. His many talents permeate this intriguing story, which should make you question the dominant narratives of 1950s America.”
    -Ed Malin, Theatre Is Easy
  • Clear
    A guilt-torn cop goes to a psychiatrist, to confront his violent past and ambivalence about his job, but finds instead he is trapped in a room with a mysterious therapist with dangerous, unorthodox techniques and a psychopathic gun-toting patient. A dark comedy.
  • Where's the Rest of Me?
    A screenwriter wrestles with his relationship to Spalding Gray, his psychiatrist father and the classic movie, King’s Row. A dark and funny journey through movies, monologues and mental illness.