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About Richard Kalinoski

Replete with subtle dialogue and irony, Kalinoski’s work relentlessly examines the fragility of human life and relationships. In his plays, relationship is an arena where individuals struggle, and sometimes fail, to resolve the impact of external and internal traumas in their lives. His plays, while often dealing with globally proportioned issues, such as racism, war and genocide, consistently inhabit the realm of personal relationships. In his work, Kalinoski puts a memorable face on these various forms of human tragedy, magnifying how humans, to different degrees of success, have and can triumph, through hope, forgiveness and love.


Kalinoski brings these bittersweet stories to life with an arsenal of rich, memorable characters. Stark dialogue and hearty subtext make his characters challenging and rewarding to play. His plays become self-reflexive in that they often feature a character with a secret story to tell. His work highlights the importance of telling that story in the individual’s healing process. How stories get told, when, to whom, and with what result, is a theme throughout his work.

A self-described minimalist, Kalinoski effectively creates dramatic scenes with his characteristic use of potent symbolism. Use of projected still images and audio recordings intensify the play’s horror or humor.


His plays have a Midwestern heart with international pulses: Armenian, Iraqi and African-American. His settings range from the banal - a newly built deck in rural Iowa, to the urban: an inner city diner, and from the violent: a recently exploded US Army base in Iraq, to the absurd: a rooftop recently shot through by an 89-year-old man.


Brutally honest, fraught with ethical dilemma, punctuated with subtle humor, Kalinoski’s work has been translated into 17 languages to date, and has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Moliere, the Osborn, and the Ace; all of which testifies to its universality, its relevance and its heart.

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