Discipline: Theatre – playwriting

Gus Kaikkonen

Discipline: Theatre – playwriting
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1986

Gus Kaikkonen is a playwright, director, and actor. His original plays have been produced Off Broadway at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and Playwrights Horizons, at regional theatres across the country and in the UK at London’s New End Theatre and the Theatre Museum, and at Alan Ayckbourn’s Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Writing awards include two grants from the New York State Arts Council as well as the Michigan Arts Council, the Lecomte du Nouys Playwriting Award, and Thurber and MacDowell Fellowships. The American Theatre Critics Association selected his play Time Steps as one of the ten best plays to open in regions. His musical Cindy Reilly, written with Kraig Swartz and Ellen Mandel, won Michigan’s Thespie Award for Best New Play. People Like Us won the 2002 NH Theatre Award for Best New Play. He has worked as a visiting artist at Juilliard, NYU, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Houston, Hofstra, Ohio State, and Connecticut College.

He made his Broadway acting debut in the original cast of Equus. Other New York acting credits include Mary Broome and House of Mirth at the Mint, Tommy Tune’s American premiere production of Cloud 9, and The Country Girl with Hal Holbrook. On television he co-starred in PBS’s Paul’s Case with Eric Roberts, appeared on Law & Order SVU and Criminal Intent, and 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. He received Vermont’s 2000 Bessie Award for Best Actor for Richard III at the Lost Nation Theatre. 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, and more.

From 1996-2020 he was the artistic director of the Peterborough Players, where he staged more than 85 plays. His Peterborough productions of The Cherry Orchard, You Can’t Take It With You, About Time, Inherit the Wind, Heartbreak House, Freud’s Last Session, Measure for Measure, Auld Lang Syne and Outside Mullingar all won New Hampshire Theatre Awards for Best Professional Production.



Gus Kaikkonen worked in the Putnam studio.

The Graphics Studio (as it was originally named) was converted to its present use in 1972–1974 through a grant from the Putnam Foundation, and originally served the property as both a power house and pump house. Well water was pumped from a large cistern to Hillcrest, the Foreman’s Cottage, and the lower buildings closer to…

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