Photo by Joan Haseltine
Bob Berky — Playwright/Director/Actor/Theatrical Clown
Bob Berky has performed as a solo artist throughout the world including major theatres and theatre festivals in London, Paris, Perth, Sydney, Belfast, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Edinburgh, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Toronto, and Montreal. In New York, he has appeared at the Dance Theatre Workshop, Lincoln Center and The Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Museum, The Folger Library and The Arena Stage in Washington D.C.
In "speaking" theater he has performed numerous roles including Estragon in Waiting for Godot, Puntila in Puntila and His Servant Matti, Vanya in Uncle Vanya, Richard III, Charlie in Stones In His Pockets and Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman.
As a director, Mr. Berky has created productions of plays by Sam Shepard, Tom Stoppard, William Shakespeare, Dario Fo, David Mamet, and many others. He directed movement and clowning for producer Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival's production of Twelfth Night at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park and acted as Assistant Director and movement choreographer for the Long Wharf Theatre's production of A Flea In Her Ear, directed by John Tillinger. He has also worked as movement coach for such performers as Donal Donaldson, Gregory Hines, Jeff Goldblum, and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Mr. Berky has taught at many universities and theaters as a guest artist and Master Teacher, including The Juilliard School, Brandeis University, University of Texas at Austin, the North Carolina School for the Arts, UCSB, Smith College and the Dell'Arte School of California. He worked extensively as a teaching and performing artist with the Lincoln Center Institute. In 2010-2011, Bob taught Clowning and Physical Theatre in the graduate theatre program at Brown University/Trinity Rep Company and performed as Reverend Parris in the Trinity Rep production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
Mr. Berky, trained as a classical musician (French horn) at the Eastman School of Music, performs as a clown/musician with symphony orchestras in the United States and Canada (sans French Horn). These programs include a new version of "Peter and the Wolf," and Stravinsky's "L'Histoire Du Soldat." His theatrical mentor was Tony Montanaro of the Celebration Barn in South Paris, Maine.
Mr. Berky is an OBIE AWARD winner, received a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival for his one-man show FOOLSFIRE and is also a recipient of the Kennedy Center's 1991 New American Plays Award for Cooking the World, his first play. The Dictator's Nose, his second play, was produced in Los Angeles in 1999. He received the Sarrett National Playwriting Prize in 2002 for his third play, The Redness Of The Woodpecker. His most recent play, The Fourth Nail premiered at the Jackson Hole Center for The Arts in 2009.
Mr. Berky has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Council on the Arts, and the Wyoming Arts Council. For television he has appeared on PBS, programs on Disney and Nickelodeon, and guest appearances on programs throughout Europe and South America.
In 2014, Mr. Berky directed Judith Sloan’s new play, Yo Miss, in workshop in Jackson, Wyoming and then at the Public Theatre in NYC. In 2015, he joined Global Arts Corp, founded by Michael Lessac, helping create SEE YOU YESTERDAY, a physical theatre piece starring 19 Cambodian circus performers, exploring the Cambodian genocide’s relationship to young Cambodians of the present. The piece premiered in Phnom Penh in 2016, toured Rwanda in 2017, throughout Cambodia in 2018, and was given its U.S. premiere at Arts Emerson in Boston, MA. in May of 2019.
Mr. Berky continues to work with the theatre community in Jackson, directing and performing in his two man play, Cooking The World, in 2018, as well as assistant directing the annual winter production at Dancers Workshop.
During the current pandemic he has been teaching remotely at Mt. Union University in Ohio. He currently is working on two writing projects and continues as a student of Irish music on the concertina, and old-time mountain music on the 5-string clawhammer banjo.