Alan M. Berks

Last updated

February 6, 2016

Alan’s current news

Happy New Year!


Alan Berks, co-Artistic Director of Wonderlust Productions, recently adapted and directed a new version of Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author set on a reality television show set and a political duel set in Duluth, MN, The Great Divide. Other past productions include Goats (nominated for a 2006 New York Innovative Theatre Award); Everywhere Signs Fall and Almost Exactly Like Us (Gremlin Theatre); Music Lovers (Workhaus Collective); and Ringtone and How to Cheat (Alan Berks & Company).  Other awards include: Minnesota State Arts Board; Runner-Up, Star Tribune’s Best Playwright in Minnesota 2013; MacDowell Colony Fellow; and Jerome Fellow. He is a proud member of the Minnesota-based Playwrights’ Collective, Workhaus, and in 2012, he was a semifinalist for Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s 2012 National Playwrights Conference.



Recent Work:

The Great Divide, Workhaus Collective, April 2013

Six Characters in Search of An Author (new translation), Alan Berks & Company, March 2013

How to Cheat, Alan Berks & Company, December 2011

Goats (area premiere), Minnesota Jewish Theater, March 2011

#ringtone (written in collaboration with the actors),

Minnesota Fringe Festival, August 2010

Rogue Buddha Art Gallery, MN, April-May 2009

Almost Exactly Like Us, Theater of the Expendable, April 2010

Music Lovers, Workhaus Collective, March 2010

Honor: Top Ten of 2010, Lavender Magazine and Metro Magazine

They Want, Arkansas New Play Festival (reading), May 2011

Award: Fellow, MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire, 2009


Other Productions:

Everywhere Signs Fall, Gremlin Theatre, Feb-March 2008

Honor: Best New Script 2008, Minneapolis Star Tribune

3 Parts Dead (written in collaboration w/), Burning House Group, October 2007

Honor: Best Experimental Work 2007, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Home of the Brave , Maple Grove High School, MN, January 2008

Estherville Lincoln Central High, IA, Jan-Feb 2007

Gunter ISD, TX, April 2006

(Reading) Guthrie Theater, MN, April 2004

How to Cheat (Equity Showcase Contract), Minnesota Fringe Festival, August 2006

Almost Exactly Like Us (Workshop Prod), Gremlin Theater, St. Paul, MN            Feb.-March 2006

Goats (Equity Showcase Production)            The Production Company, NY, Jan.-Feb. 2006

Fugue (Academic), Potsdam University, Postdam, NY, May 2005

A Dead Language, Play, Big Cold Tit of Civilization, Fear and Loathing in Budapest, Jesus is My Drinking Partner, Open Mike and Sweet Perdita, Boys Behaving Badly, On Little Braveries, Drowning (Equity Showcase Contract/Short Plays), Thirst Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, 2004 –2007



Home is What the Hat Is, Monologues from the Playwright’s Center, ed. Kristen Gandrow and Polly Carl.

Home of the Brave, commissioned by the Guthrie Theatre 2003, published by Playscripts, Inc. 2004.


Other Awards/Honors:

Runner-up, Best Playwright in Minnesota, Star Tribune, 2013

Semi-finalist, O'Neill Theater Center, National Playwrights Conference, 2012

Nominee, Best Solo Performance for Goats, New York Innovative Theater Awards, New York, 2006

Semi-finalist, Princess Grace Award, Princess Grace Foundation, 2004

Winner, Jerome Fellowship, Playwright’s Center of Minneapolis, 2003

Winner, Festival of Emerging American Theater, Phoenix Theater, 2002



Bachelor of Arts, Columbia College, Columbia University (New York, NY)           

Master of Fine Arts, Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)



Six Characters in Search of an Author, 2013

“For all the liberties that this production takes with Pirandello, it captures the essence of the play, translating and even amplifying the central issues. Berks and company have created a powerful philosophical tragedy, both moving and thought-provoking.” – William Randell Beard, Star Tribune


How to Cheat, 2011

"How to Cheat is smart, funny and brisk-paced, but it’s no mere trifle. It’s romance with philosophical edge and emotional heft, offering both a night’s fling and a compelling argument for allowing the occasional illicit thrill." –Susannah Schouweiler, Knight Arts


Almost Exactly Like Us, 2010

" Fresh, original, and complex. . . A haunting and successful experiment, the show leaves the connecting strands of the tales offstage and in the audience's imagination. Raising questions of terrorism and free will, Berks' play stays with you long after it's over." – John Peacock, Flavorpill


Music Lovers, 2010

"Alan Berks' Music Lovers,­ now playing at the Workhaus Collective, looks hard at the creation of art, the depths of friendship and the constant struggle between youthful enthusiasm and adult concerns. . . Berks' play most often cooks like a band at the height of its power." –Ed Huyck,


#ringtone, 2010

"Alan Berks and company deliver an alluring and compelling piece of work with #ringtone. A multimedia work about how we connect with others in a world filled to the brim with technology, it's fascinating not just to watch the cast as they move about the art gallery in which the play takes place, but to see the audience's engagement become a part of the piece itself." – Sid Solomon, review.


Everywhere Signs Fall, 2008

“Berks' play, being premiered in a taut and aggressively acted production at Gremlin Theatre, seems purposely irresolute -- scattering dozens of clues through a scenario that tantalizes the intellect with its sleight of hand. . .the sheer audacity of his ability, his cracking dialogue. . . This is a fearless endeavor by playwright and company. Berks, ambitious and talented, loves to poke into the subconscious.” – Graydon Royce, Star Tribune.


3 Parts Dead, 2007

“Telling a good ghost story is a tricky task. The tale's internal logic has to be taut for the spooky bits to bite, and the characters have to be drawn in such a way that we sympathize with their supernatural travails. Local playwright Alan M. Berks's new 3 Parts Dead delivers on both scores, and this staging ratchets up the heebie-jeebies with chilling invention.” – Quinton Skinner, City Pages


Goats, 2006

“This is one of the smartest, warmest, funniest, and wisest new works I've seen in some time. . . The stories are, by turns, hilarious, astonishing, and awe-inspiring. . . One is bound to learn something from an experience as singular as this, especially someone as eager and open-hearted as Berks seems to be. He puts some of the life lessons he acquired into gentle yet profound perspective as Goats reaches its conclusion. These truths—about acceptance, about self-knowledge, about authentic faith (in nature and in yourself more than in a supreme being)—feel especially resonant. Maybe we all need to spend some time herding goats, at least metaphorical ones.” – Martin Denton,

Download Alan’s résumé