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Best Downtown Theater Director New York 2009 - Ken Rus Schmoll

The theatrical hotbed that New York happily is, we're blessed with any number of highly talented stage directors. But the one most catching our eye these days—whose name attached to a show most warms us with optimism—is the quietly intrepid Ken Rus Schmoll. This past season, the Village Voice Obie Committee agreed, awarding Schmoll his first Obie—and likely not his last—for his production of Ariana Reines's Telephone, directed for the Foundry Theatre at the Cherry Lane. Schmoll brought a steady hand and hypnotic vision to this tricky triptych, which ended up being one of the most curious shows of the season. Indeed, oddness and calmness combine noticeably in his work—such as in his staging of Rob Handel's eerie-suburban Millicent Scowlworthy at the Summer Play Festival a few years ago, or, more recently, in his production of Kristin Newbom's amusing-sad Telethon at Clubbed Thumb's Summerworks. As much as we love him downtown, here's hoping he also finds some uptown success, perhaps with Ann Marie Healy's What Once We Felt, starting October 26 for Lincoln Center's LCT3 series.

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