David Kranes writes about magicians, gamblers, hit men, painters, casino workers. His characters are frequently displaced seekers with volatile emotions—but always human. He writes about the West. And his characters struggle and love in its surreal landscapes of Las Vegas casinos, Utah deserts, and Montana towns. He exposes the magic in the mundane, the surreal in the simple, and the bizarre in the banal. His work superbly balances the fantastical with the raw.
As artistic director of Robert Redford’s Sundance Playwrights Lab for 14 years, David Kranes served as dramaturg and mentor for many now celebrated works in American theatre, including Pulitzer Prize winners Angels In America (Tony Kushner) and The Kentucky Cycle (Robert Schenkkan). He also worked with other renown playwrights including Donald Marguiles, Milcha Sanchez Scott, and Philip Gotanda, and actors Kathy Bates, John Malkovich, J.T. Walsh, and theatre artist Julie Taymor.
David has been writing stories and essays about casinos for 20+ years. And he has become arguably the country’s leading expert on new directions in casino design. He writes and presents visionary ideas—consulting with eminent hotel casinos including Circus Circus, Fitzgerald’s, Rainforest Café, Merv Griffin’s Resorts, and Grand Casinos. He currently works for Raving Consulting as an associate in space and design. He also is a columnist for Casino Executive Magazine and contributing editor for Indian Gaming Magazine.
With many stories anthologized, David Kranes is a Pushcart Prize nominee for “Blue Motel”; Pushcart winner for “Cordials” (1996)—this story appearing also in Best of Pushcart Anthology (2004); recipient of the Utah Governor’s Award in the Arts, CBS Playwrights Award, National Repertory Play Contest, and Wrangler Award for “Best Short Story Collection” for Low Tide In The Desert. His plays have been produced nationwide including major US theatres Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the Mark Taper Forum. David taught at the Univ. of Utah as an award-winning teacher and has taught writing workshops throughout the US and Europe. He co-founded the Sawtooth Writers Conference and is a DFA graduate of Yale School of Drama.