Founder & Editor
Born in Oklahoma in 1975 and raised in upstate New York and central Florida, took up playwriting as a Marine in Southern California and spent the next decade supporting his habit with jobs as a carpenter, programmer, fisherman, teacher, before settling on a career in Polish and German translation. Along the way, wrote and directed plays in Krakow, Berlin and London, earned a Masters in philosophy from the Jagiellonian University and studied directing at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. In 2014, moved to Los Angeles, where he crewed on half a dozen films at AFI, produced several plays and shot his first feature, Manifesto (now on Amazon Prime). Based in Astoria, Queens, from 2018-20, served as editor of Reviews from Underground and continued to write and direct. New York productions include Squatters, Washed in the Blood, The Jail at Philippi, and The Journey which ran February 6-23, 2020 at The Tank. Currently lives and works at The Bicycle House, Yellow Bicycle’s new artistic home in Philadelphia.
Co-founders & Contributors
Born in newly reunified Berlin in ’89, spent most of his childhood drawing on the walls of Kunsthaus Tacheles while his mother tended bar, wrote Marxist poetry, and had love affairs with bouncers and sculptors who formed his early ideas about bouncing and art. Enrolled at the Akademie der Künste at her urging, but walked out of the first lecture and never went back. Between shifts as a bouncer at legendary Bar 25, made a name for himself carving chunks of the Berlin Wall into giant animal crackers and hosting Shreiereien, a series of performance pieces eventually shut down by noise complaints from the neighbors. Co-founder, with Kirill, of Warum Denn?, a sporadic samizdat newspaper that cataloged Berlin’s burgeoning arts scene. Recently moved to New York on a grant from the Kunstfonds Foundation and began writing reviews to pad his visa application.
Kirill Antonin Zakharov
The only child of two professors who narrowly escaped Siberian exile by fleeing west in the 1980s, Kirill was brought up in the insular world of Berlin’s Russian intelligentsia. He studied theology, classical philology and Slavic literature at the Humboldt University of Berlin and went on to earn a PhD in theology with his dissertation entitled “Spaces of Belief in Byzantine Theatre” on scholarship from the Excellence Cluster Topoi. At one of Max’s Schreiereien, Kirill proposed the idea for Warum Denn? and the two have been arguing ever since. He is now pursing a post-doc at The New School for Social Research and cultivating an abiding interest in experimental theatre as a meeting place of sacrum and profanum, as a kind of secular church.
I’ve lived and breathed theater ever since I was a kid in St. Louis staging plays with my reluctant siblings. A Bachelor’s in theatre from the University of Missouri led to a Fulbright scholarship to study physical theater at the Grotowski Institute in Poland and from there to an internship at the English Theatre Berlin. As an anthropology minor, I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior in codified contexts, an interest I turned into a master’s thesis at the Humboldt University’s Berlin School of Mind and Brain, and one I seek to combine with my longstanding love of theater in my online dating and review column Playdate.
After a stint at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, I abandoned a promising career in acting to pursue my dream of working as an accountant at a London-based auditing firm. When that dream failed to materialise, I wrote a number of absurdist plays about finance that garnered a few obscure awards and offended several erstwhile colleagues. In response, I fled to the Continent and tried my hand as a real estate investor in Central Europe, where exposure to the Czech and Polish avant-garde reshaped my view of theatre and revealed my true calling: criticism. Now based in New York, I divide my time between balancing accounts receivable and reviewing plays pleasant and unpleasant.