Handler premiered at the Actors Express Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Heaven On Earth won the Julie Harris/Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Award, participated in the Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference, and premiered off-Broadway at the WPA Theatre. Final Passages premiered at the Studio Arena theatre. And Tachinoki premiered at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Los Angeles and was designated a Critic's Choice by the LA Weekly. His other play for young audiences, The Dream Thief, had its premier at Milwaukee's First Stage. Schenkkan has written numerous one-act plays which are collected together and published by Dramatists Play Service as Conversations With the Spanish Lady. Among them is The Survivalist which premiered at Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana festival, went on to the EST Marathon in NYC, Canada's DuMaurier Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival where it won the "Best of the Fringe" award.
The Kentucky Cycle was the result of several years of development, starting in New York City at New Dramatists and the Ensemble Studio Theatre. The two part epic was later workshopped at the Mark Taper Forum, EST-LA, the Long Wharf Theatre, and the Sundance Institute. The complete "cycle" was awarded the largest grant ever given by the Fund for New American Plays and had its world premier in 1991 at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle (Liz Huddle, producer) where it set box office records. In 1992, it was the centerpiece of the Mark Taper forum's 25th Anniversary Season. There it was awarded the Pulitzer prize for Drama, the first time in the history of the award that a play was so honored which had not first been presented in NYC. It also won both the PEN Centre West and the LA Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Play. In 1993 it appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and opened on Broadway in November of that year where it was nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards.
Schenkkan's film work includes: The Quiet American, directed by Phillip Noyce and starring Michael Caine (Oscar nomination). For television he wrote the miniseries, The Andromeda Strain (A&E, 2009), four episodes of The Pacific (HBO, 2010), Spartacus (USA Network, 2006) and Crazy Horse (TNT).
Schenkkan is the recipient of grants from New York State, the California Arts Council, and the Vogelstein and the Arthur foundations. He is a New Dramatists alumnus and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and the National Theatre Conference.