The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 5: Bekah Brunstetter & Ron Klier

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A podcast where playwrights talk to playwrights about the things usually left unsaid. In a conversation that dives into life’s muck, we learn what irks, agitates, motivates, inspires and — ultimately — what makes writers tick. 

In this episode, Brian talks to 2015 Ovation Award playwriting nominees Bekah Brunstetter and Ron Klier. Brian and Bekah discuss the need to avoid constant comfort (and detachment from conflict and struggle) as writers, while Brian and Ron talk about examining the grey areas — both in life and onstage.

Bekah BrunstetterBEKAH BRUNSTETTER hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Plays include Going to a Place where you already are (Upcoming, South Coast Rep), Cutie and Bear (Upcoming, the Roundabout) A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels Commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (The Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theater / London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival.)

She is an alumni of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages writes group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright’s Realm, and the Women’s Project Lab.

She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just want my Pants Back) and ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. She is currently writing for Starz’ American Gods.

BA UNC Chapel Hill; MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.

For more information on upcoming productions, Homemade Monologues, and Bekah’s opinions on various dresses and breads, please visit

ron klierRON KLIER recently wrote and directed Gus’s Fashions & Shoes for the Vs. Theatre Company (nominated for two Ovation Awards, including Playwriting for an Original Play). Prior to that he wrote and directed Cops and Friends of Cops, also for the Vs. Theatre Company (nominated for three LA Weekly Awards, including Best Playwriting). The Route 66 Theatre Company in Chicago has announced Cops as part of their upcoming season. Additional directing credits for Vs. Theatre include: The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute (voted Reader’s Choice Production of the Year in Backstage), Blackbird by Adam Rapp (nominated for three Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and three LA Weekly Awards, and named one of LA Weekly’s Ten Best Productions of 2009), the West Coast Premiere of Brett Neveu’s Eagle Hills, Eagle Ridge, Eagle Landing, John Kolvenbach’s On An Average Day (a joint production between the Vs. Theatre and Route 66 Theatre Companies, in Los Angeles and Chicago), and Waste of Shame (writer-director). Favorite directing credits elsewhere: The Traveling Companion by Tennessee Williams for the New American Theatre, the West Coast Premiere of Bekah Brunstetter’s Happy Birthday/I’m Dead at the Elephant Theatre, Foolish Heart by Steve Yockey, as part of The Car Plays at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Shampooed by Fielding Edlow, as part of The Car Plays/Radar L.A. Festival. Ron’s short plays have received productions in Chicago, San Diego, Kansas City, Norfolk, Virginia, and various small theaters in and around the Los Angeles area, including, currently, as part of the Without Walls Festival at the La Jolla Playhouse.


Reach The Subtext at, or on Twitter @SubtextPodcast.

Brian James Polak

Brian James Polak

Brian is originally from New Hampshire and he has a tattoo to prove it. Some of his plays have been published in Smith & Kraus anthologies, and his embarrassing childhood poetry has been published in Mortified: Love is a Battlefield. He is a member of The Playwrights Union and received his MFA from the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Go to to learn more about his work. Follow him on Twitter @bejaypea.