The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 7: Marja-Lewis Ryan

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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 Marja-Lewis Ryan, author of 2014 Ovation nominated One in the Chamber. Marja tries to ignore Brian’s recent hand surgery as she talks about being a control freak, having a famous Russian filmmaker as an angel, and that one time David Mamet ran the box office for her.

Marja Lewis RyanMARJA-LEWIS RYAN holds a BFA in theater from NYU. In the last fifteen months, she wrote and directed her play ONE IN THE CHAMBER, won the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Writing, was hand picked by David Mamet to direct the LA premiere of his play THE ANARCHIST starring Felicity Huffman and Rebecca Pidgeon, wrote and directed a feature produced by Timur Bekmambetov (coming 2016), sold a show to HBO, and her new play A GOOD FAMILY (also presented by Bekmambetov) is currently running in Los Angeles. She wrote, produced and starred in her first feature THE FOUR FACED LIAR back in 2010 and that movie starts with her reading classic literature on the toilet. She also likes cats.

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.