The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 9: Stefanie Zadravec

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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 Brooklyn resident, and New Dramatist, Stefanie Zadravec. They discuss making the transition from acting to playwriting, what it’s like to be the parent of twins, what it’s like to parent a child with autism, and how a “children in peril” theme seems to run through her work.

Stefanie and her son, Martin
Stefanie and her son, Martin

STEFANIE ZADRAVEC is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and recipient of a 2015 Helen Merrill Award. Her plays have been produced and/or developed at The Kennedy Center, New Dramatists, Play Penn, The Lark, The Playwrights Realm, Theater J, Two River Theater Company, The Working Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Playhouse, The Barrow Group, EpicTheatre Ensemble, Quantum Theater, Theater 167, and among others. Honors include: Francesca Primus Prize (The Electric Baby), The Helen Hayes Award (Honey Brown Eyes) an Edgerton Foundation grant, NYFA Fellowship, a NYSCA Artists Grant, Lark Playwrights Fellowship, Playwrights Realm Fellowship, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Sewanee Writers Conference Fellowship, A Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, Women in Arts & Media Award, and a Ford Foundation Human Rights Commission. Stefanie is an alumnus of The Women’s Project Lab, The Lark Playwright’s Workshop, and a current writer-in-residence at The Women’s Project. Her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and featured in Best Women’s Stage Monologues (Smith & Kraus). Stefanie teaches playwriting at PlayPenn and Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts.

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.