The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 12: Larissa FastHorse

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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. 

This month, Brian speaks to Larissa FastHorse, a playwright, choreographer, and performer. They discuss her Cornerstone Theater Company production Urban Rez, collaborating with indigenous communities, and her creative journey which began with ballet dancing for physical therapy, but led to a decade-long professional dance career. 


Larissa FastHorse. Photo by Conor Horgan.
Larissa FastHorse. Photo by Conor Horgan.

LARISSA FASTHORSE is an award winning playwright, director, and choreographer. She was awarded the NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. Larissa’s produced plays include Urban Rez, Landless, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, and Cherokee Family Reunion. She has written commissions for Cornerstone Theatre Company, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, AlterTheater, Kennedy Center TYA, Native Voices at the Autry, Artist’s Rep and Mountainside Theatre. She developed plays with Kansas City Rep, Artist’s Rep in Portland, Arizona Theater Company, the Center Theatre Group Writer’s Workshop and Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor.

This episode is sponsored by The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ production of The City of Conversation.

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.