The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 13: Ruth McKee

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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 Ruth McKee, author of Chalk Rep’s In Case of Emergency, about writing site-specific plays, finding the right collaborators, and knowing when to let something go. 

Ruth McKeeRUTH McKEE is a playwright and a founding member of Chalk Repertory Theatre. Her plays for Chalk Rep include Stray, Full Disclosure, Hell Money, In Case of Emergency, as well as short pieces in Gallery Secrets, and multiple FLASH Festivals. Her plays have also been produced and developed by Abingdon Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alliance Theatre, Black Dahlia Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Cherry Lane Theatre (Mentor Project), Ensemble Studio Theatre, HB Playwrights Foundation, The Road Theatre, Six Figures Theatre Company, SPFNYC and Working Class Theatre, among others. She has taught playwriting at UC San Diego, Indiana University, Cypress College, Idyllwild Arts Academy, the California State Summer School of The Arts and led countless workshops for young writers through Young Arts, Unusual Suspects, Young Playwrights and Playwrights Project. BFA: NYU Tisch School of the Arts, MFA: UCSD.

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.