The Subtext - Brian James Polak

The Subtext. Episode 16: Tira Palmquist

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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 Tira Palmquist about transitioning from acting to poetry to playwriting, relying on a spouse for notes, crushing on scientists, and… mermaids.

TIRA PALMQUIST’s plays include Overburden, Two Degrees (Denver Center), Ten Mile Lake (Serenbe Playhouse), Age of Bees (MadLab Theater, Tesseract), And Then They Fell (Brimmer Street), and others. Ten Mile Lake was a finalist for the 2015 Primus Prize. Two Degrees (developed in part in the Denver Center New Play Summit, New American Voices – UK, the Caltech 2014 Mach 33 Festival and the 2014 Great Plains Theater Conference) will have its World Premiere in the Denver Center’s 2016/17 Season and was also listed in the Honorable Mention list for the 2016 Kilroys. And Then They Fell will premiere with Brimmer Street (Los Angeles, 2016) and was workshopped by Brimmer Street (2015) and the UMass New Play Lab (2014). Ten Mile Lake, which premiered in 2014 at Serenbe Playhouse, was developed and workshopped in 2012 at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Age of Bees is now available through Original Works Publishing. Her work has been also been developed by Seven Devils, Inkwell, 9Thirty Theater, The Road Theater, EST-LA and the Theatricum Botanicum Seedlings program. Tira teaches creative writing at the Orange County School of the Arts. More info at

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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.