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 brianjamespolak.com to learn more about his work. Follow him on Twitter @bejaypea.

The Subtext. Episode 17: Mary Laws

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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 speaks with Mary Laws talk about her life growing up in Texas, misconceptions of Christianity, and the holy trinity of Sarah Ruhl, Sarah Kane, and Caryl Churchill.


wolf-maryMARY LAWS is a native of Texas. Her plays include Bird Fire FlyBlueberry Toast (Yale School of Drama), Wonderful (Tympanic Theatre Company), The Drive (Tympanic Theatre Company), What A Very Pretty Pageant!Stand (an autumn play) (The American Laboratory), The Trapeze Artist (Baylor University), and This. (Yale Cabaret). Her work has been read/developed by Baylor University, Theater Masters National MFA Playwrights Festival, the American Laboratory, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the Endstation Theatre Playwrights Initiative, The Cherry Lane, Le Pavé d’Orsay in Paris, and The Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival. For three years she served as literary associate at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York. In addition, she has mentored for the Yale/Co-Op Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Program, the Dwight/Edgewood Project in New Haven, and taught Playwriting at Wesleyan University. She also served as a Deacon at the University Church in Yale. She is currently a member of the Playwrights Lab at The Echo Theater. Mary co-wrote The Neon Demon with Nicolas Winding Refn which recently premiered in LA.  She currently writes for the AMC Drama Preacher. BFA, Baylor University. MFA, Yale School of Drama.


Reach The Subtext at thesubtextpodcast@gmail.com, or on Twitter @SubtextPodcast.

Shakesqueer – A Queer, Feminist Reading

“We know from his plays that he struggled intimately with the social conditions that produce identity in the first place. A queer reading of Shakespeare dwells not on the orientation of the man but rather of the works. And Shakespeare’s works are queer AF.”

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