Tira Palmquist is the kind of fresh new voice that theatre needs. Her work utilizes the uniqueness of the human condition and experience, combined with conventions on which only live theatre can capitalize, to ask challenging questions of the audience - the consideration of which can only improve upon our own human condition. While it is a goal most writers aim for, they only achieve it in varying levels of success. Tira manages to make a habit of it.
— Sean Spann, actor and producer


I know what it's like, to live with difficult men.


After Grandpa Gunnar's funeral, Carl is convinced that there's an inheritance hidden in the boxes and detritus in Gunnar's house. To Gunnar's daughter, Nan, there's nothing of value in the house -- nothing of value in Gunnar's legacy, nothing to inherit but grief and sorrow. As they sort through the house, Carl learns how true that is.

Two Degrees

A new play about frozen people on a thawing planet


Emma Phelps is a paleoclimatologist, focusing on ice in Greenland. In drilling and studying ice core samples, she sees first hand the symptoms of our changing planet, which makes the need to act all the more crucial and urgent. In addition to her growing sense of urgency for the planet, Emma, as a recent widow, experiences grief that compounds itself with each passing month. Now she's been asked to come to Washington D.C. to testify in a Senate Committee regarding climate change legislation, and in this intersection of science and politics, of politics and the personal, she finds more than just a little is breaking up under the strain of change.

Jeffrey (Robert Montano) and Emma (Michelle Shupe) 2016, Denver Center New Play Summit, photograph by Mark Montour-Larson  

Jeffrey (Robert Montano) and Emma (Michelle Shupe)
2016, Denver Center New Play Summit, photograph by Mark Montour-Larson

Ten Mile Lake

We've got a lot of cleaning up to do.


Maggie should have known it was a fool’s errand to return to Ten Mile Lake; after all, if her father had wanted her to know he was dying, he would have called her himself. It would be easy to just turn around and head back to Portland, especially since he seems to get along better with his new nurse Donny than he ever did with her. But, now that she's home, Maggie can’t seem to leave, and maybe… just maybe she doesn’t really want to.

Howard (Mark Kincaid) and Donny (Bryan Brendel) Serenbe Playhouse, Photo Credit:  BreeAnne Clowdus

Howard (Mark Kincaid) and Donny (Bryan Brendel)
Serenbe Playhouse, Photo Credit:  BreeAnne Clowdus

And Then They Fell

UMass New Play Lab

UMass New Play Lab

They say it's not unusual... And maybe it's not. Not unusual for terrible things to happen, and never know why. For terrible things to happen and not really care


Jordan Matthews would be fine, if her mother could hold down a decent job, or if her mother hadn't been arrested on another DUI, or if her mother's boyfriend wasn't a skeevy bastard. But things aren't fine, and Jordan's life is falling apart. The adults in her life are either impotent or uninterested, and the only solace comes from out of the blue.

This floating world

-Formerly "Fortune and Pain (at the Edge of the World)"

You have a sickness inside you.


A woman of privilege and wealth takes a wrong turn, and finds herself taking a very long trip home. On the borders of suburbia and the wilderness, on the margins on the fortunate and the unfortunate, she finds herself tormented by the present and her own past, which has started to slip from her. 

Age of Bees

When the bees have disappeared, then humans aren’t far behind.


The bees have gone, and the world struggles to keep up with the resulting ecological and economic changes.   In the midst of this, we meet Mel, a young woman who has found sanctuary on an agricultural compound, where there's food and safety. She works alongside other girls, also orphans or castoffs. Sarah and Zed, who run the farm, hope that their next child will be a boy; Sarah is at the end of her fertility, however, and, to her dismay, Mel stands next in line to carry children for Zed.  Into this uncertain sanctuary steps Jonathan, an independent field researcher who collects samples of plants to forestall additional ecological devastation. Meeting Mel provides a glimmer of other kinds of scientific riches on this compound, and he is determined to take her with him. Zed's history of violence makes any escape a dangerous proposition.   Still, there's the hope that something new can grow, that something good can come from the ruined world they struggle to make theirs.

The Frequency of Stars and Other Matter


Benny Gutierrez is just trying to grow up. 


While in custody for statutory rape, Benny was seriously wounded by the Sheriff's deputies. Now - free on a plea agreement, with a monetary settlement, Benny moves to Hemet, where at least he can look at the stars. 

Still, he's got tons of baggage, such as his resentment toward his brother, who didn't bail him out of jail. Benny is looking for his place in the world - and in his need to know his fate, he unintentionally revives the ghost of Tycho Brahe , who seems just as perplexed by the universe as Benny.


Lost Nation

Be careful what you start digging up.


Even while America is growing and changing, there's a part of America that is dying, disappearing: rural America and its small towns are like a separate nation, under siege, in danger of being lost. In LOST NATION, we see the town of Enterprise, Minnesota, a town witnessing the beginning of the end, or so it seems. At this critical time, home-town hero Evan Drake returns from Iraq, and he himself is a ghost of his former self. Evan's arrival in town coincides with the construction of a new "big box" store, and the groundbreaking uncovers bones of previous generations.
In the course of the action, the characters in the play not only discover what's under the surface, or what's in the past, but some must question to whom and where they belong. As Evan comes to grips with what haunts him from the war, as he tries to recover from his own wounds, he finds himself being pulled into the battle for this town, for its people, for the land itself. Evan must decide what he's willing to fight for, must decide where he belongs, just when he thought he had no fight left in him.

Coyote Rising

Grace is costly - and there is a price for putting things right.


The play begins with an accident on a stretch of a county road in eastern Iowa: Two brothers, Pete and Jason Solomon, have hit a coyote, and land their car in a snowy ditch. 
Pete was delivering his brother to an intervention, and the accident puts a serious kink in their plans.
Waiting for a tow at a nearby farmhouse, they meet the Beauchamp family  -- Doris and her adult children Claire and Bobbi -- who have difficulties of their own. The immediate problem of being stranded quickly becomes more complicated because of Jason's addictions.
The weekend quickly descends into more desperate problems, and each family must address tougher questions  -- sobriety, recovery, forgiveness. As the two family's problems begin to intertwine, we see changing allegiances and straining loyalties. Ultimately, each family must address the mythologies they've created for each other, the roles they're forced to play. 

Got yer interest? Contact me (or, rather, my agent).