I don't remember waking up one day and saying, "I think I'm a playwright."

It's more like all of my experiences collectively transpired to make me a playwright. I was a singer, an actress, a props master, a teacher, a set painter, a poet, a stage manager, a director, a daughter, a baker, a mother, a technical writer... 

... And after writing a few plays, I realized that my checkered past wasn't an accident. Being a playwright required all of those things. 

Tira Palmquist is the Lady Ragnar Lothbrok of contemporary American playwrights. Watch your head.
— Michael Weholt, badass writer himself


I was a pastor's kid inthe borderlands between Minnesota and Iowa... I fully intended to be an actor from the time I was old enough to memorize the entire cast album of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. But then I also really loved to write, and wrote relentlessly during high school and college. At that point, I was encourage to go to grad school as a poet, and I thought.... Well, what the hell!

Then there's the long strange life part in which I wrote, published poems, had a baby, kept writing, occasionally acted, fell into a multidisciplinary theater company, directed shows, and then... found myself writing plays.

I constantly reinvent myself. I am currently reinventing what it means to be 50. 


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, New York Film Academy), and others.

Two Degrees has been featured in numerous festivals (including the 11th Annual Denver Center New Play Summit, the New American Voices festival in the UK, the Caltech 2014 Mach 33 Festival and the 2014 Great Plains Theater Conference) and had its World Premiere in the Denver Center’s 2016/17 Season. Two Degrees was also listed in the Honorable Mention list for the 2016 Kilroys.

And Then They Fell was workshopped by Brimmer Street (Los Angeles, 2015) and the UMass New Play Lab(2014), and premiered at Brimmer Street in Los Angeles in September 2016, with upcoming productions in both Minneapolis and Columbus, OH. Ten Mile Lake, which premiered in 2014 at Serenbe Playhouse just outside of Atlanta, GA, was developed and workshopped in 2012 at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and was a finalist for the 2015 Primus Prize.

Age of Bees premiered at MadLab Theater in 2012 (and was named Best Original Work by the Other Papers "Best of 2012” list), and was subsequently produced in 2015 at the Tesseract Theater in St. Louis. Age of Bees is now available through Original Works Publishing.

Her work has 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. She is a member of the Playwrights Union, the Anteaus Theater’s Playrights Lab and is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her work as a director and dramaturg includes several seasons at the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and the New Territories Playwriting Residency, a program she developed with Brian Clowdus at Serenbe Playhouse in Georgia. 


September 2016   Moving Arts, MADLab Series, Director: Beth Lopes

(Semi-Finalist, 2016 O'Neil)

Two Degrees

February 2017   Denver Center, World Premiere, Director: Christy Montour-Larson

February 2016 Denver Center New Play Summit, Director: Christy Montour-Larson

November 2015  Greenhouse Reading Series, Workhouse Theater, Minneapolis

October 2015 — New American Voices Series, American Actors UK, Tristan Bates Theater, Director: Rachel Fowler

April 2015  Caltech, Mach 33 Festival, Director: Joshua Wolf Coleman

March 2015 Athena Project Festival, Plays-in-Process, Director: Christy Montour-Larson

September 2014  Artemisia Theater, Fall Play Festival, Director: Carrie Lee Patterson

May 2014   The Road Theatre Company, Road Signs reading series. Director: Joshua Wolf Coleman

May 2014   Great Plains Theater Conference, Play Lab Reading. Director: Sonia Keffer.

(Finalist: Coe College 2015 Play Festival)

And Then They Fell

April 2015  Brimmer Street Theater, Breaking Ground Series, Director: Amy Harmon

March/April 2014 — UMass New Play Lab, Amherst, Mass. Director: Jared Culverhouse

December 2013 — Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Forum Reading Series. Director: James Glassman

April 2013 — The Road Theatre Company, Road Signs reading series. Director: Beth Lopes

December 2012 — Circle Readings, Los Angeles, CA

September 2012 — Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum “Seedlings” Development Series, “Green Read”

(Finalist: Inkwell Development 2014, Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age project 2012. 2nd Runner Up: Coe College 2013 Play Festival. Finalist: Seven Devils Playwrights Conferences. Semi-Finalist: Bay Area Playwrights Festival)

Ten Mile Lake

June 2014 — Production (World Premiere), Serenbe Playhouse, Serenbe, GA. Director: Alexander Greenfield

April 2012 — id Theater’s Sit In! Reading Series. Director: Glynis Rigsby

February 2013 — EST-LA Winterfest. Director: Joshua Wolf Coleman

October 2012 — Staged Reading, Hollins University Discovery Series

June 2012 — Staged Reading, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference. Director: Amy Saltz

September 2011 — Reading, exAngelus Playwrights: A Month of Sundays. Director: Joshua Wolf Coleman

September 2011 — Words that Speak Workshop Reading. Director: Lee Wochner

Fortune and Pain (at the Edge of the World)

September 2012 — Reading, Inkwell Theater, Kennedy Center, Page to Stage Festival. Director: Jess Jung

January 2011  Company of Angels, Playwrights Intensive

January 2011 — Reading, Mad Scene Theatre, Los Angeles, CA.

(Semi-Finalist for Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Summer 2011)

The Frequency of Stars and Other Matter

July 2013 — Road Theater, Summer Reading Series. Director: Suzanne Hunt

February 2011 — Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble, Café con Drama Reading

May 2010 — Great Plains Theater Conference, Play Lab Reading

May 2009 — Reading, NOTEWorthy Reading Series, Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, Director: Beth Gardiner

(Semi-Finalist for Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Summer 2010; Semi-Finalist for Play Penn play conference)

Age of Bees

April 2015  Missouri/Midwest Premiere, Tesseract Theater, St. Louis, MO.

November 2012 — Production (World Premiere), MadLab Theater, Columbus, OH. Director: Jim Azelvandre

November 2011 — ALAP Reading Series, Tree People, Los Angeles, CA.

June 2011 SEEDS Series, Reading, 9Thirty Theatre Company, Astoria, NY. Director: Joanna Bowzer

June 2009 — Workshop production, Company of Angels, Los Angeles, Director: Tina Sanchez

December 2008 — Staged Reading, “Visions of Dystopia” Festival of Plays, Company of Angels, Los Angeles,

Lost Nation

April 2009 — Staged Reading, Interactivity ’09, Interact Theatre Co. Los Angeles, Director: Katherine James

June 2008 Staged Reading, City Attic Theatre, CAT Tales Festival of New Plays, Director: Michael Flanagan

June 2007 — Staged Reading, Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum “Seedlings” Series, Director: Katherine James

January 2007 — Staged Reading, Moving Arts, Los Angeles, CA. Director: Katherine Murphy

Coyote Rising
June 2011 — Reading, Lyric Hyperion/Actor’s Shelter, Los Angeles, Director: Benjamin Pohlmeier
April 2009 — Reading, World Premiere Weekend, UCI, Director: Beth Gardiner
November2008 — Staged Reading, Gallimaufry New Works Festival, Laguna Beach, Director: Katherine James
Fall 2007 Radio adaptation, Coyote REP, (www.coyoterep.org), Director/Producer: Jeanne La Sala


February 2016     Antaeus Theater Company, Classics Redux, Director: Tony Amendola

September 2013 —  “3 in 30” MadLab Theater, Columbus, OH, Dir. Jim Azelvandre

April 2014 — Actor’s Training Center, Bi-Annual 10-Minute Play Festival
(Publication: Applause Books’ Best Plays for Teens)

September 2011  — “A Play in the Life” Beatles-Themed Plays, Possibility Playhouse, Chicago, IL

Dec. 2011  —  “Beyond Convention V”, Hunger Artists Theatre, Fullerton, CA

November2010 — Staged reading, “Backyard Fruit,” Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga Canyon, CA

Breathing Water Instead of Air (one act)
July 2012  — Warner International Play Festival, Torrington, CT.
2010 — 2nd Place Award, Third Annual One-Act Festival, Stage Door Productions
2007  —  Main Stage, DeLand Theatre Festival, DeLand, FL
1996 —  Best Play, Southport International Playwriting Festival
1995 —  such sweet sorrow: an evening of multidisciplinary works, Total Theatre, Inc.,  Columbus, OH

Table for Three
April 2010 —  “L.A. Views III,” Company of Angels, Los Angeles, CA

Last Rites (10 minute play)
Sept. 2011   — Sydney Fringe Festival, dir. Wayne Underwood
Feb. 2011  — Short+Sweet: Sydney, dir. Wayne Underwood
Oct. 2009 — Tables and Chairs, n.u.f.a.n. ensemble, Chicago, IL, dir. Paul Cosca

Flood Stage (10 minute play)
Nov. 2008 —  Tables and Chairs, n.u.f.a.n. ensemble, Chicago, IL, dr. Zach Zulauf

Off to Summer (10 minute play)
April 2011 — Six Women Playwriting Festival, Colorado Springs, CO.
July 2008  — 10 by 10 in the Triangle, Arts Center, Carrboro, N.C.

4th and Main (10 minute play)
April 2008  —  “L.A. Views,” Company of Angels, Los Angeles, CA

Independence Day  and ‘Til Somebody Loves Me (10 minute plays)
Nov. 2007  —  “Dead Letter Office,” Hunger Artists Theatre, Fullerton, CA

Adaptations – Readings and Performances

Hard Crossing: The Story of Gilgamesh (multidisciplinary adaptation)
1997 — Total Theatre, Inc. Columbus, OH

The Island of Dr. Moreau (adaptation)
2013  — Archbishop Hoban High School, Akron, OH, dir. Russell Kwitkowski
2011 — Central Crossing High School, Columbus, OH, dir. Nathan Weaver
2009 — Dublin Coffman High School, dir. Mark Mann
1998 —  Total Theatre, Inc., Columbus OH, dir. Tira Palmquist

The Snow Maiden (adaptation)
2003  — Columbus Children’s Theatre, Touring Company – commissioned piece

Awards/Recognitions (partial list)

2002 —  Theatre Roundtable’s “The Shows that Made a Difference”
                  Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Director (produced by Columbus Children’s Theatre)
2001 — Central Ohio Theatre Critics Citation
1999 —  Best Director, Deirdre, Columbus Alive Theatre Critic Doug Hoehn
1998 —  Best New Play, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Columbus Dispatch Sunny Awards
1996 — Best Play, Breathing Water Instead of Air, Southport International Playwriting Festival
1996 —  Nomination, Best New Work, Hard Crossing: The Story of Gilgamesh, Critic’s Choice Theatre

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