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.
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)
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,
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
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
short SCRIPTS – READINGS AND PERFORMANCES
February 2016 Antaeus Theater Company, Classics Redux, Director: Tony Amendola
EDWARD SNOWDEN DIED FOR OUR SINS
September 2013 — “3 in 30” MadLab Theater, Columbus, OH, Dir. Jim Azelvandre
SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW
April 2014 — Actor’s Training Center, Bi-Annual 10-Minute Play Festival
(Publication: Applause Books’ Best Plays for Teens)
P.S. – I LOVE YOU
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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