Playwright Heidi Kraay writes across disciplines, finding the space between words. She makes art in order to live better.
Kraay’s work examines the connection between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Undergoing a psychotic break in high school and facing deep disorder, her creative and academic progress was halted for treatment. Inside a decade of recovery and relapse, Kraay was given an ultimatum: school or lifetime disability.
Studying at Boise State University’s Theatre Arts Department saved her, so Kraay devoted her life to theater. Learning the stage from back to front, she focused on dramatic writing and design. Working backstage gave her insight into theatrical space, leading her to experiment with interdisciplinary collaborations and aesthetic vocabulary in her plays Robots in the Ring and Mere Ending.
Then Kraay hit bottom, leaving town with a sociopath, living homeless with him in cult-like existence. This time, writing saved her, teaching her to trust her mind, wake up and rebuild her life. Practicing writing and physical theater training through SITI Company workshops in Viewpoints and Suzuki Method gave Kraay tools to live better by making art.
Her plays, including DreamSong, Ark, Wolf/Girl, Unwind: Hindsight is 2020, see in the dark, How to Hide Your Monster, New Eden, Kilgore, Rajpurr: Tale of a Tiger, Slap! A Beaver Tale, Polar Opposites: An Impossible Tale, CloudMelt, Hoarse and lift have been presented in Boise, regionally, in NYC and internationally, most recently through Climate Change Theatre Action, Surel’s Place, Barnard College, West of Lenin, Oregon Contemporary Theatre and Women’s Theatre Festival.
Kraay was a founding associate artist for Migration Theory from 2015 - 2021, for which she co-devised SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething and small matters. Other co-devised work includes HGT’S DIRT.
Finalist placements include the Mazim Mazumdar New Play Competition, Purple Crayon Players PLAYground Festival of Fresh Works and Creede Repertory Theatre’s Headwaters Festival. Semi-finalist awards include Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Unicorn Theatre, Eugene O’Neill Center and PlayPenn. Her work has been awarded grants from the Covid Cultural Commissioning Fund, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Alexa Rose Foundation, Boise City Department of Arts & History and Boise Weekly.
Selected drama, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction has been published through Smith & Kraus, Magical Women Magazine, Z Publishing, Willow Creek Journal, Timshel Magazine, Before/After Godwink Journal, Dramatist Guild Magazine and The Cabin's Writers in the Attic anthologies.
2014 Boise State NPR named Kraay one of Boise’s 5 top emerging artists. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Boise State University, with emphases in Dramatic Writing and Design, and an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts from California Institute of Integral Studies. Heidi teaches through the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing at Boise State University and The Cabin. She is available for one-on-one mentorships and to lead workshops.
Through her plays and writing, Kraay transforms monstrous memories into mythic theater in order to speak to the silenced, so we can all move forward and live new stories. Kraay is a proud member Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
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