Playwright and writer across disciplines Heidi Kraay examines the connection between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Her work pulls myth, metaphor and monsters together to attempt connections across difference.
Their plays, including Unwind: Hindsight is 2020, see in the dark, How to Hide Your Monster, New Eden, Me and My Shadow, Kilgore, as well as co-devised plays, plays for young audiences, one-acts and short plays, have been presented in Boise, regionally, in NYC and internationally, recently through Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Boise Contemporary Theater, Storyfort, Climate Change Theatre Action, Barnard College, Spark Creative Works and West of Lenin.
Co-devised work includes small matters and SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething (S5) for Migration Theory (S5 also for BCT), and Home Grown Theatre’s DIRT.
Selected drama, poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction has been recently published through Smith & Kraus, Magical Women Magazine, Z Publishing, Willow Creek Journal, Timshel Magazine and The Cabin's Writers in the Attic anthologies.
Heidi has been awarded grants from the COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund, The Cabin, Idaho Commission on the Arts, Alexa Rose Foundation, Boise City Department of Arts & History and Boise Weekly. She is a member Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
Heidi holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Boise State University, emphases in Dramatic Writing and Design, and an MFA in Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts from California Institute of Integral Studies. They teach through Boise State University and The Cabin. She is available to facilitate workshops, midwife projects and mentor artists of all ages and disciplines.
From SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething. Photo by Andy Lawless, 2015.
What I Do
As a playwright and writer across disciplines, I study the distance between us, seeking connection across differences.
Writing teaches me to trust my brain and get present in my body, two things I once thought impossible. I mine monsters that plagued me through child-and-early-adulthood (and still chase me down), amplifying them to mythic metaphors in locations loaded with personal history, so I can grapple with my mind as a human who lives in an absurd world, just like you. By revealing my most vulnerable secrets, I hope we can see each other more clearly.
In my work, tactile language, playful contradictions, kinetic imagery and haunted landscapes bridge spaces between words, between universes, between you and me. I uncover how my disorders, scars, terrors, regrets, curiosities, heartbeats, delights and wonders link with yours, the earth’s and the cosmos’. I cook our rawest parts together in hot lava stew.
By physicalizing my most difficult moments and mashing them with yours, along with surprising bursts of dazzling beauty and mystical forces, I hope laughter and meet-cute swoons can bubble alongside the brutality of reality. I want us to take more time to pay attention with intention, to see that the shadows inside us we can’t bear to acknowledge also overwhelm the stranger next to us, those too far away to comprehend, nonhuman persons and unrecognizable entities – and that we share intoxicating joys, dreams, desires, too.
Without shame, we can unveil, heal and embrace our weightiest, wildest places for love of interdependence between everything.