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 connection across difference.
Plays, including Ark, Unwind: Hindsight is 2020, see in the dark, How to Hide Your Monster, New Eden, additional full-lengths, co-devised plays, plays for young audiences, one-acts and shorts, have been presented in Boise, Idaho, regionally, in NYC and internationally, recently through Valdez Theatre Conference and Climate Change Theatre Action.
Co-devised work includes small matters and SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething (S5) for Migration Theory (S5 also for BCT), HomeGrown Theatre’s DIRT and leading BCT Theater Lab students to co-create plays between 2013 and 2017.
Selected publications are available through Applause, Smith & Kraus, The Cabin's Writers in the Attic anthologies and others. A chapbook album Drown to Resurface is available on Bandcamp.
One of two inaugural Boise Writers-in-Residence for 2023-2024, Heidi has received grants from Boise City Department of Arts & History, The Cabin, COVID Cultural Commissioning Fund, Idaho Commission on the Arts and Alexa Rose Foundation.
Heidi is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, currently pursuing a Certificate in Dramatic Writing through the Dramatists Guild Institute. She 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 BSU and The Cabin. She is available to facilitate workshops, midwife projects and mentor artists of all 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.