Playwright Heidi Kraay (she/they) 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. Facing deep mental disorder early in life, their 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, they focused on dramatic writing and design. Working backstage gave insight into theatrical space, leading to experiments with interdisciplinary collaborations and aesthetic vocabulary.
Then Kraay hit bottom, leaving town with a sociopath, living homeless in cult-like existence. This time, writing saved her, teaching her to trust her mind and wake up. Practicing writing and physical theater training through SITI Company workshops in Viewpoints and Suzuki Method helped rebuild her life.
Plays, including Tree People, DreamSong, Ark, Wolf/Girl, Unwind: Hindsight is 2020, see in the dark, How to Hide Your Monster, New Eden, Kilgore, CloudMelt and lift have been presented in Boise, regionally, in NYC and internationally. Recent showings include Last Frontier Theatre Conference, Climate Change Theatre Action and Barnard College.
Kraay was a founding associate artist for Migration Theory from 2015-2021, for which they co-devised SuperSecretSiteSpecificSomething and small matters. Other co-devised work include HomeGrown Theatre’s DIRT.
Finalist placements include the Purple Crayon Players PLAYground Festival and Creede Repertory Theatre’s Headwaters Festival. Semi-finalist awards include Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Eugene O’Neill Center and PlayPenn. Kraay is a three-time Seven Devils Playwrights Conference alum and has been awarded grants from The Cabin, 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, Dramatist Guild Magazine and The Cabin's Writers in the Attic anthologies. A chapbook album Drown to Resurface is available on Bandcamp. Their memoir-adjacent book in the ancient century form 12 Lifetimes: A Century Cycle is forthcoming through Modern Mythographer.
In 2023 Kraay became one of two inaugural Boise City Writers-in-Residence for the 2023-2024 award year. In 2014 Boise State NPR named Kraay one of Boise’s 5 top emerging artists. They hold 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, so we can all learn to trust our hidden selves, move forward and live new stories. Kraay is a proud member of Dramatists Guild of America and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Dramatic Writing through the Dramatists Guild Institute.
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