In this month’s episode of American Theatre’s The Subtext podcast, playwright Brian James Polak interviews Basil Kreimendahl, author of Orange Julius, Sidewinders, and We’re Gonna Be Okay.
A recipient of an Arts Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women for theatre work with the trans community in Louisville, Basil has taught playwriting to elementary, high school, and college students, and founded a playwrights group for queer youth in Louisville called Out On The Edge.
During this conversation, Basil traces their journey from high school dropout in Florida to the MFA program at Iowa Writers Workshop, with a little help from Naomi Wallace in between. They also discuss the experience of learning from the first production of We’re Gonna Be Okay at the Humana Festival, and discovering how a moment without words can allow their characters to obliterate a binary world.
In short, nothing could stop Basil from their desire to be a playwright, not even being called “Tennessee Williams light” in their very first review. Following their own instincts, planted by an early life as a painter, they developed an expressionistic view of the world and what it means to “write visually.”
Download the episode here.