TP: In short… anything chocolate. That said, the most memorable cup of ice cream ever was Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (back when it was just Jeni’s, and she had a small stand in the North Market in Columbus Ohio.)
Eating that ice cream was this crazy good sensory experience: you eat a spoonful, and get these immediate hits of cinnamon in the chocolate – and then the chili hits you, and your whole mouth starts to heat up. What do you do? Take another spoon of sweet, cold deliciousness to cool your mouth down, and enjoy the cinnamon and chocolate, at which point your mouth starts to heat up again, so you need to take another cold spoonful of ice cream… and… There you go. A cycle of deliciousness.
KLC: Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to and what was so cool about it?
TP: One of my most memorable vacations was to Mexico City. Good golly, that’s a beautiful (and sometimes ugly) place. My daughter and I (both incredibly pale redheads) went just about everywhere we could walk in old town Mexico City, and got a lot of surprised looks. (“There’s…. two of them…?”) It’s also where I learned the slang “guera.” (Look it up.) We were the two gueras gamely taking the subway in the D.F., and trying not to look too completely out of place. (Though we were.) What’s so cool about the D.F. is that it’s just so freaking old, and full of gorgeous art and architecture and history. It’s hard not to go anywhere in the city and not be struck by all of these things.
KLC: Name one movie you can quote and then quote it.
TP: In Bruges.
Ray: “Bruges in a shit hole.”
Ken “Bruges is not a shit hole.”
Ray: “Bruges is a shit hole.”
Harry’s wife (as he’s beating the phone into pieces): Harry! It’s an inanimate object!
Harry: You’re an inanimate fucking object!
KLC: Pick one: Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
TP: Do I have to?
TP: OK, then. Eleanor Roosevelt, because she didn’t let being first lady hold her down.
KLC: The United States electoral process is _______________________.
TP: …a ridiculous fucking sham. Seriously, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
KLC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to get someone’s attention?
TP: I had just transferred to the University of Iowa, and I had this incredible crush on this guy in a couple of my classes. He was good looking, and funny, and popular with all the cool kids – so… I gave him a book. (A copy of Franny and Zooey.) It must have worked, because he married me.
KLC: If you had the opportunity to patent a brand new product, what might that be?
TP: At the moment, I’m wishing I had a dog umbrella, because it is seriously raining like a bitch right now, and my big dog does not love it.
A little missile-delivery device that lets you fire small, non-lethal, super-sticky decals at the bumpers of assholes in traffic. Sort of marking them, publically, for being a shit of a driver. So, you know, you know who to pay attention to and avoid when you’re driving. Really, that’s a terrible idea, but when I’m frustrated with assholes on the freeway in Southern California (which is, like, all the time), I find I often fantasize about this Asshole Marking Device.
KLC: Which of the following is least likely to ever exist: bigfoot, elves, or government regulation on Wall Street?
I mean -- seriously. Elves?
KLC: Wild card question! If you have a signature dish that no one makes better than you, tell us what is and tell us the secret ingredient. (Hint: you may lie.)
TP: I bake a lot of tasty things – but the one thing that people request that I make more than anything else is this fabulous chocolate cake that has about a pound of chocolate in it. It’s seriously the shit. No secrets, really, just getting good ingredients and following the recipe.
KLC: Can you share something about yourself that no one has ever asked you about in an interview before?
TP: I tend to be a pretty open book about a lot of my life… but…
I really love music. I mean, if I had to do it all over again, I’d focus more on music, and learn to play more instruments. My secret desire (and, obviously, not so secret now) is to be a singer in a band. I’d be a hell of a back-up singer because I do harmonies really well. OK. That sounds really egotistical, but it's true. I could sing harmonies (I mean, I could pick them out or make them up) before I could read. I have a memory of being really tiny -- like, two? three? -- and singing harmonies with a song on the radio. I didn't realize what I was doing until my mom pointed it out to me. I thought that was something everybody could do.
TIRA PALMQUIST’s plays include TWO DEGREES, TEN MILE LAKE (Serenbe Playhouse), AGE OF BEES (Madlab Theater), AND THEN THEY FELL, among others. TWO DEGREES most recently was part of the PlayLabs at the Great Plains Theater conference, the Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival and then in the Artemisia Theater’s Fall Festival in Chicago, IL. AND THEN THEY FELL was workshopped at the UMass New Play Lab in April 2014. AGE OF BEES, which premiered at MadLab Theater (Best Original Work by the Other Papers "Best of 2012” list), will be in the 2015 season at Tesseract Theater in St. Louis. Her work has been developed by 9Thirty Theater, Theater of Note, EST-LA, Seven Devils and The Inkwell. She teaches at UCI as well as the Orange County School of the Arts, and is a member of the Antaeus Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, the Dramatists Guild and EST-LA’s Playwrights Unit.