Kari Barclay

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

I am a playwright, director, and theater maker interested in deepening audiences’ sense of time and expanding their understanding of sexuality and attraction. My plays often look to history and ecology as windows through which to see alternative ways of being in the world. I foreground queer and trans storytelling. As one of the first playwrights in the U.S. to explore asexual experience, the lack of sexual attraction to others, I have made a commitment to honoring my community and showing the many beautiful forms of intimacy out there. I love humor. I love sincerity. I love talking with others about how to build better worlds.


While at Headlands

While at Headlands I plan to work on two projects: 1) “How to Live in a House on Fire,” a play about the 2020 wildfires in California and a gay couple trying to make sense of their lives and possessions as they prepare for an evacuation. The play toggles between two moments, 1970 and 2020, to ask how queer communities survive in times of crisis. It builds on a quote from Tennessee Williams, “We live in a perpetually burning building, and what we must save from it, all the time, is love.” 2) a new solo show about growing up on the asexual spectrum in a hypersexual world. Titled “My Sexual Orientation is a Crossword Puzzle,” the piece builds on my love of words. It asks when words help us and fail us in understanding queer and trans desire.

Media Excerpts

Excerpt from How to Live in a House on Fire, 2023
Excerpt from Stonewallin’, 2021
Excerpt from Can I Hold You?, 2018