About Paul Pasulka

Paul Pasulka, PhD – Playwright

Paul Pasulka, PhD – Playwright

Paul Pasulka tells stories. Actually, he has been known to fib. Sometimes he’s gotta be downright lying. Does he really think you’ll believe that the biblical Job was interrogated-enhancedly in Abu Ghraib prison? And I’m sure Lady Macbeth and her child never sought shelter in a residence for homeless families, even after Macbeth killed her husband. The Snow Queen never smoked marijuana. Period. Well, as far as we know. Aesop, while awaiting execution in prison, was definitely not visited by talking animals. That’s just ridiculous. And while he is permitted to speculate, he cannot really expect you to believe that Led Zeppelin-loving robots are going to take over the world.

He does tell some stories that are slightly more believable: a mother trying to cope with her child’s regression into autism; another child trying to cope with the death of his father and his mother’s alcoholism. But I researched these and have found no - well, these have actually been known to happen. And his historical dramas - Anna O. (Bertha Pappenheim - the cofounder of psychoanalysis)  and La Maestra (Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi) are historically accurate.

But his solo-performance autobiographical stories? A face to face encounter with a sympathetic dead rat; the rescue of little lost boys; and donuts trembling in the face of a nun’s rage? You gotta believe he embellishes. A lot. He must, right? ‘Cause otherwise: WTF? 

Oh, and when not stopped in time, he's been known to act and direct. 

On balance? Definitely a liar. Catch him in the acts.


Paul Pasulka is a network playwright with Chicago Dramatists and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is also a clinical psychologist (paulpasulka.com) in private practice and on faculty at Northwestern University School of Medicine. 

Goodnight Moon-doggie will be produced, with dance accompaniment, by CDE on October 14, 21, 2016.

Skin for Skin, depicting the Biblical Job as an Iraqi-American contractor interrogated in Abu Ghraib prison, is scheduled for a full production with The Agency Collective, with choreography by Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, in March-April 2017. In preparation for this CDE will host a staged reading in November, 2016. 

La Maestra, the story of Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi,  will be produced by CDE in the 2017-18 season. This play received a staged reading with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble in June 2016. 

When the Levee Breaks was selected as a finalist at The Secret Theater in New York in February 2016 and will be published by The Secret Theatre. Anna O. received a staged reading with The Agency Collective in March 2016. When the Levee Breaks was previously produced by Second City Chicago in conjunction with the Chicago Dramatists. 

Cue Christmas Gooses was produced as part of Three Cat Productions’ Holiday Stories in Dec. 2015. Remote received a staged reading in the New Works Festival at Three Cat Productions. Gruoch, or Lady Macbeth received a full production with Death and Pretzels in March 2015 after having received a reading in the New Works Festival at Three Cat Productions. Home for Christmas ran as part of Holiday Stories at Three Cat Productions in 2014. Meep-meep and A Dopey Christmas received staged readings at Three Cat Productions. When the Wheels Fall Off was produced in the Brookfield 10-minute Festival in 2013, and was selected as a finalist for The Artist’s Home’s Cut to the Chase Festival. Dark Angels was performed at the American Theatre Company (ATC) and Roberto Clemente High School in ATC’s Bridge Program.

Paul has presented autobiographical stories with the GenNarrations Project of The Goodman Theatre, Three Cat Productions, and Death and Pretzels Theatre. He was invited to read The Ironman’s Rules at The International Storytelling Festival in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, in June. Wanna See a Dead Rat, a collection of stories and 10-minute plays was produced by Death and Pretzels at RhinoFest Chicago in February 2015.

He presented "Neuropsychology, Creativity, and Storytelling" at the Steel Pen Creative Writers' Conference in October 2015 and will be working with Adventure Stage Theatre in assisting middle schoolers in writing plays for Young Playwrights for Change this fall and winter.