“Authors Theatre” Will Present Staged Excerpts From the Work of Black Playwright Lisa Thompson, February 5, 2007 Lisa Thompson, acclaimed emerging playwright, poet, and scholar, will answer questions following staged readings of portions of her plays about African American middle class experience on Monday, February 5, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME] in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. The event is sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and is free and open to the public.
Lisa Thompson is an acclaimed playwright, poet, and scholar whose work explores Black female desire and the middle class African American family.
Constructed of comic vignettes, Thompson’s most recent play, “Single Black Female” (1999), is a two-woman performance that explores the lives, loves, and identities of middle class African American women. “Single Black Female” was hailed by L. A. Weekly as “a bracing, funny, bittersweet . . . show that is both bigger than life and wondrously small, with plenty of notes in between.” The Los Angeles Times reviewer said, “Thompson stands… stereotypes on their heads, to apt and funny effect. These right-on feminist sisters want equal rights and equal pay, but they also yearn for steamy romance and Jimmy Choo shoes, not necessarily in that order.”
The play enjoyed an off-Broadway run in June 2006 as a production of the New Professional Theatre, a notable Manhattan theatre troupe that promotes the work of minority artists to mainstream and minority audiences.
Thompson’s earlier plays include “Monroe” (1998), which enjoyed a staged reading in 1998 directed by Cherrie Moraga at San Francisco’s Brava Theatre for Women in the Arts, and “Dreadtime Stories: One Sista’s Hair” (1994), a 1994 finalist at the Inner City Cultural Center’s Talent Fest in Los Angeles. Her new play-in-progress is “Underground,” an examination of slavery’s lingering impact on African-Americans in the twenty-first century.
Thompson teaches African American literature and culture in the Department of English at the University at Albany. She is currently completing a book of criticism, “Sexual Suspects/Sexual Subjects: (Re)presenting Black Middle Class Women.” Her poetry is anthologized in “Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry” (1998).
The staged readings will be directed by Colman Domingo, who directed Thompson’s “Single Black Female” Off Broadway and at SUNY Brockport and Complex/LA. In addition to directing in theatres across the country, Domingo is also an award-winning actor working on and off Broadway. Also a playwright, his latest play, “A Boy and His Soul” was recently read at New York Theatre Workshop.
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu.writers-inst.