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Playwright / Poet / Scholar

Previous Visit:
NYS Writers Institute, February 5, 2007

Author's Theatre
7:30 p.m. Staged Readings
Assembly Hall, Campus Center
UAlbany Uptown Campus

Excerpts from her plays
Single Black Female, Monroe and Underground

Directed by Colman Domingo, who also directed Thompson's "Single Black Female" Off Broadway, at San Francisco’s Theatre Rhinoceros and at the Complex in Los Angeles. 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.

Followed by discussion with the playwright, director and actors

Lisa Thompson is an acclaimed, up-and-coming playwright, poet, and scholar whose work explores Black female desire and the middle class African American family. Her new play-in-progress is "Underground," an examination of slavery's lingering impact on African-Americans in the twenty-first century.

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.

"a bracing, funny, bittersweet . . . show that is both bigger than life and wondrously small, with plenty of notes in between." - L. A. Weekly

"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." - Los Angeles Times

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, ""Beyond the Colored Lady: Sexuality and the New Black Middle Class." Her poetry is anthologized in "Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry" (1998).

Previous Articles:
New York Times Review

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