Spotlight on Lisa Kron 

Christopher Borg 

Edward Albee autographs Lisa Kron's 
arm at the 2008 IT Awards

Lisa Kron, celebrated Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway writer-performer, has been creating theater that inhabits “the gray area between theater and performance art” for over 20 years. Kron works from the humorous and poignant point of view of a self-described outsider; using her experiences as a Jewish woman living in the Christian Midwest and her life as a lesbian in the New York theater to create plays that are simultaneously real-time conversations with audiences and carefully constructed theatrical events.

With theater roots tracing back to the Purim plays she performed as a child, Kron studied at the Chautauqua Professional Actors Studio and the British European Studies Group in London before arriving in New York in 1984. In her early days she worked as an office temp and various other jobs while pursuing her acting career (she chronicled some of these in her play 101 Humiliating Stories).

In 1989, along with fellow collaborators, Maureen Angelos, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey and Babs Davy, she co-founded the theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers, a group creating satiric plays from a feminist, lesbian perspective. These works have been produced by the New York Theater Workshop, the Public Theater, the WOW Cafe and others. The Brothers have toured across the country and have received numerous awards, including an Obie Award.

On her own, Lisa has developed autobiographical plays about her family that have received critical acclaim in New York and London. Her play 2.5 Minute Ride won an Obie award and garnered comparisons to celebrated monologist, Spalding Gray.

In 2006, Kron took the little-known path from downtown lesbian theater artist to Broadway star when her play, Well, opened to critical acclaim at the Longacre Theater. Well was listed among the year's best plays by The New York Times and received two Tony Award nominations. Lisa herself was nominated for Actress in a Play and Jayne Houdyshell was nominated for Featured Actress.

Her newest play, In the Wake, about a family gathering set after the presidential election of 2000, premiered in March of this year at the Kirk Douglas Theater in LA directed by Leigh Silverman (who directed Well) and will be opening at The Public Theater this Fall.

It is notable that the first performance of Well in 2008 at Kalamazoo College played alongside a performance of the Five Lesbian Brothers' famed The Secretaries, a production of which is currently being produced by 2005 IT Award nominated Off-Off-Broadway company, TOSOS, in this year’s Fringe Favorites series at the Lucille Lortel!

Lisa has told the IT Awards that while she enjoyed representing her community on the Great White Way, she is very happy to be back home in the downtown theater community hosting the IT Awards. And we are glad to have her back!


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