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"I read to lose myself and find myself at the same time." - Imani Mosley

Open Zoom: Acting and Gender with Lisa Wolpe

April 27, 2020 - 2:00pm

Actor, director, and LA Women's Shakespeare Company founder Lisa Wolpe presents a master class on Shakespearean acting and gender. Lisa has performed and directed around the world, playing such roles as Hamlet, Richard III, Shylock, and Iago for major companies from Utah to Prague. She is a leading advocate for gender equity in the theatre.

This program is available through ZOOM using the following link: https://ucmerced.zoom.us/j/172006450

Lisa’s acting work has been seen at PlayMakers Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, TheaterWorks, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Repertory Company, and more. She has directed and adapted Shakespeare plays for decades, and her work has appeared frequently in her home town of Los Angeles as well as at California Shakespeare, Colorado Shakespeare, Sedona Shakespeare, Shakespeare & Company, Prague Shakespeare Company, and more. She founded the all-female, multi-cultural Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company in 1993, and produced, directed, and performed in many iconic all-female productions. Favorite roles include Hamlet, Richard III, Angelo, Leontes, Romeo, Shylock, and Iago.

Her hit solo show “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender”, directed by Laurie Woolery, is scheduled to play at the Wanamaker Theatre at the Globe, U.K., and the Estates Theater in Prague, for Prague Shakespeare Company (currently delayed due to the onset of the pandemic). The show has toured universities and Shakespeare Festivals around the U.S. It has played internationally at the Prague Shakespeare Company in the Czech Republic, Bremen Shakespeare in Germany, and The Rose Theatre, Central School, King’s College, Warwick University and Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust in the U.K.. Canadian theaters include Vancouver and in Stratford, Ontario.

Lisa has continued to help shape and change the narrative of gender in Shakespeare, working with the Shakespeare Theater Association, the National Theater Conference, and StateraArts to support and amplify the work of women in the theater. With support from the Young Vic and King’s College, Lisa created and led a month-long “TranShakespeare” Intensive Workshop on Shakespeare and Gender in famous scenes from Shakespeare. Ten Dramaturgs, twenty-two actors, ten directors, and Master Voice Teachers Christine Adair and Daron Oram spent three weeks with Lisa, rehearsing together, exploring ways of playing gender in Shakespeare.

Lisa has directed and taught Shakespeare at NYU, Emerson, UCLA, USC, Cal Poly Pomona, Whittier College, ACT San Francisco, Boston University, MIT, the American Shakespeare Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, King’s College, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Honors include: The L.A. Drama Critic’s Award for Sustained Excellence; Sidney Berger Award for Excellence from the Shakespeare Theater Association; NBC News’ “Local Hero”; Jacob Bronowski Award for Theater Excellence; Women in Theater’s “Red Carpet” and “Woman of the Year” Awards; Women’s Theater Festival’s “Rainbow Award” for promoting Diversity; “Sustained Excellence” Award from Playwrights Arena; the Key to Harlem; two Congressional Certificates of Merit; Whittier College’s Distinguished Artist Award; University of Colorado “First Scholar” and “Roe Green Visiting Artist” appointments.

“Lisa Wolpe is her own woman and joyfully speaks her mind, but her greatest legacy will undoubtedly be her creative vision and determination to create a platform and a voice for women, minorities and now the growing trans community in theatre. Theatre inspires, it gives hope to a generation who will, sooner than they think, be given the keys to these theatres and told ‘now it’s your turn’. When this time comes these new guardians can look back at those pioneers like Wolpe who will make this future possible, a future that’s fair and doesn’t see gender, colour, sexuality.” The New Current, London, U.K.