Lisa B. Thompson is an award-winning Austin based playwright whose plays have been produced across the United States and in Canada. Her work has been produced and/or developed by New Professional Theatre, Brava Theater Center, Theatre Rhinoceros, New African Grove Theatre Company, Black Spectrum Theatre, Out of Ink Festival, Company of Angels Theater, FronteraFest, The One-Minute Play Festival, and the National Black Theatre Festival. Her critically acclaimed off-Broadway two-woman show Single Black Female (Samuel French, 2012), a nominee for the 2005 LA Weekly Theatre Award for best comedy, uses rapid-fire comic vignettes to examine the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them among a parade of stereotypical images. The San Francisco native’s other full-length plays include the one-woman show Dreadtime Stories: One Sista’s Hair, a romp through black hairstyles from pigtails to dreadlocks; Monroe, a period drama about the afterlife of a lynching in a southern community; The Mamalogues, a comedy that considers black middle class motherhood during the age of anxiety; and Underground, winner of the 2017 Austin Critics Table David Mark Cohen New Play Award, that explores the limits of black political radicalism in the #BlackLivesMatter era. Thompson is also the author of several short plays including I Don’t Want to Be (Mamie Till), Black Lives Matter: Three Words, Legacy, Second Grade, Night, and her afro-futuristic trilogy: Watch, Mother Nature, as well as the satirical comedy Mother’s Day, which was voted best of FronteraFest 2013.
Thompson is also on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin where she is Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and affiliate faculty in the departments of English, Women and Gender Studies, Theatre and Dance and the Warfield Center for African & African American Studies. She is the author of Beyond The Black Lady: Sexuality And The New African American Middle Class (University of Illinois Press, 2009). Her work has been published in Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works (University of Illinois Press, 2015) and Catch The Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Thompson’s work has been supported with fellowships and awards from a number of institutions, including Hedgebrook, Harvard University’s W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Liberal Arts, the University of California’s Office of the President, Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, UCLA’s Center for African American Studies, the Five Colleges Inc., Stanford University’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and the Millay Colony for the Arts.