Lisa B. Thompson on New Play Exchange

Dr Lisa B. Thompson on New Play Exchange


Underground reunites Kyle and Mason, a pair of old college buddies who have gone from radicals in their youth to successful professionals approaching middle age. When Kyle shows up at Mason's door, the two have a chance to catch-up, reminisce and, as the evening goes on, engage one another in a battle of intellects over the best road to black liberation. As their argument becomes increasingly passionate and more personal, news reports reveal a police search for the leader of a black radical political movement. From flashbacks to their first meeting to the final game of chess that could change their lives forever, Mason and Kyle each pose to one another the central question of Underground: how far would you go to protect your people?

Winner: 2017 Austin Critics Table David Mark Cohen New Play Award


Single Black Female

Thompson's two-woman show features rapid-fire comic vignettes that explore the lives of thirty-something African American middle class women in urban America as they search for love, clothes and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them among a parade of stereotypical images. SBF 1, an English professor, and SBF 2, a corporate lawyer, keep each other balanced as they share their fears of rejection and reminisce about black girlhood wounds. The girlfriends are alter egos who discuss the absurdities of interracial dating and debate the merits of college reunions for bolstering one's self-esteem. After reviewing their escapades in past relationships and confessing mounting anxieties about future commitments they realize their best chance at love may be found closer than they ever imagined.


Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a short comedy where Afro-futurism meets motherhood. What happens when a black woman tries to “lean in” but first has to find adequate childcare? In this one-act play the search for a nanny for one professional couple forces them to confront a litany of black maternal stereotypes. Mother’s Day is the first in Thompson trilogy of Afro-futurist short plays.

Mother's Day video excerpt (Afro Queen 3000X)


I Don't Want to Be

I Don’t Want to Be (Mamie Till) is Thompson’s one-act elegiac meditation on motherhood in light of police killings of unarmed African Americans. The haunting piece questions the prayers that shape the experiences and violate the dreams of black mothers.

The Mamalogues

The Mamalogues is a satirical comedy about parenting while black and middle class in the age of anxiety. Three friends share their angst about racial profiling on the playground, the lack of organic food in the ‘hood, being the “only” ones at the PTA meeting and navigating the world of soccer games and chess clubs as a Panther Mama. The show follows their journey as they lean in, stress out and steer their children from pampers to college admittance all while navigating their own road toward retirement.

Lisa B. Thompson reads an excerpt of "The Mamalogues" at the opening of the University of Washington's Center for Communication, Difference and Equity.