LISA DILLMAN is a Chicago-identified playwright whose plays include Ground, Rock Shore, American Wee-Pie, Half of Plenty, The Walls, No Such Thing, Six Postcards, Flung, and Shady Meadows, and Just Cause. Her work has been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), American Theatre Company, Seattle Public Theatre, Rogue Machine, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Station Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Five & Dime, Canamac Productions, and many other companies across the country. She has received commissions from Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre (Playwrights Unit member, 2010-2011), Northlight Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has also developed work at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, PlayPenn, NNPN's Showcase of New Plays, Chicago Dramatists (Resident Alumna), ACT Theatre/Hedgebrook’s Women Playwrights Festival, William Inge Theatre Festival, and others. Dillman is a longtime company member and current literary director at Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where her plays American Wee-Pie, The Walls, Shady Meadows, and Chiaroscuro all had their world premieres. Her filmed monologue "Story of a House" was commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage as part of the "My America" project, directed by Hal Hartley, and viewable via YouTube. Dillman's plays are published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals and Dramatic Publishing, as well as anthologized in collections from Heinemann, Playscripts Inc., Smith and Kraus, and New Issues Press. American Wee-Pie is due out from Dramatic Publishing Company in 2024.
MORE ABOUT ME
I try not to wallow around in disappointment when it comes to the success or lack of success of my work, but I admit that it can be very tough. I had a few years where I nearly stopped writing entirely. I wallowed then, but I've made a pact with myself that I would never do that again. I write short fiction in addition to plays, and in moments of disappointment and potential wallowing I tend to segue over to this other genre and write something new within it. I try just to keep working on next thing—whatever it may be. I see that women's plays—particularly those by. older women—are produced less often than men's plays, and I do what I can to change that. As both a playwright and the literary director of a small woman-centered theatre company, I'm working to promote, develop, and produce the work of women writers. One big change I'd love to see is more serious and widespread consideration and production opportunities for all the terrific older plays by women that did not get their full due in their initial runs or had one super successful production but then disappeared. I believe that world premiere-itis is still lingering problem in this country, and I can cite a whole lot of Honor Roll plays and playwrights that bear that out. I keep writing plays because it's the kind of writing I love—and do—best, because I'm addicted to the theatre and its various collaborative processes, and because it helps me to root out, understand, and explicate what I believe about our shared world. I also try to write plays that I would really love to see.
WHAT I'M WORKING ON
I'm working a large-scale theatrical examination of the American loneliness epidemic tentatively titled The Loneliness Project.
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