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.
Lisa has written chapters in these great books by Nancy Taylor, Charles Ney, Terri Power, and Paul Edmonson:
Lisa has been an invited guest speaker at universities and cultural organizations around the world, discussing ongoing work in breaking down gender and race barriers in the performance of Shakespeare. Lisa has appeared at institutions including:
American Embassy, Prague, Czech Republic
American Association of University Women, Southern California
American Shakespeare Center, VA
California Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Chapman College, Long Beach, CA
Clairemont McKenna College, Clairemont, CA
Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Cornell College, IA
Culver City High School, Culver City, CA
Earlham College, IN
Emerson Performing Arts College, Boston, MA
Hope College, MI
Huntington High School, Huntington CA
Fordham University, NYC
Lincoln Center West Coast Director’s Lab, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Children’s Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Public Libraries, Los Feliz, Silverlake and Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Loyola Marymount College, Los Angeles, CA
Marymount High School, Santa Monica, CA
National Theater Conference, Gender Parity HowlRound, NYC
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA
Penny Lane, Los Angeles, CA
Pomona College, Pomona, CA
Prague Shakespeare Festival
Richmond Shakespeare Company
Rockefeller College, IL
Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA
Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, CA
Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Stratford U.K.
Shakespeare Festival L.A., Los Angeles, CA
Shakespeare Theater Association of America, various conferences, panels
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Bankside, U.K.
Shakespeare Authorship Roundtable, Los Angeles
Southern Oregon University
Statera Conference, Denver, CO
St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA
Syracuse College, NY
The Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA
The World Shakespeare Congress, Los Angeles, CA
UC Irvine, Irvine, CA
UC Riverside, Riverside, CA
UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Georgia, Athens
Union College, NY
The Wallis, Los Angeles
Warwick University, U.K.
Wellesley College, Wellesley MA
Whittier College, Whittier, CA