Here are some lovely memories from a sampling of shows… theaters I have played include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory, Prague Shakespeare Company, the Rose Theater London U.K., Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare & Co., Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Arizona Theater Company, San Diego Repertory Theater, People’s Light and Theater Company, three adventures at the Edinburgh Festival, and 23 years with the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company, which I founded and helmed as Producing Artistic Director from 1993-2017.
“THERE IS NOTHING EITHER GOOD OR BAD, BUT CASTING MAKES IT SO”
Can it really be twenty years now that I have admired Lisa Wolpe’s work? Time and again, the actress has impressed me with her ability to seamlessly inhabit male Shakespearean roles while bringing fresh significance to characters as disparate as Romeo, Iago and Shylock. Yet I’m not so sure her ability to bring invigorating life to these characters was the result of a woman playing traditional male parts. She’s just a damned fine actress—powerful, intelligent, incisive, cunning and classically trained. During her two-decade tenure as producing artistic director of Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (which she also founded), she has also directed herself, which makes her successful acting all that much more of a stunning achievement.
Wolpe is also to be praised for proving that diversity in casting – whether by gender or color – will not, in and of itself, be detrimental to a production, and her leadership has paved the way for minority actors to dig their teeth into roles that would, not long ago, have been positively taboo for them to play.” – Tony Frankel, STAGE AND CINEMA