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A Closer Look: Lisa Rosetta Strum

Playwrights’ Corner
Lisa Rosetta Strum

Take "A Closer Look" at the writers of The New Black Fest at The Lark!  In this series, the writers involved in this year's festival interview each other about their influences, impulses, inspirations and identities.  Read on to hear what Lisa Rosetta Strum tells Lenelle Moïse about her work!

Lenelle Moïse: What do you find most inspiring or effective about the solo performance form?

Lisa Rosetta Strum: What I find most inspiring about the form of solo performance is having the freedom to unfold a narrative in the most innovative way that is uniquely you. There are no rules. And by allowing yourself to explore the possibilities of interpretation, you not only showcase your talent, but you're creating opportunities for dynamic storytelling. 

LM: Humor is an ingredient in your work. How did you first discover your comedic voice? 

LRS: Ha! I've been a class clown all of my life. But, the first time I really recognized my comedic voice was in Mr. Kessler's 5th grade English class. Mr. K would assign us two page creative writing assignments every week, and have us stand in front of the class to read them aloud. Without fail, my outrageous stories that ranged from students becoming possessed by farm animals to aliens kidnapping teachers from schools would leave the classroom in stitches!  It was an incredibly powerful gift to discover at such a young age. 

LM: I look forward to seeing She Gon’ Learn. The show description promises “old school wisdom.” Do you have a bit of timeless advice for a fellow theater artist?

LRS: Why thank you, Lenelle! In the spirit of one of the characters from She Gon' Learn, I'll leave you with this: "Baby, you got to learn from your past to keep from fallin' on yo' ass!"