About

Lisa Biggs

Photo Credit: Tanisha Christie

 

About

Lisa Biggs, Ph.D., is an actress, playwright, and performance scholar originally from the Southside of Chicago.  Her acting credits include productions at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, African Continuum Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, and Lookinglass Theatre, as well as featured roles on TV, radio, and in the documentary film, Walk with Me: The Movie (2013). From 1999-2001 she worked as an actor and teaching artist at the Living Stage Theatre Company, one of the preeminent theatre for social change programs in the United States. In addition to her work as a performer, Dr. Biggs has written a body of original plays, including Butterfly Belongings, Blackbirds, Vigilante Artist, Memory is a Body of Water and Where Spirit Rides. Her original work has been presented at venues across the country including Cultural Odyssey, Links Hall, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Baltimore Theatre Project, the National Black Theatre Festival, DC Hip Hop Theatre Fest, Amherst College, Northwestern University, Goucher College, and Michigan State University. Grants and fellowships from the Illinois Humanities Council, DC Arts Council, and Michigan Humanities Council amongst others have supported and sustained her work. Her most recent play, After/Life: Detroit ’67, was awarded a 2016 Detroit Arts Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation to tell stories about women and girls who lived through the ’67 Detroit rebellion. An abiding interest in the role of performance and theatre undergirds both her creative practice and her scholarly research. Dr. Biggs is currently at work on a new book project, tentatively titled Black Women Prisoners “Acting Right”: Black Feminist Performance, Art and Activism Behind Bars. The book investigates the impact of theatre programs for women who are incarcerated in prisons and jails in the U.S. and in South Africa. Her most recent publications can be found in Theatre Survey (2016), Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches (2016), and Solo/Black/Woman: Scripts, Interviews and Essays (2013).  Dr. Biggs earned her undergraduate degree at Amherst College (BA, Theatre and Dance 1993) and completed graduate work at New York University's Gallatin School (MA, Playwriting and Performance Studies 2007) and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies at Northwestern University (2013). Dr. Biggs currently serves as an assistant professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, where she offers courses in theatre and performance studies.