I wrote my first play while in acting class with mentor Charles Nelson Reilly, in December of 1991, and now have over 40 publications with Samuel French, Smith & Kraus, Applause Books & Dramatic Publishing.
BIO / LIST OF PLAYS
LISA SOLAND holds a BFA in acting from Florida State University and received her Actors Equity card working as an apprentice at the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre. While there, she worked with playwright William Luce, starring as Zelda Fitzgerald in his world premiere play, Luce Women. With Charles Nelson Reilly directing, the experience deepened her love and appreciation for the theatre’s creative process in which both the playwright and the director are present during rehearsal, working together for the betterment of the play and its production. Little did she know that she, one day, would be the playwright.
Lisa moved to Los Angeles, where she wrote her first play, The Name Game, which received a yearlong writer's grant and was subsequently published by Samuel French, Inc. She starred in the world premiere opposite Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica, and the romantic comedy ran for two months at The Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood. Thinking it a lark, she moved on to her next play and with eight nominations, she received the Artistic Director Achievement award for best original comedy for her play Happy Birthday, Baby! Then her drama The ReBirth won her the Hawthornden Fellowship, which took her to Edinburgh, Scotland, where she spent a month long international writer's retreat in William Drummond's medieval castle.
As her role of playwright increased in its demands, she accepted less and less acting roles. Yet one of her most memorable experiences was starring in the world premiere production of her romantic comedy, Cabo San Lucas, where Lisa played the part of Grace, whose attempted suicide is thwarted by two house burglars. Back Stage West wrote, "Those tired of playing second fiddle to the showier male roles might take a page from the author of this one act, who wrote a meaty starring role for herself... a great role for women, by a woman." Cabo San Lucas received first prize in the 2004 Scriptwriting/Houston National Playwriting Contest and the American Theatre Co-op 2005 contest for one-act plays.
Lisa Soland’s play Waiting is published by Samuel French, Inc. and included in Smith & Kraus’ anthology Women Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2003. Some monologues from Waiting and her play Cabo San Lucasare in Best Women’s Stage Monologues of 2003. Monologues from The Rebirth, Red Roses and Waiting are included in Applause Books’ One On One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century and One On One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century. Act I, Scene 2 from Waiting, is published in Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century. Her newest publications include the plays Truth Be Told and The Man in the Gray Suit & Other Short Plays, also published by Samuel French, Inc.
Her ten-minute plays have received numerous productions and publications. An Earthquake, first directed by Charles Nelson Reilly, is included in Dramatic Publishing’s anthology 35 In 10. Different is part of Smith & Kraus’ The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2005 (2 Actors). The Same Thing is in The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2006 (2 Actors). Knots is in The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2006 (3 Actors) and The Other Shoe in The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2008 (3 Actors). Burt Reynolds has directed several of her short plays in his master acting classes in Florida.
Ms. Soland had the opportunity to return to her alma mater, Florida State University, to head up the MFA playwriting program, and now enjoys teaching in the theatre department at Maryville College. Her comedy Thread Count, produced at Pellissippi State College, received publication by Applause Books as part of their anthology. The Best American Short Plays 2010/2011 and her drama Spatial Disorientation, which she directed, is also included in Applause Books’ The Best American Short Plays 2012/2013. The Corporate Ladder, which she directed at Pellissippi as part of The Ladder Plays, is included in Smith & Kraus’ anthology The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2013. These add to her over 40 international playwriting publications.
Her new play, The Sniper’s Nest, is the story of the love affair between CIA double agent Lee Harvey Oswald and young scientist Judyth Vary Baker, and is based on Ms. Baker's book, Me and Lee. The Sniper’s Nest premiered at Maryville College in the Clayton Center for the Arts, remounted for the 2013 Southeastern Theatre Conference’s Fringe Festival, and was produced at the Last Act Theatre Company in Austin, Texas in 2014 and most recently, given a reading in Florida and Germany.
Ms. Soland’s children’s book, The Christmas Tree Angel, was adapted to the stage and then released in the original book form, in the fall of 2013. In 2014, the sequel The Unmade Moose was released. Last year, Ms. Soland launched her own children’s book publishing company, Climbing Angel Publishing, with her debut picture book, Thump, and this year published Somebunny to Love. Her book The Writer’s Motivation has inspired countless writers in all the genres to fill the blank page.
She is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights and the International Centre for Women Playwrights, as well as SAG, AFTRA and AEA. She is currently writing a one-man show on the life of WWI hero Sgt. Alvin York. The play will open in Pall Mall, on the property where Alvin York spent his entire life, and will tour Eastern Tennessee in 2017, the 100th anniversary of WWI.
Ms. Soland recently launched a play publishing company entitled All Original Play Publishing, with the debut anthology 30 Short Plays for Passionate Actors due to be released in the fall of 2016.