Isabella Russell-Ides

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Isabella Russell-Ides (born January 24, 1948) is an American poet, playwright, and novelist.[1] She received the 2008 Critics Forum Award for her play Coco & Gigi.[2] She has also received critical acclaim for her works, Leonard's Car ("Outstanding New Play", 2009 Nora's Playhouse, NYC), Fortune Cookie Smash (2007 Best of Fest, Frontera). She is noted for the poetic and heightened language of her texts.[3]

White Monkey Chronicles: The Complete Trilogy[edit]

Her debut novel, White Monkey Chronicles: The Complete Trilogy, ***WINNER***The Jemma Prize for Speculative Fiction, Finalist International Book Award Visionary Fiction.[4] Published under the pen name Isabella Ides, (March 2018, Lowell Street Press), the novel features an undocumented baby god, protected by a super hero monkey, aka Lord Hanuman, disguised as a plush toy, a rogue order of nuns in Humboldt County, and an inquisition of Cardinals. Based on her award-winning play The Early Education of Conrad Eppler. [5] NPR journalist Barbara J. Austin writes: "It's like Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, J.K. Rowling and Gloria Steinem got drunk one night and decided to write a book!" Critic Alexandra Bonifield gives the novel five stars. "Scintillating, sweeping, and sophisticated, this miraculous tale careens in kaleidoscopic, galaxy-spinning turns."[6]

Critical praise for her plays[edit]

"Isabella Russell-Ides persists as one of the most expressive, evocative and routinely ignored playwrights in our N. Texas region’s ‘money and prestige’ theater circles. She pens unique, stage-worthy, critically acclaimed entertainments like Leonard’s Car, Coco & Gigi and Cenote that feature fascinating characters, vivid language and imagery and sustainable sustenance for the soul and mind," according to HowlRound theatre critic, Alexandra Bonifield.[7]

Coco & Gigi[edit]

In this existential parlay, four characters benched in a Suzan-Lori Park, deal with taxes, angst, and lost mittens. "The writing vies with Beckett's own," wrote Lawson Taitte of her,"double-trouble triumph," Coco & Gigi,[8] ***WINNER*** Outstanding New Play, DFW Critics Forum Award.[9]

Jo & Louisa[edit]

The iconic Jo March of Little Women confronts her author Louisa May Alcott in this play about gender, remakes, and makeovers. ***WINNER***Outstanding New Play, DFW Critics Forum Awards.[10] "Now you might think the character who became the beloved model for bright, ambitious girls everywhere might be grateful to her creator. You’ve got another thing coming in this tumultuous confrontation." Martha Heimburg, Theater Jones [11] " "JO & LOUISA is funny and wise and thought provoking, and forces you to look anew at Little Women, and its author, through rainbow-colored glasses. This two-hander bounces along with thoughtful discussions of androgyny, sexual labels and gender identity, suffused with a literary intelligence that never condescends."[12]

The Early Education of Conrad Eppler[edit]

This cosmic, fantasy adventure was produced by Echo Theatre in 2012. The Early Education of Conrad Eppler was a winner of Echo Theatre's national SHOUT OUT for new works from women playwrights.[13] Clips from the original production can be found on YouTube.

Lydie Marland in the Afterlife[edit]

In 2013 WingSpan Theatre produced her newest work Lydie Marland in the Afterlife to critical applause.[14] The lights come up on the heroine returning to consciousness shortly after her death, looking worse for wear and tear, an octogenarian in a turban and thrift-shop overcoat. Lydie was vagabond for decades after the economic downfall and death of her oil-baron husband, the former Governor of Oklahoma, EW Marland. See also EW Marland and "The Ends of the Earth".

The poet[edit]

Russell-Ides is also a published poet, having written Getting Dangerously Close To Myself (Slough Press).[15] She recorded readings of several poems for the Austin Poets Audio Anthology Project, Vol. II, titled Naked Children, produced by media poet Hedwig Gorski's Perfection Productions in the 1980s. An innovative performance poet, Isabella Russell-Ides was notable presence in the "Third Coast Renaissance" in Austin, Texas.

Photo by Mark Christal. Pictured poets from Austin Poets Audio Anthology Project, Vol. II, Naked Children include left to right: Michael Vecchio, Hedwig Gorski, Phillip T. Stephens, Isabella Russell-Ides, David Wevill, and Cecilia Bustamante. Phillip is holding a photo of Joy Cole who had died at the time and included on the tape.


  1. ^ Davis, Sophie Camillia (April 28, 2009). "Find Da Lite: Isabella Russell-Ides, the writer".
  2. ^ "Isabella Russell-Ides' double-trouble triumph at FIT". July 23, 2008.
  3. ^ "Inspired Grace: Poet-Playwright Isabella Russell-Ides". October 24, 2008.
  4. ^ "International Book Awards - Honoring Excellence in Independent & Mainstream Publishing". Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Heaven's Hope: Isabella Ides' White Monkey Chronicles". April 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "FIT 15: Yang & Yin in Balance". June 3, 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^[bare URL]
  10. ^ Lowry, Mark (September 11, 2019). "TheaterJones | We Like You. We Really Like You". Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Heimberg, Martha (July 21, 2019). "TheaterJones | FIT Review: Jo & Louisa | Festival of Independent Theatres". Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Jul 26; 2019 | 1 (July 26, 2019). "Pitching another FIT". Dallas Voice. Retrieved September 26, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "'Lydie Marland in the Afterlife' and 'Like Me' score big during first weekend of 2013 Festival of Independent Theatres". June 2, 2013.
  15. ^ "Google Sites".