Isabella Russell-Ides

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Isabella Russell-Ides (born January 24, 1948) is an American playwright.[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]

Critical praise[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.[4]"The writing vies with Beckett's own," wrote Lawson Taitte of her,"double-trouble triumph," Coco & Gigi,[5] winner of the Critics Forum Best New Play 2008.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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).[9] 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.