Lisa Loomer

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Lisa Loomer
Lisa Loomer (1).jpg
Pen name

Jane da Vinci

Lisa Loomer



Alma mater

Brandeis University

New York University Tisch School of the Arts
Notable works

The Waiting Room

Living Out

Notable awards

Jane Chambers Playwriting Award

Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award

Back Stage West Garland Award for Playwriting

Imagen Award

American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award
Spouse Joe Romano
Children Marcello Romano

Lisa Loomer is a playwright and screenwriter[1] who has also worked as an actress and stand-up comic.[2] She is best known for her play The Waiting Room (1994), in which three women from different time periods meet in a modern doctor's waiting room, each suffering from the effects of their various societies' cosmetic body modification practices (foot binding, corsetry, and breast implantation).[3][4] She also co-wrote the screenplay for the film Girl Interrupted. Many of her plays deal with the experiences of Latinos and Hispanic-Americans, and with various aspects of contemporary family life. Though within Loomer's play The Waiting Room, it discusses issues such as body image, breast cancer, and non western medicine.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Lisa Loomer was born in New York and moved to Mexico with her family in her late teens.[6][7] Loomer studied theatre at Brandeis University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.[6][5]

Loomer is married to composer and painter Joe Romano; they have one son, Marcello.[7][8][9] For about 20 years Loomer lived in Los Angeles writing for Hollywood.[7]


Lisa Loomer's careers started after college performing off Broadway. After graduation she started working as an actress, after becoming frustrated by the lack of roles available to women, or Latinas, she starting writing her own monologues with the help of her mentor María Irene Fornés. Loomer started out by writing under the pseudonym Jane da Vinci.[5] Loomer's early writings became several one woman shows that were performed in the early 1980's.[6][7] Her first theatrical work was a collaborative effort titled A Crowd of Two and was produced by New York's Amerinca Plave Theatre.[10] Loomer produced her one woman show All by Herselves, at Westside Arts Theater in New York.[10] A, My Name is Still Alice, Premiered at Second Stage in New York City, and Loomer was a contributor.[10]

Loomer is an alumna of the New Dramatists[11] and was a 1985 playwright-in-residence at the Intar Theatre in New York City.[12]

After the success of her play The Waiting Room Loomer was bombarded with offers to write, everything from sitcoms to articles. Loomer made two attempts to write Latino sitcoms. Gloria was about a Puerto Rican talk show host and East L.A. was set in an unemployment office. Loomer worked with Gabriel Garcia-Marquez on Looking for Angels, which was sponsored by Sundance in Cuba.[10]

Loomer adapted Susanna Kaysen's memoir, Girl Interrupted, for Columbia Pictures. She wrote a screenplay for Fox 2000 and Winona Ryder, which was based on the book Dreaming.[10]

Loomer's play Living out premiered in 2003 and was directed by her longtime collaborator Mr. Raunch. The Mark Taper Forum commissioned Loomer to write Living Out.[10]


Loomer has won the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award (in 1994 for The Waiting Room[13]), the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, a Back Stage West Garland Award for Playwriting (in 2003 for Living Out[14]), the Imagen Award for positive portrayals of Latinos in all media, and American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award (in 1995 for The Waiting Room and in 1999 for Expecting Isabel.)[2][15] She was also the recipient of 2 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and one from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.[12]

List of works[edit]

Select plays[edit]

Play Title Premiere Date Premiere Theatre Premiere City Premiere Reviews ISBN for published version of play
Chain of Life 1990 Renegade Theatre Company's One Act Play Festival at the United Synagogue of Hoboken Hoboken, NJ New York Times
The Waiting Room 1994 Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles Variety ISBN 0-8222-1594-2
Maria! Maria! Maria! Maria! 1996 Mixed Blood Theatre Company Minneapolis, MN Mac Weekly
Expecting Isabel October 7, 1998 Arena Stage Washington, DC CurtainUp ISBN 0-8222-1995-6
Broken Hearts: A B.H. Mystery November 12, 1999 Cornerstone Theatre Company at the Los Angeles Theatre Center Los Angeles CurtainUp
Living Out Jan 18, 2003 Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles Curtain Up Variety ISBN 978-0-8222-1994-1 ISBN 0822219948
Distracted March 15, 2007 Mark Taper Forum Los Angeles Blog Critics Magazine LA Times Variety
Roe April 20, 2016 Oregon Shakespeare Festival Ashland, OR New York Times


  1. ^ Breslauer, Jan (August 7, 1994). "As Her Many Worlds Turn". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography: Lisa Loomer". Meet the Company. Ashland, OR: Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  3. ^ "Seattle Rep presents Northwest premiere of LIVING OUT" (PDF). East Side Latino Leadership Forum newsletter. Bellevue and East King County, WA: East Side Latino Leadership Forum. January 2004. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  4. ^ "Lisa Loomer - complete guide to Playwrights and Plays". The Playwrights Database. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  5. ^ a b c Peterson, Jane T.; Bennett, Suzanne (1997-01-01). Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313291791. 
  6. ^ a b c Breslauer, Jan (1994-08-07). "As Her Many Worlds Turn : Lisa Loomer is a playwright who also writes for (gasp!) TV sitcoms. And then there's the Latina thing. So, how does it all work together? Very well, thanks.". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  7. ^ a b c d Taylor, Kate (2016-08-24). "A Playwright Finds Drama, and Humor, in Roe v. Wade". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  8. ^ Henerson, Evan. "Lady in Waiting Playwright Delivers New Comedy That Meets All Her Expectations." Daily News (Los Angeles, CA). 2000-08-01. Retrieved on 2007-10-13.
  9. ^ Salamon, Julie. "Playwright Maps Limits Of the Best Intentions." New York Times. 2003-10-14. Retrieved on: 2007-10-13.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Inside OUT" (PDF). Denver Center For the Performing Arts Marketing Department. September 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "New Dramatists Alumni List". New York, NY: New Dramatists. 2005-11-18. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  12. ^ a b Jennings, Coleman A. (1998). "Lisa Loomer". In Coleman A. Jennings. Theatre for Young Audiences. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 429. ISBN 0-312-18194-9. 
  13. ^ Layfer, Lauren ."Loomer play spotlights three ladies in 'Waiting'." The Michigan Daily Online. 1997-11-19. Retrieved on 2007-10-13.
  14. ^ Living Out: Performance Guide Palo Alto, CA: Theatre Works. 2004. 7. Retrieved on: 2007-10-13.
  15. ^ ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Winners. St. Paul, MN: American Theatre Critics Association. 2007. Retrieved on: 2007-10-13.