Lila Newman is all about telling stories.

The Short Story: 

She is a New York actor/writer with (too) many artistic impulses.

Lila's general artistic pursuits explore: the medium of radio, the interplay of comedy and tragedy, magical realism, text mash-ups, Shakespeare, technology and mediation, the relationship of actor to audience, beauty, absurdity, beautiful absurdity, absurd beauty, beautiful beauty, absurd absurdity and being needlessly reflexive. 

The Long Story: 

Lila Newman is an actor, writer, musician and comedian. Sometimes she does all of that at the same time. Lila is also a graduate of the University of Chicago and received her MFA in Acting from Drama Centre London with study at the Vakhtangov Institute in Moscow. 

Selected screen work: Lila can be seen on Amazon's Alpha House, opposite John Goodman and Julie White, written by Garry Trudeau. She has also twice appeared on A Prairie Home Companion (NPR) a as guest star with the Royal Academy of Radio Actors. Stage work includes New York: How to be an American (reading), White on White (Steps Theatre), About Face (The Brick), A Map to Somewhere Else, Something Wicked (Everyday Inferno).  Chicago: The Ballad of Lula Del Ray (Manual Cinema), Sketch Comedy & Improv (Donny’s Skybox at The Second City, iO (Improv Olympic), The Playground), Spectacle Performer (Redmoon), Compass Players (Pocket Guide to Hell), Liberal Arts: The Musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Underscore Theater Company) Williamstown Theater Festival: 356/365 Plays, Uncle Sam I Am (Nikos Theater). London: Hedda Gabler, The Broken Heart (The Platform Theatre), Twelfth Night (Studio Theatre at Kings Cross) Moscow: The Seagull (SADA Theatre).

Lila writes sketch comedy for Live from Here with Chris Thile on American Public Media. From 2013-2017 she wrote for Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.  Current writing collaborations also include writing and voicing for Radiotopia's The Truth podcast and developing a new stagework on the folk tradition of murder ballads with the Everyday Inferno Theatre company (where she is also an Aristic Associate).

Lila is also developing a play about Ora Nichols, the pioneer of Golden Age Radio Sound Effects which was awarded a grant from the Edes Foundation and the University of Chicago.

Lila is a comedy nerd.  A graduate of Chicago's Second City & iO Conservatories and a member of Chicago’s Playground Theater, she's performed sketch and long-form in venues all around the Windy City including: Donny's Skybox and the DeMaat at The Second City, iO, The Playground, a handful of dive bars and countless dilapidated storefronts. She performed under many group names, all of them sound like parodies of comedy group names, among them: The Business and Lumberjack Tsunami (Check out reviews in Time Out and on WBEZ). She performs sketch and improv in NYC at The PIT and UCB.

She is a classically trained soprano with a passion for belt, folk and jazz. Lila plays an ok piano, a better ukulele and the clawhammer banjo.  Her voiceover work includes national work for A Prairie Home Companion, The Truth, Verizon, Stop n' Shop, J.C. Penny, Clairol and Summer’s Eve.


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