. . . 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.
Her recent screen work can be seen on Amazon's Alpha House, opposite John Goodman and Julie White, written by Garry Trudeau. Lila 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).
Since 2013, Lila has been writing and contributing sketches to A Prairie Home Companion under Garrison Keillor and now under its new host Chris Thile. She is currently work-shopping a play about Ora Nichols, the pioneer of Golden Age Radio Sound Effects with a grant from the Edes Foundation and the University of Chicago. For more on that project including interviews and images, please see: Edes Grant Project: Ora Nichols. For more on her writing and various writing projects, please see: Writing (Bits & Pieces).
Lila is a real comedy nerd. A graduate of Chicago's Second City & iO Conservatories and a member of the Playground Theater, she's performed sketch and long-form in venues all around Chicago 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 NPR Station WBEZ). She is currently taking classes at 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 (aka the "back-country lute").