Lisa is a lecturer at Stanford University in the Theatre Department, teaching the very class that put her on the path of improvisation. Compelled to pass on the joys of improvisation, Lisa began teaching as part of her experience with the Stanford Improvisors, and continued as a member of the faculty of the BATS School of Improv. She has traveled around the country and world, teaching in America, Saudi Arabia (the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Seriously), New Zealand, Mexico and as a two-time guest instructor at the International Impro Festival in Würzburg, Germany. Lisa teaches privately in the Bay Area and was a high school improv coach.
Lisa designs and delivers improv-based workshops and trainings to professional teams and organizations to cultivate connection, presence, communication and creativity. From short creativity stokes to longer focused sessions, she has worked with educators, big tech companies, small design firms and everything in between. She has applied her improvisational skills in co-facilitating design thinking workshops with Lime Design Associates and leading communication skills workshops with Speechskills.
Lisa's first love is performing. Her background in scripted theater gives her a strong grounding in truthful performance and the allure of discovery and delight that improvisation offers has kept her scriptless since she began improvising professionally in 2006. Straight out of Stanford University, where she performed with the Stanford Improvisors, she joined the mainstage company at BATS Improv, Northern California's most acclaimed and longest running improvisational theatre company. At BATS, she created the renowned format The Bechdel Test, a show which puts complicated, multi-faceted women in the center of stories. She is a founding member of Improv Playhouse of San Francisco and Awkward Dinner Party. In 2012, Lisa was voted Best Actor by the SF Bay Guardian's Reader Poll. She has traveled the world to perform on international stages with international casts and finds particular delight in the global improv community.
Lisa believes improv makes the world a better place. Being a lover of words and people and the ways they effect one another, she finds particular joy in breaking down what makes it so powerful in ways that can encourage people to live a life of generosity, compassion, playfulness and connection. She co-facilitates retreats that help people approach life playfully and trustfully, and has given talks on the power of improv at schools and conferences. She and her colleague Ted DesMaisons are the creators of Monster Baby, a podcast exploring the crossover between mindfulness and improvisation.