The Theatre School > About > Faculty & Staff > Performance > Lisa Portes

Lisa Portes

  • Head of Directing
  • MFA University of California-San Diego
    BA (with honors) Oberlin College​​​
  • Performance
  • 773-325-7993

Lisa Portes serves as the Head of Directing at The Theatre School.  Recent project include This Is Modern Art by Idris Goodwin & Kevin Coval (Steppenwolf Theatre), Grounded by George Brant (American Blues Theatre), Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West (TimeLine Theatre), Ghostwritten (Goodman Theatre) and After A Hundred Years (Guthrie Theatre), all by Naomi Iizuka; Night Over Erzinga (By Adriana Sevahn-Nichols), Ski Dubai by Laura Jacqmin and Spare Change by Mia McCullough (First Look Repertory of New Plays, Steppenwolf Theatre); Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue by Quiara AlegrÍa Hudes (Teatro Vista and Rivendell Theatre at Steppenwolf); Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons (Northlight Theatre); The Piano Teacher by Julia Cho; Far Away by Caryl Churchill; In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks (Next Theatre); Slingshot by Kia Korthron, Undone by Andrea Thome and Seven Spots on the Sun by MartÍn Zimmerman (Victory Gardens, Ignition Festival); El Grito del Bronx by Migdalia Cruz (Latino Theatre Festival, Goodman Theatre), Offspring of the Cold War by Carlos Murillo (Walkabout Theatre); and Wilder: An Erotic Chamber Musical by Erin Cressida Wilson, Jack Herrick and Make Craver (Playwrights Horizons, NYC).

Primarily a director of new plays and musicals, her work has been seen regionally at the Kennedy Center, South Coast Repertory Theatre's Hispanic Playwrights Project, McCarter Theatre Lab, A Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, the Santa Barbara Theatre Lab and the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference; in New York her work has been seen at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, the Public Theatre, the Flea Theatre and the Cherry Lane Alternative Theatre. Lisa served as the Associate Director of the Tony Award-winning musical The Who's Tommy, and staged its international productions in Canada, Germany and the U.K., as well as its 20th anniversary remount at the Stratford Theatre Festival in 2013.

DePaul credits include In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Hudes, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Hamlet, Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill, Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov and Polariod Stories by Naomi Iizuka, for The Theatre School Showcase; and her Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences credits include: Barrio Grrrl: A Musical by Quiara AlegrÍa Hudes, Pinkalicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kahn, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans: A Salsa Musical by Karen ZacarÍas and Highest Heaven by José Cruz Gonzalez.

Lisa is a founding member of the Latina/o Theatre Commons (LTC) and co-producer of the upcoming LTC Carnaval of New Latina/o Work, to take place July 2015. Additionally, she is a 2014-15 participant in the TCG SPARK Leadership program. Other awards include the Drama League and NEA/TCG Directors' Fellowship as well as a Fulbright/Hays Fellowship. Lisa lives in Bridgeport with her husband, playwright Carlos Murillo, and their two children Eva Rose and Carlos Alejandro.​