Lisa Kron

Doris Duke Artist Award, 2014

New York, NY

Lisa Kron’s work is propelled by her interest in the fundamental nature of theatre and dramatic action. Early plays such as 2.5 Minute Ride and Well used autobiographical material to explore the gulf between lived events and the stories we tell about them. Her recent musical, Fun Home, written with composer Jeanine Tesori, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, received five Tony Awards including Best Musical. As an actor, Kron appeared most recently in The Foundry Theatre’s Good Person of Szechuan (2013). She is a founding member of the collaborative theater company Five Lesbian Brothers, with whom she has received grants from NPN Creation Fund (2004) and the MAP Fund (2003), among others. Her honors include Tony Awards for best musical book and score (2015), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005), and a Creative Capital Award (2000). Kron serves on the board of the McDowell Colony and the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America. She's currently working on a play commissioned by the Sloan Foundation looking at how narratives in art and science relate to the real world.

  • Photo Credit: Eva Weiss
  • The Good Person of Szechwan (2013)
  • Photo Credit: Alan Simons
    The Veri**on Play (2012)
  • Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
    Fun Home (2012)
  • Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
    Martha @...the 1963 Interview (2012)

What fuels your impulse to make creative work?

I love about theatre that it seeks not a single truth but a field of truth. I love that great plays never entrust their truth or their meaning to their characters. Characters, of course, have world-views, often compellingly stated and sometimes containing wisdom, but always the play knows more than they do. This is the very thing that draws us into a play, the source of drama’s unique power; we are hooked by the limitation of a character’s view, not its authority. Drama is not told to us, instead we watch as characters experience events in the “now.” A play is a framework that enables us to hold in our view the confusing and elusive fact that everyone else has a consciousness as complete, as worthy, and as limited, as our own. Not one of us can see over the next hill, into the heart of the person standing next to us, or into the future, even though every one of us at some time or another is full of presumption to the contrary. This is the essence of theater: It is a map of the democracy of consciousness. It is a map of humility. It is a map that leads us to connection by way of our shared confoundedness.