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Lisa Porter

Stage Management Faculty / Head of Graduate Stage Management


Lisa Porter is a Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego and Head of Stage Management. She teaches stage management, collaboration, and topics related to integrated performance management. Professor Porter’s academic research includes exploring the foundational principles of inspired collaboration by investigating the intersection between the performative environment and recent developments in psychology, group dynamics, and neuroscience. She investigates collaboration in the context of interdisciplinary and cross-cultural environments in her teaching and research. She has a strong interest in the relationship between disability and performance and serves as an advisor to The Old Globe and San Diego Junior Theatre’s sensory friendly performances.

Professor Porter has recently published two articles – the first entitled “Cultivating the Individual Approach in Stage Management Education” in the book Inspired Teaching: Essays on Theatre Design and Technology Education. The second “Ong Keng Sen’s Lear Dreaming: Humanity and Power In Process”, written in collaboration with UC San Diego Alum Samantha Watson, and published in the journal TheatreForum.

Professor Porter is a freelance stage manager working internationally and regionally in diverse venues. In the past three years, she has taken Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen and TheatreWorks Singapore production of The Continuum: Beyond the Killing Fields to Australia, Brazil, and Japan. She was the Production Stage Manager for Lear Dreaming at the Singapore Arts Festival in 2012 and did a six city tour with the Silk Road Ensemble in the Fall of 2013. Professor Porter took her first sabbatical in 2014 and was the Production Stage Manager for Facing Goya, an opera composed by film composer Michael Nyman and co-produced by the Spoleto Festival USA and the Singapore International Festival of Arts. She has recently completed an eight-city tour with Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble that included a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic. She also works internationally in the corporate theater environment with multiple companies.

Ms. Porter has toured extensively, both nationally and internationally, with productions by Robert Wilson, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Laurie Anderson, Anne Bogart, Richard Foreman, and David Gordon. On Broadway, she has worked on The Lion King and Les Miserables. She stage managed Bang On A Can’s multimedia work The New Yorkers (directed by Barry Edelstein) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and has collaborated on many productions with Singaporean Director Ong Keng Sen in Singapore, Japan, Australia and Europe. She stage managed Mark Wing-Davey’s production of Henry V for the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park, as well as Off-Broadway productions at the Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons with directors Tina Landau, David Warren, Richard Foreman, and Kenny Leon. In 2010, she was the PSM for Beth Henley’s Family Week, directed by Jonathan Demme, in his theatrical directorial debut at MCC Theatre in New York. She has many regional credits, including productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe and Yale Repertory Theatre with directors Doug Hughes, Darko Tresnjak, Christopher Ashley, and John Rando.

Ms. Porter has also worked as assistant director, unit production manager, and associate producer on three films by independent filmmaker Hal Hartley, including The Girl From Monday, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. She served as Managing Director of Mr. Hartley’s production company, Possible Films, from 2002-2004.

In 1991, Ms. Porter received a Watson Fellowship, which allowed her to study theatre management at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Laterna Magika in Prague, and to work on the world premiere of Athol Fugard’s Playland at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

She was a visiting faculty member at the Yale School of Drama from 2002-2004 and taught her first international workshop at National Taiwan University in 2012.


MFA, Yale School of Drama


Galbraith Hall 312


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and by appointment