Joan Lipkin is
the Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company
in St. Louis, Missouri where she founded the nationally acclaimed
Alternate Currents/Direct Currents Series, The DisAbility Project,
the Louies and Apple Pie. A strong proponent of collaboration,
she also co-founded Women CenterStage! with the Center of Creative
Arts, the Nadadada Festival at The Contemporary Art Museum St.
Louis, Democracy on Stage with the American Civil Liberties Union,
and the Mid-Sized Arts Cooperative.
A playwright, director, activist, educator, and social critic,
her award-winning work has been featured on network television,
National Public Radio, the BBC and the Associated Press. Her
work has been published and presented throughout the United States,
Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Europe, Australia and Asia. She
was an Artist-in-Residence at Washington University for five
years and served on the faculty of the Community Arts Training
Institute for three years.
Joan specializes in creating original work with underrepresented
populations including people with disabilities, women with cancer,
LGBT youth and adults, seniors, adolescent girls, college students and youth at
risk. For more information about some of Joan's plays, click here.
She has received commissions from numerous organizations including
Yale University ("Kaleidoscope"), the Foster Care Coalition of St. Louis (“Will the Real Foster
Parent Please Stand Up?”) the Susan G. Komen Foundation (“The
Real Deal”), SSM Healthcare (“Diverse Works”), Provident Counseling
(“Hello, Is Anybody There?”), the ACLU-Eastern Missouri (“Democracy
on Stage”), the Federal Reserve Board of Greater St. Louis (“Ten
Percent: Sexual Orientation and Homophobia in the Workplace”),
Pfizer Corporation (“The Big Fat LGBT Show of Shows”), the New
York City Gay Men’s Chorus (“The Sage Cycle”) and One Mississippi
Joan's work has been widely presented. Selected theatres include the Old Vic, the Gate, Slack Dynamics and Jacksons Lane (London), Bailiwick Repertory and Circle Theatre (Chicago), Sprague Hall (Yale University), Lincoln Center, Buffalo United Artists, Nuyorican Cafe and Hallwalls (New York), Place des Arts (Montreal), Theatre Out and the Globe (Los Angeles), Provincetown Playhouse (Provincetown), Phoenix Rising (Washington DC), the Women’s Theatre Project ( Ft Lauderdale), Red Hen (Cleveland), Six Women Playwrights Festival (Colorado) and the Gaslight and St Marcus Theatres (St. Louis).
She has served on advisory committees for the International Women
Playwrights Festival, Theatre Nausicaa (Paris), and Fragments
and Monuments Theatre Company (London). In St. Louis, Lipkin
has served on committees for the Susan G. Komen Foundation-St.
Louis, VSA arts, PROMO, Center for Creative Arts, Contemporary
Art Museum St. Louis, Edison Theatre, Gateway Men’s Chorus, Missouri
Arts Council and Pride Partnership. Currently, she is on the
executive board of the national Women and Theatre Program.
She has adjudicated or been the respondent for several competitions
including the Kevin Kline Awards, National Women Playwrights’
Competition, North American Junior Colleges Playwrights’ Competition,
Society of Arts and Letters Comedic Acting Award, Jane Chambers
Award and the Visionary Awards.
She has lectured and presented widely including at Yale University, Davidson College,
New York University, the University of London, Georgetown University,
Southwestern University, University of Texas – Austin, Washington
and Lee, Missouri School for the Blind, Women in Theatre, Association
for Theatre in Higher Education, International Playback Symposium,
International Society for Disability Studies, Pedagogy and Theatre
of the Oppressed, and Creating Change.
Some of her honors include the Award for Disability Activism (Sisters of Loretto), the 2012 Arts Innovator of the Year (Arts & Education Council), Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award (National Conference for Community & Justice), Lisa Wagaman Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Service (Pride St. Louis), Outstanding Alumna Award from
Webster University, a Woman of Worth Award from the Gateway Older
Women's League, a Visionary Award from Grand Center, the Special
Recognition Award from the Recreational Council of Greater St.
Louis, Special Recognition from Arts for Life, Frederick A. Laas
Award from the Missouri Citizens for the Arts, the Woman Justice Award from Missouri Lawyers,
the James F. Hornback Ethical Humanist of the Year, a Healthcare
Hero Finalist, and the Missouri Arts Award, the state’s highest
honor to individuals and institutions that have made profound
and lasting contributions to the cultural and artistic landscape
Her company has also received numerous honors including the John
Van Voris Award for Community Service, What’s Right with the
Region Award for Improving Racial Equality and Social Justice
from Focus St. Louis, the Community Enhancement Award from the
Governor’s Council on Disabilities and the Midwest Gala Human
Rights Campaign Organization Equality Award.
Her work is published in Women's Comedic Art as Social Revolution, Upstaging Big Daddy: Directing Theater
as if Race and Gender Matter (University of Michigan), Contemporary
Feminist Theatres: To Each Her Own (Routledge), Amazon All Stars
(Applause), Monologues By Women, For Women (Heinemann), More
Monologues By Women, For Women (Heinemann), Sexuality in Performance (Faber & Faber), Nice Jewish Girls: Growing Up in America (Plume/Penguin), Mythic Women/Real Women: New Plays and Performance
Pieces (Faber & Faber) Women’s Comedy: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
on Gender and Humor (Polity), Outstanding Monologues and Scenes
from the 90’s (Meriwether Publishing), 60 Seconds to Shine: 221
One-Minute Monologues for Men (Smith & Kraus), 60 Seconds
to Shine: 221 One-Minute Monologues for Women (Smith & Kraus),
One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century (Applause), One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st
Century (Applause), Radical Acts (Aunt Lute), Body In Performance (Routledge), 2005-2006 Best American Short Plays (Applause),
2010-2011 Best American Short Plays (Applause), Feminist Disability
Studies (Indiana University Press), Out and Allied (Add Verb
Publications), Mother/Daughter Monologues, Vol 2: Thirtysomethings (International Centre for Women Playwrights), Scenes from a Diverse
World (International Center for Women Playwrights)
Her work and the work of her company have been featured in New
Theatre Quarterly (Great Britain), Contemporary Theatre Review
(Great Britain), American Theatre, The Drama Review, National
Women Studies Journal, Australian Feminist Studies, The Dramatists
Guild Quarterly, Southern Poverty Law Center Journal, Curtain
Call, In Theater, Playbill, Theatre and Social Change, Theatre.com,
Intermission, The Purple Circuit, The Beacon, and St. Louis Magazine,
among other publications.
She is a member of the Missouri Citizens for the Arts, Arts Round
Table, Dramatists Guild, Women and Theatre Program, Association
for Theatre in Higher Education, Theatre and Social Change Forum,
Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, American Association of
People with Disabilities, Association for Theatre and Accessibility,
Society for Disability Studies and PEN.