(Playwright & Lisa) Lisa Lampanelli shot her fifth stand-up special, “Back to the Drawing Board,” which premiered June 26, 2015 on EPIX and was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album.” In the special, Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean showed off her radically different look after having lost more than 100 pounds. That weight loss, which she has maintained for over four years, inspired her to write Stuffed since, having been every size from 2 to 26, she has firsthand knowledge of the food and body-image struggle.
Lisa became a household name when she joined 17 other celebrities on the fifth season of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” where she advanced to the final four in the competition, raising $130,000 for her chosen charity, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She also starred as a regular on “Bounty Hunters,” CMT’s first-ever animated series, and recently stole the show on an episode of CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” helmed by “Sex and The City” creator, Michael Patrick King. She also was recently accepted into and attended the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors in New Haven, CT.
Lampanelli joined the ranks of comedy greats with her 2009 HBO comedy special, “Long Live the Queen,” and that same year, released her autobiography, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks (Harper Collins). Lisa was also a monthly writer for the Women column in Playboy Magazine and is a contributor to the blog for Kripalu, the world-renowned yoga and meditation retreat center.
Lisa’s rise to the top of the comedy food chain began in 2002 when she was the only female comedian invited to skewer Chevy Chase on the NY Friars Club Comedy Central Roast. She soon became known as the “Queen of the Roasts”, going on to lambaste such names as Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, William Shatner, Flava Flav, David Hasselhoff and, most recently, Donald Trump. Due to her success as a roaster, in 2009, Lisa was asked to serve as Roastmaster for the highly rated Comedy Central Roast of friend and fellow comic, Larry the Cable Guy.
One of the few white comedians to perform on BET’s “Comic View,” Lisa has clearly cemented her huge crossover appeal. She went on to appear on Comedy Central’s “Last Laugh 2005” and her one-hour special that year, “Take It Like a Man,” was a hit with the comedy network yet again. The CD and the DVD of the same name hit #6 on the comedy charts. Then, in January 2007, Lisa’s second one-hour special, “Dirty Girl,” debuted on Comedy Central and Warner Bros. Records, and reached #4 on the charts. Soon thereafter, “Dirty Girl” was nominated for a Grammy Award for 2007’s “Best Comedy Album”.
Lisa appeared in the David Chase-directed feature film, “Not Fade Away.” She also appeared in “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector” and had a featured role in “Delta Farce,” opposite Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy, and D.J. Quall. She also starred in the hilarious documentary, “The Aristocrats,” and played a more maternal version of herself in the Owen Wilson vehicle, “Drillbit Taylor.”
(Director) Upcoming Chekhov’s Three Sisters (Studio Theatre in association with New Neighborhood). Recent projects include Transfers by Lucy Thurber (New York Stage & Film); Much Ado About Nothing adapted with Kenneth Lin (Cal Shakes); Workshop of Suzanne Vega’s Lover, Beloved, An Evening with Carson McCullers with music by Vega and Duncan Sheik (Rattlestick and Rattlestick West LA); George Brant’s Grounded (Alley Theatre); Jen Silverman’s The Moors (Yale Rep); These Paper Bullets! Adapted from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by Rolin Jones with music by Billie Joe Armstrong (Atlantic Theater Company, Geffen Playhouse, Yale Rep – Critics Pick Time Out NY, Best Production and Adaptation LA Sage Awards, Best of 2015 Time Out Los Angeles, Connecticut Critics Circle Award Best Production and Best Director); I Saw My Neighbor On The Train And I Didn’t Even Smile by Suzanne Heathcote (co-production New Neighborhood / Berkshire Theatre Festival); Elevada by Sheila Callaghan (Yale Rep); The Insurgents by Lucy Thurber (Labyrinth Theater Company); 3C by David Adjmi (Rattlestick/piece by piece/Rising Phoenix); Lucy Thurber’s Where We’re Born – The Hilltown Plays (Rattlestick); Rolin Jones’s The Jammer (Atlantic Theater Company) and The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Atlantic and Yale Rep, Connecticut Critics Circle Award Outstanding Production of a Play); A Little Journey (Mint Theater Company, Drama Desk nomination Outstanding Revival of a Play); Other Desert Cities; August: Osage County; Red and Kenneth Lin’s Intelligence-Slave (Alley Theatre). Jackson is a founding member of New Neighborhood. She is the Director of Artistic Programming for Fuller Road Artist Residency and teaches directing at Yale College. BFA University of the Arts. MFA Yale School of Drama. Jackson is from Sugar Land, Texas.
(Stacey) Ann Harada originated the role of Christmas Eve in Avenue Q on Broadway and the West End. Other Broadway includes Cinderella, 9 to 5, M Butterfly, Seussical, Les Misérables (revival). Recent Off – Broadway includes Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre) and Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Westside Theatre). Regionally: 42nd Street and Mamma Mia (MUNY), and God of Carnage (George Street Playhouse) FILM: Youth in Oregon, Sisters, Trouble, Admission, Hope Springs, and The Art of Getting By. TV: “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “The Good Wife,” “SMASH,” “30 Rock,” “House of Cards,” “Master of None.”
(Katey) Zainab Jah’s Recent credits include: Maima, Eclipsed, Broadway; title role of Hamlet, (The Wilma Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo N Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, (Atlantic Theater, NYC), Prudence The Convert, Josephine, Ruined, A Doll’s House ( Williamstown Theatre Festival), Helen of Troy, Trojan Women, (Classical Theatre of Harlem), In Darfur, (The Public Theatre /NYSF), Peter Sellars’ Children Of Herakles, ( European Tour). Film / TV credits: New York, I Love You (Short), “Law & Order SVU,” Outliving Emily (with Andre Braugher and Philicia Rashad), Along Came Love, with Vanessa Williams. Awards: Philadelphia Critcs’ Circle Best actress Award (Hamlet ) Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award Best Featured Actress (The Convert); San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Circle – Outstanding Performance Female Featured Role (Ruined); and Best Featured Actress, Philadelphia Critics’ Circle Featured Actress Award (The Convert).
(Britney) Jessica is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut in Stuffed! New York Theatre credits include: The Digger (La MaMa), The Blood Brothers (The Brick), The Quake (Ideal Glass), The Disembodied Soul and Buddy Becker’s Uncut Flick (NY Fringe). Web Series: “Down Dog and Carolers.” Jessica is a Yale graduate and a recent Rockwell scholar at ESPA/ Primary Stages. She is a member of the rock band My Dear Mycroft and the improv team The Jessica’s. Jessica is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut in Stuffed!