Lee University’s Isom, Center Stage

Friday, October 05, 2012 - by Christian Downes, Lee University
Stacey Isom
Stacey Isom
- photo by Courtesy of Sara Renee

Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Stacey Isom was nationally recognized for her playwriting. “California Dreamin’” was deemed a finalist in the EstroGenius Festival and “On the 8s” was selected to The Great Plains Theatre Conference. 

With “California Dreamin’” Ms. Isom was selected as one of 15 finalists from nearly 300 submitters to the EstroGenius Festival at the Manhattan Theatre Source in New York City.  

Volunteer run, the EstroGenius Festival is one of New York City’s largest women’s arts festivals.

According to the New York Times, EstroGenius “lives up to its billing as a celebration of women’s work.” 

Ms. Isom’s “On the 8s” was one of 30 plays chosen from over 600 entries to the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, Neb. and received a staged reading this past May. 

“I had a wonderful director, Becky Key Boesen, and a truly fantastic cast,” shared Ms. Isom. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of artists to work with on my play. There is something exciting about working with other artists; it becomes something bigger than you because it requires other artists.”

The conference hosted playwrights from New York City, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and from all over the country. “I got to meet a lot of playwrights,” Ms. Isom said.  “I learned so much in workshops led by well-known playwrights Rebecca Gilman, Constance Congdon, and Sibyl Kempson.”

The Great Plains Theatre Conference affords playwrights and theatre artists the opportunity to share time, energy and talent in developing the craft, creating new work and strengthening community. GPTC seeks to recognize the work of renowned American playwrights while fostering the work of new and emerging ones. 

Ms. Isom said, “It was good to see what’s being written right now from so many creative playwrights doing great things.”

Third Course: Theater of Austin, Texas, with whom Ms. Isom has been working for three years, plans to produce “On the 8s” this coming summer. 

“Theater is about relationships,” Ms. Isom said. “And TCT has done more for my work than anyone else. I’m thrilled at the prospect of working with this wonderful group of artists again. It’s in these long-term collaborations that truly great theater is created.”

In her college years, Ms. Isom wrote fiction and screenplays. She said, “I came about playwriting in a circuitous manner, not in the traditional way; I wrote fiction, and was later encouraged to try screenplays.”  When Ms. Isom attended Regent University for graduate studies, she was “adopted” by the theater department. “I fell in love with theater, and it still fits the way I see the world.  I love the community of it.”

Ms. Isom is the instructor for Lee’s Introduction to Playwriting and Advanced Playwriting courses, as well as courses in screen writing.

“I’d encourage any creative writer to take a playwriting course. You learn about structure, voice, and audience. There’s immediate feedback; it’s a formidable place to learn about who you are as a writer.” 

Ms. Isom joined the Department of Language and Literature at Lee University as an assistant professor of creative writing in 2007.  She received an MFA in Script and Screenwriting from Regent University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Old Dominion University, where she was the recipient of a teaching assistantship, as well as the David Scott Sutelan Memorial Award. 

Ms. Isom’s plays include “Letters to John Lennon,” “Touching Aurora,” “Smokin’ Devils,” “California Dreamin’”,” “On the 8’s,” “Dough & Cookies,” among others.  Her work has been seen or won awards at The Barter Theatre, the Playwright’s Theater (Dallas), Pittsburgh New Works Festival, L.A. First Stage, Third Course: Theatre (Austin), and elsewhere. 

Ms. Isom is also a Fellow of The Hambidge Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. 



Chattanooga State Boosts LaPaz Food Drive

Students, faculty and staff banded together in support of the annual food drive to La Paz Chattanooga. A total of 41 boxes of food were collected, packed and delivered on Monday in time for Thanksgiving. According to Dr. Katheryn Thompson, Spanish Club advisor, “It was the most boxes we ever have been able to deliver and it was all due to the support of our students and campus community.” ... (click for more)

Lee’s Behavioral And Social Sciences Department Names Williams Distinguished Alum

Mark Williams was honored as the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus for Lee University’s Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at a department breakfast during Homecoming festivities. Dr. Williams graduated from Lee with a degree in psychology in 1986 before earning a Master’s of Divinity from the Church of God Pentecostal Theological Seminary in 1989. He was also awarded an honorary ... (click for more)

Kiser Takes Witness Stand For First Time; Says He Did Not Kill Deputy Donald Bond

Marlon Duane Kiser took the witness stand at his post-conviction hearing on Tuesday to declare that he did not kill Deputy Donald Bond, who was gunned down at a produce stand in East Brainerd 13 years ago. Kiser had not opted to go on the stand when he was convicted by a Nashville jury and given the death penalty in 2003. He said he believes it was Mike Chattin, the man he ... (click for more)

Courtney Godwin, 25, Was Victim In Monday Night Fire In Hixson

Chattanooga firefighters battled a fully-involved structure fire in Hixson Monday night, and the incident involved at least one fatality.  Dr. Steve Cogswell with the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as Courtney D. Godwin, 25. Dr. Cogswell said Ms. Godwin died from smoke inhalation.   The first call to 911 Communications was received ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Faculty Has No Business Being Involved In Hiring Decisions

This letter will hopefully bring some clarity to the recent situation created by the faculty of Chattanooga State Community College. It is based upon my tenure as a member of the faculty at Chattanooga State Technical Institute, the transformation to Chattanooga State Community College, and my service as the financial and administrative officer at Chattanooga State until my retirement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)