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. 



Walk At School Event At Red Bank Elementary Friday

Red Bank Elementary students have been participating in walk to school day events.   On Friday, the 5th graders are doing a surprise "flash mob" dance on the last song at 2 p.m.  (click for more)

Tennessee Releases 2014 State Report Card

The 2014 state Report Card­­­­, posted  Thursday  on the Tennessee Department of Education website, offers users the ability to view detailed breakdowns of last year’s student achievement growth and other important data points. The 2014 Report Card features a variety of tabs including growth or value-added data, accountability, and education climate. A College and ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)