Lisa Strum knows that creativity comes from outside the box, and she knows how to help students get there. As a quintuple theatrical threat, Lisa works professionally as an actor, writer, singer, director, and producer, including writing and performing in her own award-winning one-woman show, She Gon' Learn, and having a recurring role in Law & Order: SVU. As an educational consultant, she takes her artistic know-how and brings it to public schools and colleges, leading youth in workshops to help tap into their creative performance powers.
One of Lisa's most recent educational roles was as a teaching artist at the Literacy Unbound summer institute. This annual 2-week long event brings high school students and teachers together to create an original performance inspired by a piece of literature. This year, the group read and performed Joseph Conrad’s controversial novel, Heart of Darkness. As a teaching artist, Lisa led the group in movement exercises and theater techniques to help them tap into their innermost source of uninhibited creativity.
For Lisa, finding that source begins with movement. To get creative, you expect your mind to do a lot of mental hurdle jumping and sidestepping. But maybe that mental churning gets more flexibility and power if it starts as movement in the body. While teaching at the summer institute, Lisa showed her students what it was like to use their bodies and minds in a nonlinear way to realize the creativity that can come from that. The use of body, mind, and space in a nonlinear way opens up new possibilities that were once hidden behind habits or expectations. In her teaching, Lisa was able to help the group take the Heart of Darkness and create an artistic interpretation rooted in the freedom one finds at the heart of creative performance.