Lila Newman

Lila Newman was the 2014 University of Chicago Awardee of the Edes Foundation Prize.

She is an actor, writer, musician and comedian, and received her MFA in Acting from Drama Centre London with study at the Vakhtangov Institute in Moscow.  As part of her Edes year, She worked on a play about Ora Nichols, the pioneer of Golden Age Radio Sound Effects. For more on that project including interviews and images, please see: Edes Grant Project: Ora Nichols.  

Her recent screen work can be seen on Amazon’s Alpha Houseopposite John Goodman and Julie White and written by Garry Trudeau. Stage work includes New York: White on White (Steps Theatre), About Face (The Brick), A Map to Somewhere ElseSomething Wicked (Everyday Inferno). Chicago: A Prairie Home Companion (NPR), The Ballad of Lula Del Ray (Manual Cinema), Sketch Comedy & Improv (Donny’s Skybox at The Second City, iO (Improv Olympic), The Playground), Spectacle Performer (Redmoon),Compass Players (Pocket Guide to Hell), Liberal Arts: The Musical,The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Underscore Theater Company)Williamstown Theater Festival: 356/365 Plays, Uncle Sam I Am (Nikos Theater). London: Hedda Gabler, The Broken Heart (The Platform Theatre), Twelfth Night (Studio Theatre at Kings Cross) Moscow: The Seagull (SADA Theatre).

A graduate of Chicago’s Second City & iO Conservatories and a member of the Playground Theater, Lila’s performed sketch and long-form in venues all around Chicago including: Donny’s Skybox and the DeMaat at The Second City, iO, The Playground, a handfull of dive bars and countless dilapidated storefronts. She performed under many group names, all of them sound like parodies of comedy group names, among them: The Business and Lumberjack Tsunami (Check out reviews in Time Out and NPR Station WBEZ).

She is a classically trained soprano with a passion for belt, folk and jazz. Lila plays an ok piano, a better ukulele and the clawhammer banjo (please, forgive her the last).

Lila writes and contributes sketches weekly to A Prairie Home Companion. With Sarah Rosenshine, Lila also co-writes, produces and acts in Barnum Effect, a radio sketch show. For more on her writing, please see: Writing (Bits & Pieces).