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So far Browning Porter has created 13 blog entries.

Tracey in Sweat, Center Repertory Company, 2023

“There’s a lot of humor in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, but it packs a truly devastating wallop, and Center Repertory Company’s production at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts doesn’t pull any punches.  […] Director Elizabeth Carter’s crisp and nuanced production is marvelously powerful, with a terrific cast. […] Lisa Anne Porter is electric with energy as Cynthia’s best friend and coworker Tracey, which is a lot of fun when they’re carousing but downright dangerous when cooler heads are needed.”

Sam Hurwitt, San Jose Mercury, April 2023

“Porter and Riddley give standout performances in very tough roles that ride a rollercoaster of raw emotions.”

Steve Murray, Broadway World, April 2023

Gruach in Dunsinane, Marin Theatre Company, 2022

“Lisa Anne Porter is a marvelously compelling Gruach, forthright and defiant, demanding her due and unyielding in remaining queen no matter her circumstances. Her eye contact seems to never waver, and there’s a sly humor in the way she toys with people’s perceptions of her. This is not the villainous Lady M of Shakespeare, but she is formidable.” —Sam Hurwitt,  Marin Independent Journal, September, 2022

“Lisa Anne Porter, who we are allowed to say is Macbeth’s wife — known in factual history and in this play as Gruach — towers as Scotland’s Queen, bringing her warmth and believable warrior courage to the role of a challenged woman refusing to relinquish the throne.” Marin Magazine, October 2022

“Whenever Porter’s onstage, the show steadies. Her Gruach might be injecting mischief into the air, her Mona Lisa smile concealing cunning mixed with genuine feeling, but so lightly does Porter wear her character that even her mystery brings clarity.” —Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle, September, 2022

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Syracuse University, 2006

 “When a new, untenured faculty director premieres a show you know it pretty well has to knock your eyes out. That is what Lisa Anne Porter does with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her Dream is a feast, filled with high and low jinks, spooky supernaturalism, laugh-out-loud spoof and joyous eroticism. Although there are 22 standout performances, it’s the overall conception that pulls you out of your seat… For all the razzmatazz in the production values, director Porter always honors the dialogue first… Porter’s handling of a student ensemble is precisely timed perfection.”

James MacKillip, Syracuse New Times, February 2006

 “A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, directed by Lisa Anne Porter, is sumptuous, a sweeping, action-filled show that fully catches the play’s light comic spirit along with its darker side—a fusion of waking and dream that leaves the characters teetering between reason and fantasy.”

Neil Novelli, The Post-Standard, February 2006


Co-Director of Proof, Town Hall Theatre, Lafayette, CA, 2010

“This production is team directed by Marybeth Cavanaugh and Lisa Anne Porter. Lisa Anne Porter said in a recent interview, “We are really excited to jump into this play about fathers and daughters and sisters, madness and genius, love and loss.  — “  The performances are absolutely superb! Clive Worsley (as Robert) is brilliant in his portrayal of madness intertwined with sanity. This production packed the theater leaving standing room only. After the applause finally died out, I overheard several people as they were filing out of the theatre, who said they were so excited about Town Hall in general, that they were going downstairs to immediately sign up for the next season’s productions. I agree and I hope they did!”

Charles Jarrret. For All Events, June 10, 2010

Proof: Mirth, Mystery, Madness and Math
A review by Sophie Braccini

Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Director of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Town Hall Theatre, Lafayette, CA, 2011

“Between the play’s 1993 premiere and the turn of the century, I probably saw ‘Picasso’ a dozen times and almost knew it by heart. And while all that familiarity didn’t breed contempt, it did breed a sort of numbing familiarity that made me lose my appreciation of the show’s mad comic genius. Since then, though, I hadn’t seen the play until catching Town Hall Theatre’s dazzling production last weekend. The show was not only well done, it also proved the piece has legs and remains as meaningful as it was in 1993… Porter’s direction moves things along quickly, yet gives the illusion of lingering on portions worthy of some pause for thought.”

Pat Craig, The Mercury News , September 26, 2011

It’s a Wonderful Life

Director of It’s a Wonderful Life, Town Hall Theatre, Lafayette, CA, 2012

“I showed up only minutes before the curtain, trying to avoid friends in the lobby and knowing that in not too much time, I would be at my keyboard doing the journalistic equivalent of kicking a kitten. Then the show started. Within seconds, I was captivated, quickly learning the lesson that, while schmaltz tends not to work in movies, it comes on like gangbusters on stage (particularly in an intimate theater like Town Hall). The charming innocence of George Bailey (Dan Saski) comes through beautifully as we see, in flashback, how a genuinely good man can be led to suicide when life, and the wealthy town villain, Henry Potter (Randy Anger), turn against him. And, bang, I’m hooked like a carp…But it’s Porter who should get much of the credit for the living picture she creates with the show. From the start, when most of the actors are seated on stage with their backs to the audience, the show has an “Our Town” feel to it.”

Pat Craig, Mercury News, December 4, 2012

“While Scrooge was a Town Hall Theatre favourite of holidays past, the stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic film It’s a Wonderful Life which opened Nov. 29 promises a production as successful and popular as the Dickens’ classic… A drama more than a comedy, It’s a Wonderful Life does not hesitate to dwell in the darkest corners of the human soul; it talks of greed, selfishness and treason. The story also explores how to deal with life when big dreams must be scaled down. But its charm comes from showing the difference one decent human being can make, and that the good you do can one day come back to you.. Porter brings this magic to the stage, and audience members are sure to leave Town Hall Theatre with happy hearts, filled with optimism and joy.”

Sophie Braccini, Lamorinda Weekly, December 5, 2012

Let the Right One In

Resident Associate Director of Let the Right One In, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, CA 2023

Julia in Fefu and Her Friends, American Conservatory Theater, 2022

“With “Fefu and Her Friends,” the new American Conservatory Theater under Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon has arrived.

It’s audacious. It’s ambitious. It’s weird and intellectual, yet welcoming, playful and imaginative. It’s art that asks much and doesn’t apologize, but helps you rise to its challenge and pays dividends when you do. It’s art that’s worthy of a city as dynamic and inventive as San Francisco.

Porter’s Julia, in a solo, bedridden scene somehow bridging wake, seance, confession and confrontation, makes ghosts feel as real as cold breath on the back of your neck, all with the audience seated just inches away from her.”

Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, April, 2022

“a mesmerizing Lisa Anne Porter”

Chad Jones, Theatre Dogs, April , 2022

 “I also very much enjoyed Lisa Anne Porter’s mix of strength and vulnerability as wheelchair-bound Julia, whose sort of fever dream sets the denouement in motion.”

Tim Munson, Broadway World, April, 2022

“In another piece of power, Lisa Ann Porter pounds a through line of threat towards Fefu from the moment she fights her hallucinations (assisted mightily by the sublime soundscape of Jake Rodriguez, whose playlist is more like a slaylist). A living, pulsing set of breaths that build mightily to a harrowing end are an exercise in Porter’s ability to reach a divine level of transcendence.”

David Chavez, Bay Area Plays, April 2022

“Lisa Anne Porter’s portrayal of Julia is one of the evening’s most arresting performances…. At her bedside during our tour, we witness an unsettling, frightful hallucination of Julia that provides more insights into the dominating male world that the playwright seems to be reminding us exists more than in just nightmares.  As the evening progresses, Lisa Anne Porter’s Julia provides us with a disconcerting, climatic showdown with Catherine Castellanos’ Fefu that proves the star power of both actors.”

Eddie Reynolds, Theatre Eddy’s, April 2022 

Suzanne in Eureka Day, Aurora Theatre Company, 2018

“In envisioning a very liberal and very privileged Berkeley private school, Jonathan Spector’s play is so crisply defined that you might have to periodically remind yourself that you haven’t already met these characters in real life. Don (Rolf Saxon) is the conflict-averse head of school who at various executive committee meetings with parents gets a balletic spring in his step from abstract nouns, scones and markering notes on tearaway butcher paper. Longtime hyper-involved volunteer Suzanne (Lisa Anne Porter, bouncing up and down with the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons) is equally vehement in bulldozing her views over everyone else’s and then reproaching herself for doing so.”

Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, 2018.


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