Eisa Davis

Eisa Davis

She // Her // Hers

[ID: a black woman with curly hair wearing a denim tank top smiles while looking down on a balcony overlooking the skyline of Mannahatta.]

Portrait photo by Jennifer Mudge.

Writer, Composer, and Performer
Brooklyn, NY
2023 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Eisa Davis is a writer, composer, and performer. A recipient of a Creative Capital Award, an Obie for Sustained Excellence in Performance, the Herb Alpert Award in Theater, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play Bulrusher. Davis wrote and starred in the stage memoir Angela’s Mixtape. Other works include Paper Armor, Umkovu, Hip Hop Anansi, Six Minutes, The History Of Light (Barrymore nomination), Warriors Don’t Cry, Ramp (Ruby Prize), ||: Girls :||: Chance :||: Music :||:, The Essentialisn’t, and Mushroom. A multivolume series of her plays is soon to be published by 53rd State Press. She led the 2021 black femme celebration of Kathleen Collins’ work AFROFEMONONOMY // WORK THE ROOTS, and she has recorded two albums of her original music — Something Else and Tinctures — and has enjoyed a multi-decade career as a performer on stage and screen. Current projects for the stage include the libretto for an opera adaptation of Bulrusher and the music and lyrics for Devil In A Blue Dress. An alumna of New Dramatists, she has received residencies, awards, and fellowships from the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Helen Merrill Foundation, the Van Lier and Mellon Foundations, New Dramatists, and Cave Canem. Davis was born and raised in the Bay Area and lives in Brooklyn.
  • Artwork by Eisa Davis
    Eisa Davis and Jennifer Harrison Newman in a pop up performance at Carrie Mae Weems' The Shape of Things, 2021. Park Avenue Armory, New York. Photo by Briana Blasko.
    [ID: Two performers seem to play tug of war with a piece of black rope on a stage hung with shimmery, translucent curtains. The performer on the left is partly obscured by one of the curtains, as is a bright, circular light behind them, which looks like the moon.]
Artwork by Eisa Davis