Eisa Davis is an award-winning actor, writer, and singer-songwriter working on stage and screen. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Bulrusher, and wrote and starred in Angela’s Mixtape, named a best of the year by The New Yorker. Other plays include Ramp (Ruby Prize winner), The History of Light (Barrymore nomination), Paper Armor, Umkovu, Six Minutes, Warriors Don’t Cry, Mushroom Play, and the collaborations Active Ingredients and Hip Hop Anansi. She is currently writing the musicals Flowers are Sleeping and Devil In A Blue Dress, and writes for the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It.
Eisa was awarded the prestigious Herb Alpert Award in Theatre, and was a resident playwright at New Dramatists, where she won the Helen Merrill Award and the Whitfield Cook Award, among others. She has received fellowships from Sundance/UCross, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, Cave Canem, Williams College, and the Doris Duke, Van Lier and Mellon Foundations.
As an actor, she is an Obie Award winner for Sustained Excellence in Performance. Eisa recently concluded a celebrated run in in Kings
at the Public, was in the 2017 Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar
, and appeared in Preludes
by Dave Malloy, directed by Rachel Chavkin, for which she received her second Lucille Lortel nomination. Other recent theatre work includes The Cradle Will Rock
directed by Sam Gold, Luck of the Irish
(Lucille Lortel and AUDELCO nominations), the world premieres of This
and The Call
, the first revival of The Piano Lesson
at Yale Rep (also composer and music director), and the acclaimed Broadway rock musical Passing Strange
, captured on film by Spike Lee. Current television work includes Rise
(NBC), Condi Rice on The Looming Tower
(Hulu), and Succession
(HBO). Eisa played Cynthia Driscoll on House of Cards
, was Bubbles’ sister on The Wire
. and Alexandra on Blindspot
. She has guest starred on Falling Water, The Family, Elementary, Madam Secretary, American Odyssey, Gotham, The Blacklist, The Good Wife, Mercy
, and Damages
, and recurred on Soul Food, Smash
and Hart of Dixie
. Film work includes First Match, Free Angela, Welcome to the Rileys
(opposite James Gandolfini), In The Family, Robot Stories, The Architect, Confess, Happenstance, Pretty Bird, Apparition of the Eternal Church, Brass Tacks, The Letter
and The Volunteer.
As a singer-songwriter, music from her albums Something Else and Tinctures are available through iTunes and Soundcloud. Selections from Tinctures were featured on the Showtime series Soul Food. Eisa sings her original music at venues including Joe’s Pub, BAMCafé, Bard Spiegeltent, Mass MoCA, the Whitney Museum, Rockwood, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Apollo. She sings as one of the Three Graces in Carrie Mae Weems’ Grace Notes (Spoleto Festival, Yale Rep, the Kennedy Center).
Eisa is a member of The Actors Studio, a Usual Suspect at New York Theater Workshop, and was an artist-in-residence at Symphony Space. A graduate of The New School and Harvard, she lives in Brooklyn, NY.