Liza began teaching as a Master's candidate in Playwriting at Southern Illinois University. There she taught "Speech & Movement", a thorough public speaking course, for 4 semesters.
Since 2001, Liza has been teaching her unique method of playwriting to those longing to bring their burning idea to fruition. Liza’s students range from absolute beginners, to experienced writers just like herself, seeking a no nonsense method of playwriting focused on structure and story, with a solid dose of guidance and inspiration.
Some of Liza’s students have gone on to great success, including Andrea Reese’s long-running one-woman show Cirque Jacqueline, Andrew Goffman’s off-Broadway The Accidental Pervert, and Andrew Dainoff’s All We Can Handle, which was included in the The Back Stage Book of New American Short Plays 2005.
Whether she’s teaching a group, guest lecture, or one-on-one training, Liza brings with her a wealth of experience working with all levels of playwrights, noting their trials and tribulations, and tries to make it a fun ride to the finish. Her method is personal, yet pragmatic, and geared towards getting the job done.
In 2010 Liza received her SIT TESOL Certificate from Rennert in New York City, and taught ESL for a nonprofit in Harlem.
Read Liza's instructional articles "From Page to Stage" and "Once Upon a Playwrighting Idea" in the 2010 Screenwriter's and Playwright's Market, published by Writer's Digest Books.
A lover of school and learning, Liza has always kept one foot in academia, either as a guest lecturer or a committee member. Full CV available.
What Liza’s students have to say…
"Liza Lentini is a brilliant, dedicated, and inspired teacher who brings out the best in every one of her students. Within her class I wrote my first play, which is now being considered for an Off-Broadway run. Without Liza's encouragement and guidance I definitely could not have accomplished this. I am forever grateful to Liza for her extraordinary teaching."
Playwright/Actor Andrea Reese author of Cirque Jacqueline
"I am thrilled to be a beginning student of Liza's. With each lesson and Liza's on-going support, I grow more confident about my ability to realize my dream of playwriting. She is not only extremely knowledgeable about the history and workings of the theatre world, but she is adept at story crafting, and teaches with an ease and enthusiasm that readily gets your creative juices flowing. Clearly, she is a real talent, on many levels, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who aspires to bring their work to the stage one day."
Robin Gorman Newman, author, "How to Meet a Mensch in NY."
“As a teacher myself with almost thirty years experience, I knew the moment I stepped in the class that Liza was a great teacher. I went into that class a bit fearful and lacking confidence. I emerged a playwright with already two plays under my belt, one to be produced this April in my church…for the rest of my life I will put to good use what I learned.”
Marlie Buehler, New Playwright and Program Director, Abundant Waters
“Liza’s enthusiasm as a playwright is infectious and creates an atmosphere of courage and clarity amongst her students. I’ve had a number of writing teachers and Liza’s ability to guide students through their own creative thought process to elicit the ‘truth’ and natural development of characters is quite remarkable.”
Playwright Davina Willet
“Liza is a teacher who knows how to really peel away the dynamic challenges of writing and give you the basics you need as a starting point. I had this great idea, I had researched it but I could not start to put one word on paper until I studied with her. She had very good structure to her curriculum. We did exercises and we wrote on the very first day of class! Often, people (including myself) can get too stuck on all the variables involved where Liza really just said, “ok! Lets write!” Sometimes we all need good inspiration like that, someone saying, “Do it, and do it right now!” Didn’t matter if it was not ‘perfect’ upon doing it, she gentling and inspiringly helped along the way, suggesting and trying to get you to see which was the better path to take. The storytelling road ahead was always there, but Liza swept away the leaves and branches so I could see which way I needed to go for myself. She never imposed her own way of how I should tell the story. She just painted the sign at the cross road that said, this way or that way. One sign might have said 1 mile in one direction and the other said 100 miles in the other direction, I needed to make the discussion which way to go and how long a haul I wanted to make. I remember her exercises in class (flash cards for story structure) in particular where exceptionally helpful just in keeping me organized. Liza really knows her stuff and is an exceptional writer, I would recommend her for anyone tackling playwriting and know that she can really help hold your hand and inspire you to move forward so you can get your own story finished and out there!”
Actor/Filmmaker/Playwright Brion Dinges
“Liza's teaching style is fantastic! Her techniques helped me to focus my ideas and find the story that I wanted to tell. Liza is a great teacher with supportive energy and amazing methods. She encourages creativity while also helping the writer move forward to the ultimate goal of a completed play. I'd recommend her to everyone.”
Actress Stacie Theon
“Liza’s style of teaching playwriting is all about fun and freedom: she opens doors you thought were closed and shows you how to just write and to enjoy it. We did many exercises in her class where we would simply flesh out an idea, finish a thought or organize our ideas. To me, her whole approach is to get writers to clear their minds of the typical roadblocks we put up that say we cannot write and show us how to just do it. My favorite sessions were when our classmates read our works-in-progress aloud – you really sensed what things worked or didn’t work and it was often hilarious. The immediate feedback was crucial to developing the work.”
Laura Mayer, aspiring playwright/high school teacher
“It is my pleasure to write a note in praise of Liza Lentini. I took a playwriting course from her several years ago and benefited immensely from it. Liza knows and loves her craft. She imparts her prodigious knowledge of playwriting and the history of theatre in an enthusiastic, clear, stimulating way. She said on day one of our class that we were each going to complete a play during our course of study with her and complete plays we did! She guided us with a gentle, nurturing hand. I found studying with her truly inspired and motivated me and gave me the foundation I was lacking. I look forward to her book because I know it will be a great refresher for me and will offer new insights as well.”
Playwright Eric H. Weinberger
"Liza is a mastermind when it comes to script work, and inspiring writers. When I was preparing my one-man show I'd hit a roadblock in the re-writing process, and Liza helped me refine my script and make all the right changes, one step at a time."
Andrew Goffman, Playwright, The Accidental Pervert