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Photo by Julie Merica Photography

John Lisbon Wood is a writer, actor, director, and playwright, based in Chicago, Illinois.

His award-winning plays have premiered at festivals across the country. His latest play, Bad Wind Blowing, was staged by Purdue Theater Company, with music by Academy Award-nominated song writer, Tevin Thomas. His forthcoming book about the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, There Stood Greenwood, is coming soon.

He co-wrote By Love and Art Scarred, a feature-length film that won Best First North American Film by the Heart of England Film festival and received the Merit Award by the Los Angeles Film Festival. 

A prolific stage actor, he has starred in Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater productions across the country. As a film actor, he is known for memorable guest starring roles on ER, Magnum P.I., David Cassidy: Man Undercover, How the West Was Won, and comedic roles in cult films like Darkman and Alligator.


Wood is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. Political Science/Urban Studies. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969-70 and is a partially disabled Viet-Nam era vet. He is a Gold Medal Recipient and participated in the Veterans in The Arts Performance in Washington D.C.  



Vern's Reviews

"Having seemingly needless tangents pays off in the case of a scene where Madison has to tackle a crazy dude (John Lisbon Wood, BEVERLY HILLS COP II and – holy shit – “Carnival Booth Attendant” in DARKMAN!) who comes into the police station claiming to be a suicide bomber. The scene provides Madison with a timer to use against Ramon later on, but I’d be fine if it had no narrative purpose. Wood is really great in the scene and it’s fun to see the cops go from blithely dismissing the guy to realizing they have to figure out what to do about him."

John Lisbon Wood and the Ins and Outs of Show Business
by Rick Kaempfer


"John Lisbon Wood has seen it all in show business. Since his early days many years ago as a member of the Second City Touring Company, Wood has compiled a long list of acting credits in television, and has achieved acclaim for his theater work (particularly the Off–Broadway production When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder, which won five Obies including one for Best Production)."

The Printed Page: Darkman

by Eric Tilley


An excellent comic book vs. film breakdown of John's scene-stealing moment in Sam Raimi's cult film from 1990, Darkman.


Bare Knuckled Theatrics

by John Lisbon Wood

A short piece in the Chicago Reader about the the Chicago Theatre Softball League. Read the full version here.



Playwriting Highlights


A dramatic musical about the Tulsa Race Riot. It premiered at the Purdue Theatre Company in 2011 and was directed by Corya Kennedy Channing, with music by Academy Award-nominated composer, Tevin Thomas.


A play about the turbulent life of queer actor Montgomery Clift. Adapted by the playwright and actor, Omar Price, the one man show was directed by the playwright and premiered at the Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project in New York City in 2012.


Los Angeles' Bitter Truth Playhouse, 2001
Dir. Donna Forman and Joen Nielsen Lewis


This contemporary drama is fueled by the concealed, desperate motives of two dubiously matched, middle-aged strangers: Sam and Rita. The two find themselves at Rita's apartment, after a chance encounter at a Chicago bar.


Dir. Davey-Marlin Jones
The Asylum Theatre Company



Resident Playwright, LoveCreek Company in New York City. Directed, acted, taught for 12 productions.


Coming soon: There Stood Greenwood

In this historically researched and documented work, John Lisbon Wood presents the case that the 1921 massacre should be classified as the single greatest act of Domestic Terrorism in the United States, one of a number of genocidal acts perpetrated on progressive Black communities culminating in the notorious “Red Summer of 1919.” For excerpts or more information, please email the author.

The Indian Soul of Miss Emily Elizabeth

"Wood's debut novel addresses themes of faith, love, and survival in its intimate portrait of a working-class Kentucky family... Elementary school student Donna Jo's mother was recently taken away to a 'nervous hospital', her beloved cat won't come out from underneath the bed, and her father can't pay for her school trip to a Shawnee Indian exhibit because his beat-up truck is falling apart... Wood beautifully constructs a portrait of a small-town family strugglign to survive on very little... Despite her young narrator's limited perspective, Wood is able to explore complex, serious adult issues... A fine novel with compelling characters, a satisfying plot and fulfilling message." - Kirkus Reviews


To Read. To Think. To Grow.

American Library Association Video for the White House Conference on Literacy


Guest Starring Roles


Darkman / Carnival Attendant

Dir. Sam Raimi

Beverly Hills Cop II / Bobby Morgan

Dir. Tony Scott


Alligator / Mad Bomber

Dir. Lewis Teague


ER / Homeless Man

Episode: "What Life?"

The Untouchables / Husband

Episode: "Chinatown"

Hunter / Paulie

Episode: "Love, Hate and Sporty James"

Magnum P.I. / Dwayne Dailey

Episode: "A Little Bit of Luck and a Little Bit of Grief"

David Cassidy: Man Undercover / Ben

Episode: "Death is a Close Friend, Too"

T.J. Hooker / Ernie Little

Episode: "The Trial"

Flamingo Road / Arsonist

Episode: "A Mother's Revenge"

Operation: Runaway / D.J.

Episode: "The Reunion"

Starsky and Hutch / Higgins

Episode: "Strange Justice"

How the West Was Won / Willy Judson

Episodes: "Erika" / "Provost Marshal"

Hawaii Five-O /  Bama Melton

Episodes: "Erika" / "Heads, You're Dead"

S.W.A.T / Gunman/Joey Simpson

Episodes: "Vigilante", "Jungle War"

Kojack / Don Collins

Episode: "Sweeter Than Life"

Improv Comedy

Second City Touring Company / Ensemble

Dir. Del Close



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