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Eisa Davis, 'This' actress and playwright

August 13, 2011 |  8:15 am

illes Marini and Eisa Davis in "This" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

"My mother always used to joke that she never understood where I came from," explains actor and playwright, Eisa Davis, who is currently performing in the Kirk Douglas Theatre's production of "This."

When peering into Davis' childhood and upbringing, it would be easy to make such an assumption. On one side, she has a mother who is a civil rights lawyer, who took Davis on countless demonstrations, fighting for  justice. And on the other, she has a famous aunt, Angela Davis, who is so passionate about her work as a political activist that at one point in her career, she was almost gassed for standing up for the rights of political prisoners. Yet Eisa Davis is not lawyer, civil rights leader nor political activist -- she's an actor and playwright.

"My mother would look at me and say, 'I don't know whose child you are. Cause all of this? Not me.'" Davis laughs. "It is a mystery to me why it is that I came out this way and how that identity got forged."

It is an identity of many facets: actor, playwright, singer, dancer and certified yoga trainer. Similar to a parent unable to pick a favorite child, Davis refuses to say which craft she enjoys most.

"The biggest force was really trying to do things that I thought would be fun and at the same time would be things that made my grandmother and my mom happy." With a sarcastic chuckle, Davis says, "See, you know, I was just a very, very compliant child." 

Compliant? Maybe not. But a strong-willed, rebellious child with a fire in her belly and a passion for the arts? Absolutely.

Related: Profile of Eisa Davis, playwright and actress

-- Jasmine Elist

Photo: Gilles Marini and Eisa Davis in "This" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Credit:  Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times