Louisiana Shoal
by Mildred Inez Lewis

Featured image for “Louisiana Shoal”
Mildred Inez



A retired woman and young female researcher hunker down in a lake shoal near Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, determined to survive so that they can fight to reclaim the land.




Mildred Inez Lewis writes and directs for stage and screen. She rocks with Central Works, EST-Los Angeles, PlayGround-LA and Towne Street Theatre. In 2024, her full-length We Four appeared in The Road Theatre’s Under Construction festival. In 2025, Juked, her adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will premiere at A Different Myth (Asheville, NC). Her plays are published by Applause Books, Broadway Play Publishing, NextStage Press and Smith & Kraus. She’s completing commissions for Finish Line Theatre (Chicago, IL) and ReproEco (NYC). Mildred is thrilled to return to the Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival after being a finalist in 2022.




When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?

I started as a theater director in New York City, then went to UCLA’s film school. With no car, I switched over to screenwriting and found I loved writing and directing. From screenwriting, I expanded into playwriting and now I write fiction podcasts as well. As part of Antaeus Theatre’s Zip Code series, my work was nominated for an AMBIE. Last year, I participated in the Orchard Project’s Audio Lab.


How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

Louisiana Shoal was based on a environment-themed prompt from PlayGround LA. It resonated with me immediately. I have a long term interest in the enrivonment. My mom and I were part of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Later when I was in grad school at UCLA, I was the administrative director of the Streisand Foundation which funded environmental groups.


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Provocative, loving, intense, joyful, lyrical.


What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

Work by Buchi Emecheta, Percival Everett and Toni Morrison are major influences, as well as the crime novels of Barbara Neely and Robert B. Parker for their depth of character and rich depiction of place.

Attending international theatre festivals and absorbing the traditions of artists like Grotowski, Suzuki and Dario Fo expanded my sense of what’s possible and desirable on stage.

Growing up in New York and seeing shows at the Delacorte, Mabou Mimes and La MaMa ETC.


What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I love cutting edge tech and coding. I’m bad at both, but enjoy them.


What are some of your favorite plays?

Mud by maria irene fornes. Jennifer Haley’s The Nether. Anything August Wilson. Eboni Booth’s Primary Trust.


Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

I’ve written an original television comedy pilot for the great country singer Mickey Guyton called XO Mickey. If anyone knows her… 🙂

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