Chisa was born in Queens, New York to young, irresponsible parents.  She spent majority of her formative years under the care of a much more responsible, but chronically broke woman who was technically her godfather’s mother, but who would later— in the fine, it-takes-a-village tradition of the broken family— simply become “Ma.”  Chisa grew up in the company of what seemed like hundreds of unofficially adopted brothers and sisters in Newark, New Jersey, where she excelled in school and philosophized with cockroaches about the ultimate merits of poverty.  Her favorite six-legged pest, who called himself Swifty on account of his uncanny ability to elude the bottom of any shoe, once told her with a wistful chuckle,“One day, you will be able to look back and romanticize all this shit.”

That day appeared on the horizon of Chisa’s future when, at fourteen, she got a scholarship to what she thought was a boarding school.  It turns out, however, that having more than one building—indeed, having a campus— does not a boarding school make. (Chisa was naïve and probably should’ve read the brochures more carefully.)  So she moved about ten miles and a whole galaxy away from Newark to Short Hills to live with a host family comprised of a quirky, Buddhist psychologist, her then husband, a nature-loving, piano-playing Jew, their three kids, and an ancient dog named Baboo.  It was a rough transition.  But one which has, nevertheless, shaped Chisa and her writing for the better.  Probably.

A couple more awesome, supportive parents and several scholarships later, Chisa has earned a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from Vassar College and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU.  She’s landed some pretty cool gigs since then, such as writing and performing with the New York NeoFuturists, being a Staff Writer for Blue Man Group, and staffing for shows on cable TV and streamers. As she tends to write plays about underrepresented folks that require a minimum of five actors, she doubts very much that you’ll see any of her plays on Broadway any time soon, but encourages you to support the intrepid companies that have presented her work, which include City Parks’ Summerstage, the New York NeoFuturists, Atlantic Theater Company, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Dramatists,  Rattlestick Theater, Midtown Direct Rep, Writers’ Theatre of New Jersey, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC),  the Working Theater, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, National Black Theater, Second Stage Theater, Delaware REP, Salt Lake Acting Company, Red Twist Theater, Forward Flux, Arch 468 (UK), Primary Stages,  South Coast Rep, Keen Company, Audible, Alley Theater, FilmGym Prochaine Films, Lifetime, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Walt Disney Studios.

Presently, Chisa teaches creative writing at the University of Delaware, is standing by for the premiere on a new TV series she helped write for Showtime (Three Women), and is about to embark on another with producers Karamo Brown (Queer Eye) and Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People). Her first original feature, THE SUBJECT, an indie about a white documentarian dealing with the moral fallout from exploiting the death of a black teen, is available on various VOD platforms after a successful film festival circuit during which it won over 30 prizes.