top of page



Isabella Dawis is a Filipina-American writer and performer from Minneapolis. Her wide array of creative roles includes playwright, actor, singer, librettist, lyricist, composer, music director, pianist, director, and dramaturg. Equally active in musical theater, plays, and opera, Isabella works to thread global traditions and feminist perspectives into American theater and music. A 2023 Loghaven Artist-in-Residence, Isabella is the recipient of the Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre for librettists, the Fred Ebb Award for musical theater songwriting, the Weston-Ghostlight New Musical Award, and the American Opera Project's Composers and the Voice Fellowship. As bookwriter/lyricist, Isabella's musicals with composer Tidtaya Sinutoke include Sunwatcher, based on the life of Japanese astronomer and "hidden figure" Hisako Koyama - and Half the Sky, the story of an Asian American woman climbing Mount Everest. Isabella's work has been presented and supported by the 5th Avenue Theatre, Musical Theatre Factory, Ten Thousand Things, Theater Mu, the Kurt Weill Foundation, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Atlanta Opera, Weston Theater Company, Tofte Lake Center, Ancram Center for the Arts, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, the O’Neill Center, Theater Latté Da, Goodspeed Musicals, the Civilians, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, among others. She has appeared onstage with the Guthrie Theater, the Center for Contemporary Opera, the Minnesota Opera, Theater Mu, the Jungle Theatre, New Ohio Theatre, and many more. Currently, Isabella holds a 2023-25 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship with the Jerome Foundation.


B.M. summa cum laude, Piano Performance, University of Minnesota

U.D. Classical Voice, New England Conservatory of Music


Isabella often collaborates with her sister, singer/actor/violinist Francesca Dawis.

bottom of page