School of Theatre, Film & Television

While Lisitte Mora (they/she) knew they wanted to pursue theater at a young age, their career path became crystal clear when they saw productions of Kinky Boots and Gloria.

Kinky Boots inspired Mora through the stunning costumes, incredible singing and dancing, and beautiful story, while Gloria moved them with its social relevance.

”I want to do that for other people. I don’t care if it’s {for the} masses, I don’t care if it’s one person, if I can move one person to feel that way through the art that I’m producing, that’s enough for me.”

Mora is a senior graduating from the School of Theatre, Film & Television with a BA in Theatre Arts. This spring, Mora was recognized as the Outstanding Senior not only for TFTV, but for the entire College of Fine Arts.

Mora has impressed her professors and peers with her meaningful work and insight on events and productions like the New Directions Festival, Everybody, and inVisibility SALON.

In this year’s New Directions Festival, Mora directed a piece written by fellow TFTV student Melanie Moreno. The work, “No Me Queda Más” was one of six student-written, -directed, and -performed pieces shown at the festival.

“When it comes to new work, you have to let it evolve organically. Forcing it to warrant a strict vision is really limiting to what it could be,” said Mora.

Mora’s directing debut gave audiences the opportunity to see her shine as a leader whose years of experience have resulted in a clear vision for creating a safe, welcoming show environment.

“I come from an acting background, so I went into the process thinking ‘how can I take what I’ve needed as an actor and apply it to the way I want to make my actors feel in a room.’ I wanted to create a really safe and brave space for them to be able to explore this work, especially because I had an all-Latina cast and the content touched personally on the familial and generational trauma that a lot of us have.”

“There would be no New Directions Festival without Lisitte Mora,” said Brant Pope, interim director of the School of Theatre, Film & Television. “Lisitte is a natural leader and serves as an inspiration to all of the BA students.”

Acting, dramaturging, and directing are just a few of the skills Mora has developed while at the University of Arizona, and they hope to become increasingly multi-faceted with every project they work on, listing costume design and writing as areas to further explore.

While balancing their many projects and interests, Mora has stayed one of the CFA’s top students; They have won several awards, including a Medici, and have kept their spot on the Dean’s List with Highest Academic Distinction. 

“Good study comes from that inexplicable fusion of intellect, intuition and passion Lisitte has all three,” said Professor Elaine Romero, who wrote Mora’s Outstanding Senior nomination letter.

Mora hopes to continue her theatre journey in Chicago. Collaboraction, a social justice theatre company that marries advocacy and community outreach with performing arts, has been a source of inspiration in her recent work. She hopes to contribute to their mission of bringing art back to the people.

“I have always had a deep passion for advocacy and social justice in addition to my love for the arts and they combine them in a way that is creating real, measurable change in Chicago communities,” Mora said.

“Visual arts being a media for social change and social betterment … I can’t compare it to anything. The power behind it is incredible and it is what I love more than anything.”

With graduation quickly approaching, Mora has reflected on their time at the CFA and is eager to give back to their community.

“My final year has been all about personal growth, nurturing and contributing to the community that saved me and believed in me when I was at my worst, and planning on how I can take everything I’ve learned and use it to make a difference wherever I go after college.”