Lord of storytelling

Elizabeth Lord, set to take the stage in "Crazy and a Half," is a queen of all trades

By Nikki Talotta on May 5, 2010

This is a woman with presence. Her mere smile or scowl can send a shockwave through a room of people; her voice carries like a kite that hits the wind just right, and her words can swell an emotion as good as any full moon. Her name - Elizabeth Lord - even has presence.

Elizabeth, Lord of the stage.

Elizabeth, Lord of story telling.

Elizabeth, Lord almighty, that woman will put you in stitches.

Born in Las Vegas, Lord moved to Olympia in 1991. With some high school drama under her belt and a love of performing, Lord attended The Evergreen State College to study folklore and theater with the goal of becoming a professional storyteller.

"(It was) A lot more realistic goal than becoming an actress in Hollywood," Lord confesses, "and the beginning of the best decision I ever made."

Involved primarily with Prodigal Sun Productions, a theater group that runs the Midnight Sun performance space in Olympia, Lord is no stranger to the demands of stewarding a production. Limited budgets mean dedication is necessary. With one hand in directing, and the other in advertising, one foot in the acting department and the other in running the box office, Lord's participation is like a Twister board. Of course, Lord has other duties like managing rental and use of the Midnight Sun by other artists and musicians.

A queen of all trades, some of Lord's side projects include performing in a playback theater group called The Heartsparkle Players, and running a non-profit called BigShowCity, producers of an annual Vaudeville show. Lord has traveled across the country performing, and has numerous local gigs - from storytelling at birthday parties to officiating weddings.

Lord is also responsible for original, full-length, one-woman story telling shows. Geared towards adults, these hilarious productions range from her "Smoking is Cool" show, to her most recent, "Vegas Childhood." In the works is "Please Write," due to open in June.

"I like the catharsis of spilling embarrassing stories to complete strangers and thus transforming my memory of a huge traumatic event into a manageable tale," Lord says of her solo shows.

Lord's most recent endeavor is playing two different therapists in D.R. Anderson's Crazy and a Half, a play comprised of six shorts that take a satirical look at patients and their relationships with therapists. From New York crazy to California crazy, the list of characters is amusing; there's crazy mafia wife with gun, crazy bunny suit girl who works for Phantazagrams, and even crazy rockstar guy prone to sleeping through his sessions.

And Then there are the therapists that deal with them all.

Hilarity ensues.

Lord believes we all have an inherit love of the stage and wishes more people would get out and give live theatrical performance a try.

"There's something about watching a story unfold right in front of you with real live bodies moving around in space that is pretty kick ass," she says.

She's right.

Crazy and a Half

May 7-22, 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, also May 16 at 8 p.m., $12, pay what you can performance May 13, tickets available at buyolympia.com
The Midnight Sun, 113 N Columbia St., Olympia, 360.250.2721,