Eliza Ladd’s Biography

Eliza Ladd is a performer, stage writer, director, choreographer, composer and teacher from New York City. In addition to extensive training in Clown, Improvisation, Primitive Voice, Shakespeare, and Zen Buddhist Practice and as a percussionist, singer and actor, Eliza holds a BA in Comparative Religion from Harvard University and an MFA in Theater: Contemporary Performance from Naropa University. She has created and performed original multi-disciplinary work in NYC at PS 122, Dixon Place, Dia Downtown, Joyce Soho, Movement Research, Theatre Row, the Knitting Factory, and the T. Schreiber Studio.  She has acted at La Mama, New York Theater Workshop, The Connelly, St. Ann’s Warehouse and with Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. Eliza is the recipient of a 1998 Franklin Furnace Emerging Artist Award for her original performance work, a Puffin Foundation Grant in support of her Live Sound Action theater training, and the Audience Encore Award at the 2007 Boulder International Fringe Festival for her ensemble musical play, Elephants and Gold.

Eliza is the creator of Live Sound Action, a form rooted in sculpture and percussion, in which theater arises out of deep play between performer, object, space, and time. This form and Eliza’s performance of it is featured in collaboration projects with Randolph Curtis Rand (This Thing of Darkness), Kathryn Blume (The Accidental Activist), Annie Lanzillotto (My Throwing Arm), and in the world premiere of Israel Horovitz’s Captains and Courage.  Currently Eliza brings Live Sound Action to collaboration with Leigh Fondakowski, of Tectonic Theater Project, on her new play about Charlotte Cushman and to her solo work on est déshabillé, a comedy about death.

Eliza is a certified Body Dynamics™ educator, a teacher of Movement for the Actor, and a director of ensemble theater making. She has taught creative residencies and curriculum integration to special needs kindergarteners, gifted high school students, and public school teachers throughout NYC.  Eliza has designed and taught theater and contemplative practice workshops at Naropa University, California State University Summer Arts Intensive, the Cooper Union College of Arts and Sciences, Earthdance, and at Shakespeare and Company. She currently  teaches Movement for the Actor and Dance at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Previously she taught The Function of Theater at Kingsborough Community College, Acting at Marymount Manhattan College, and Ensemble Body Practice at the Terry Schreiber Acting Conservatory.  In addition to teaching theater Eliza facilitates Professional Development and Creative Practice workshops for teachers, engineers and other corporate and non-profit professionals at Think Build Live Success, Best Effect, Bank Street College, and through Young Audiences NY.

Following a great run at the Berkshire Fringe Festival, Eliza’s ensemble musical play, Elephants and Gold, is in further development for a NYC premiere. Recently Eliza performed as a featured player in Karen O’s Stop the Virgens at St. Ann’s Warehouse and in her own solo on est déshabillé, a comedy about death at the United Solo Theatre Festival at Theatre Row, Performance Mix Festival at Joyce Soho, Dixon Place, and the Berkshire Fringe. Eliza has been in an ongoing collaboration with Sara Zimmerman in Big Exit, performed at Dixon Place, Governor’s Island, the Chocolate Factory and Earlham College. Last year Eliza collaborated with the Fuzion Dance Company to create the Dali Picasso Project at the Dali Museum in St Pete, FL and she premiered O Let Me Just Be the Greek Whore that I am at the Sarasota Festival in Sarasota, FL.