A natural gas flare in North Dakota. A rainbow appears to arc over it. An image of hope, or of despair?

A new play and new collaborators

A natural gas flare in North Dakota. A rainbow appears to arc over it. An image of hope, or of despair?

As it’s most imminent, I’ll start with an upcoming online workshop with Phamaly Theatre. Last year, I started writing The Hard Price at The Orchard Project as their inaugural Reg E. Cathey Writer-in-Residence. Set in North Dakota oil country and spanning the United States’ two wars in Iraq, the play follows the effects of those 2 conflicts on 2 generations of the Erekson Family, using the story of The Oresteia as a jumping off point. (What? Me adapt a classic Greek play? How unexpected…)

In September 2019, I got to hear a very rough draft read at The Lark. (Lords, remember when we could just hop on the bus, get off in New York, walk a few blocks and be welcomed by the loveliest and most talented people? #fuck2020). I’ve been working on the play since then and recently completed a more polished draft that I get to work on for a few days with Phamaly Theater and a few of their core artists. If you don’t know Phamaly, it’s a great time to get acquainted. They’re a Denver-based company that serves as an artistic home for artists with disabilities. Remember how awesome Ali Stroker was when you saw her perform as Ado Annie in Oklahoma/on the Tonys? Cool, now imagine the entire cast is that same kind of awesome. The Artistic Director at Phamaly is the incomparable Regan Linton, and I’m really thrilled to have been invited to collaborate with her and her peeps.

I also get to work with the phenomenal Jessica Kubzansky who, as both a freelance director and as artistic director of Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena, has brought the most exciting plays/productions to the LA Basin.

As if all that wasn’t good enough, this project will be a lovely, cross-generational, UCSD get together as I (class of ’06) get to work with the aforementioned Regan Linton (class of ’13), AND MacGregor Arney (class of ’16).

So, really, what’s not to love?

The workshop will be closed to the public but I’m very excited about this play, so write to your Congressional representatives BECAUSE WE NEED ELECTION SECURITY NOW. And then, hopefully, in some post-45….er, post-Covid-19 world, this play will quickly appear on our stages.

July was crazy, y’all….

An X-ray of Tim's broken foot. So that you know he's not playing.

Broken 5th metatarsal: bad. But look how beefy my 1st metatarsal is!

At the end of June, in this order, the following happened…

– I had an outbreak of shingles.
– I broke my foot.
– Oh, and you know, our country continued to fail to respond usefully both to the Covid-19 crisis and to 400 years of racism, oppression, and the inequality that we have forced on Native Americans, Black folks, and every other person of color who has come here with the hope of making a better life for themselves and their families.

This means lots of career things have slipped through the cracks. I will be updating those over the coming days in, perhaps, no particular order. I hope they can provide you, as they have me, a tiny of bit of relief and distraction from the shitshow that is the world in 2020.

More soon…

I wrote a #newplay in 24 Hours

Tune in TONIGHT (Tuesday, March 24) at 6pm to see my play “The Time Machine,” starring Ryan Haddad.

Excited to share that I was asked to write for the latest round of The 24 Hour Plays: Viral Monologues. I got to write for the inimitable Ryan J. Haddad, and I’m so excited to see him work his magic!

Tune in TONIGHT (Tuesday, March 24)  on their website and/or on their Instagram channel @24hourplays. They’ll start posting monologues at 6pm EDT, with a new one being posted every 15 minutes.

And check this out: my name is mentioned on Playbill.com in the same press release as Hamilton star Daveed Diggs.

 

UPDATE on “We declare you a terrorist…”

 

 

Hi all.

So thrilled to share some news about my play “We declare you a terrorist…” 

This past fall, Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD, expressed their interest in producing the play and offered me a finishing commission to do a big rewrite of the play. I gladly accepted and dove back in to working on it.

Well, I’m happy to share that Round House has officially announced that they will be producing WDYAT during their 2020-21 season with Artistic Director Ryan Rilette & Jared Mezzocchi at the helm.

Check out the official season announcement here. Terrorist will run from April 6-May 16, 2021.

Until then, you can check out pictures from the SPF 2009 production here.

And read an excerpt here.

And if you’re thinking, “Hold on, hold on, back up a sec. Tell me more about this play.” Then this section is for you:

We Declare You a Terrorist examines the 2002 Moscow Theatre Hostage crisis and the ways in which it changes one of the survivors, leading him down a road of dissent and resistance against the burgeoning dictatorship his home is turning into. After being held hostage in a Moscow theater by terrorists demanding an end to Russia’s war in Chechnya, one man is still haunted by the relationships he made during the crisis and unable to move past the tragic events that surrounded the siege’s conclusion. In a desperate attempt to understand where he and his country have come to he attempts to sneak into Chechnya only to be captured by Russian agents and suspected of being a terrorist himself. All alone in an interrogation room on the Russian frontier he is forced to confront just what happened during those fifty-seven hours in 2002.

The play is a 4-hander which bounces back and forth before the Dubrovka Theatre in 2002 and an interrogation room on the Russian frontier in 2003.

If you’re interested in producing it, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the following:

timjlord.playwright [at] gmail [dot] com

 

On Every Link at the Lark!

The historic courthouse in Thebes, Ill.

 

It’s been a busy few weeks—which included a long overdue return to THEBES, ILLINOIS—so I’m behind the curve on sharing all this here, but if you haven’t heard, On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or, Owed will be workshopped at the Lark as part of their BareBones program this April/May! In addition to being the culmination of Apothetae/Lark Fellowship, this will also mark my first time getting to work with director and fellow UCSD alum Meredith McDonough, and I’m pretty excited to share the work we’re going to be doing in New York this spring.

We’ll be announcing the full cast soon. In the meantime, here’s the press release:

NEW YORK, NY – The Lark is thrilled to announce its BareBones® program will return this season with a workshop production of On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owedby Tim J. Lord, directed by Meredith McDonough. The play, a radical reimagining of the Oedipus myth, will run at The Lark’s BareBones® Studio from May 10–19, 2019, at 311 West 43rd Street, 5th Floor, in New York City.

BareBones® productions are simply staged, public presentations of plays in the later stages of development, and are The Lark’s most intensive development workshops, with plays receiving three weeks of rehearsal and up to eight public performances. In On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed, the town of Thebes, once the jewel of Southern Illinois, has fallen to ruin. The river has turned poisonous, the crops are failing, and pregnant women and their unborn babies are dying mysterious deaths, all while the town’s leader has locked himself away.

“This play began as an Oedipus adaptation set in Southern Illinois, but I soon found I wasn’t interested in creating another adaptation of a story about a man who creates a problem, refuses to listen to those trying to help him, then bewails the fate that was thrust upon him,” said Lord. “So I pushed Oedipus offstage. Instead, I wanted to focus on the most vulnerable people in this world. Those left to deal with his inability to see what’s killing Thebes. The new central character is a young woman born in poverty and shunned because she was born with a disability.”

Lord has been developing the play through his residency with The Lark in The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship, which is granted in partnership with The Apothetae(Artistic Director, Gregg Mozgala), and provides a two-year cycle of support to a Disabled writer for the generation of a new play to essay and challenge perceptions of the “Disabled Experience.” Tim became the inaugural recipient of the Fellowship last season, receiving a $40,000 prize and a $5,000 opportunity and resource fund, as well as outreach and scouting toward the commissioning and development of the new play, and a $10,000 production enhancement fund.

“But Every Link isn’t a play about disability,” said Lord. “Like the play that inspired it, it’s about power—who has it and how they hold onto it. It’s about understanding that true power comes from being entrusted with it. And it’s about learning to own one’s power. I’ve had the great gift of unwavering support from The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship over the past year and a half. It’s allowed me to tell this really big, ambitious story from a perspective that is often overlooked, so Every Link is also a play about enabling people to tell their own stories.”

On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or Owed is a theatrical event expected to run approximately three and half hours, and is a work-in-progress, subject to change throughout the run in order to support the development of this epic story. The play has also received development through The Lark’s Project on Tyranny, Winter Writers’ Retreat, and Roundtable programs, as well as at the University of Minnesota, The Playwrights’ Center, and at the Kennedy Center.

“Tim’s play is adventurous and incredible,” said Lloyd Suh, Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark. “It uses classic myths of history and explodes myths of disability; a heroine’s journey told with wild theatrical imagination.”

“And there’s a journey into a monster’s lair called the Panther’s Den,” said Lord.

Public performances begin May 10 and run through May 19. Seating is limited, tickets are free, and you can make your reservation here.

 

Hope to see you at the Lark this May!

The Lark’s Project on Tyranny, Part 1: Rajiv Joseph

A few weeks ago I had the great honor of being asked to participate in a thrilling conversation at The Lark about how we as artists respond to the world around us. If you couldn’t join us in person, the first part of it is now available to watch online, and you can hear all about how Rajiv Joseph‘s play Guards at the Taj nearly incited a riot in a Russian theater.

And if you’re reading about this here, you’re probably asking, “Cool, cool, but Tim, when do I get to hear you?” Well, I was #5 in the line-up, so, you’re going to have to wait a bit. But seriously, you should watch the entire thing. Lloyd Suh was bloody brilliant in leading this conversation and it was so fascinating and inspiring to hear all these artists talk about their work.

 

Looking Ahead (and a little bit behind)

In 2018, I finally got around to writing On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or, Owed—my Oedipus adaptation that completely pushes Oedipus offstage, giving the story to the women of Thebes. Thanks to the Playwrights Center and the Lark, I wrote about 150 pages over the course of just 3 weeks.

And then I got to workshop that play TWICE at the Kennedy Center. The first time via the National New Play Network‘s MFA Playwrights Workshop—of which I’m an alumni—and the second time courtesy of the amazing Gregg Henry, artistic director of the KC’s American College Theater Festival.

Most exciting of all is that I’ll be workshopping Every Link at the Lark this spring via their BareBones program. This includes public performances, so be sure to stay turned for details as we put together our team.

Coming up on January 31, I’ll be participating in the Project on Tyranny. Along with Franky D. Gonzalez, C.A. Johnson, Rajiv Joseph, Mona Mansour, Liza Jessie Peterson, and moderator, Lloyd Suh, we’ll be discussing the ways in which art and activism come to intersect in these challenging times.

Cheers, y’all.

Last Workshop of my Jerome Fellowship

EC602122-8550-46F9-9291-8E76EE2829B2“The way forward is the Great River’s mouth…”

Once, the town of Thebes on the banks of the Mississippi River was the jewel of southern Illinois, but that was before the rains stopped falling and the crops didn’t come in and the babies started dying. Seeking an answer from the gods, suspicion falls on Mellie, a young woman, seriously disabled since birth, long suspected as being unfavored by them who dwell on the Mountaintops. Mellie has her own suspicions though and sets out to prove them before the hammer can fall on her.

This is On every link a heart does dangle; or, Owed, my second play exploring three generations of debts and deceptions in a mythological version of Thebes, Illinois. It’s receiving its first full read in a workshop at the Playwrights Center today, the first step on what should be an exciting, yearlong journey.