About Eliza as a Performer and Theater Maker:
“When emotional wilderness meets stage presence, timing meets music and sounds meet vibration, then you meet Eliza: sparkling theatricality. A delight to have been her clown teacher.”
— Giovanni Fusetti, www.giovannifusetti.com
“Eliza creates a poetic theater embedded with song, collage style images and objects that have a real aliveness, an overall feeling of power, depth, and raw beauty . . .”
–Barbara Dilley, Naropa University Performing Arts Professor, Contemplative Arts Innovator
“Eliza Ladd’s work is stunning. She is discovering a new genre of theater using image, ensemble movement, and found objects. These theatrical elements work together to make her work soar: soundscape becomes character; the human body becomes story telling in her unique theatrical events. ”
–Leigh Fondakowski, Playright / Director
(On Elephants and Gold 3) The detail and specificity of animal movement with a sculptor’s eye for design was captivating. The sounds took me out of the theater space and placed me in a land of humans and animals where the body’s mystery is shared. Danger was lurking and Eliza’s drum and strings held the tension with a kind of reverie. This piece had a striking effect on my senses, eyes and ears. The structure of the piece, its composition and patterns, was admirable and gave me confidence as I watched and listened.
I loved how Eliza gathered visual images that spoke for themselves and how the space at the end was a sculpture in a way.
— Susan Dibble, Master Teacher, Chair of Theater Arts at Brandeis University MFA
“Eliza creates an environment of permission to be curious, expressive, and seeking without judgment. In speaking her text, which evokes the spirit of Shakespeare, I was able to include all of myself.”
— Margaret Jansen, Performer, Designated Linklater teacher at NYU, Actor’s Studio MFA
“Eliza is an incredible performer. We collaborated on a very difficult play to stage, Israel Horovitz’s ‘Captains and Courage’, and through her talents as a performer, singer, and musician she was able to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. I would work with her over and over again.”
— Michael Cecchi, Collaborating Director
Elephants and Gold 3:
The performance of the five actors and two musicians was nearly seamless. The statements made were bold, and perhaps prophetic, but not too preachy.
Whether it was from the charge of the performance, the stunningly simplistic stage setup or the intimacy of the black box, I left Elephants and Gold with a wow on my lips and wheels turning in my head.
– Jenn Smith at The Berkshire Eagle:
The performers embody elephants with a lumbering four footed gait that is both majestic and vulnerable.
– Chris Rohmann at The Valley Advocate:
The detail and specificity of animal movement with a sculptor’s eye for design was captivating. The sounds took me out of the theater space and placed me in a land of humans and animals where the body’s mystery is shared. Danger was lurking and Eliza’s drum and strings held the tension with a kind of reverie. This piece had a striking effect on my senses, eyes and ears. The structure of the piece, its composition and patterns, was admirable and gave me confidence as I watched and listened.
I loved the chalk and those beautiful elephant peoples. I loved how Eliza gathered visual images that spoke for themselves and how the space at the end was a sculpture in a way.
– Susan Dibble, Master Teacher, Chair of Theater Arts Brandeis University MFA
Elephants and Gold is lyrical journey that unearths the fragile, universal and complex dynamic between animals and humans, humans and animals.
Using movement, sound and voices, Eliza Ladd poetically unravels the insight of the Elephant species and their ability to illuminate our own humanity.
– Sara Katzoff, Co-Founder/Artistic Director The Berkshire Fringe
There are moments when the actors glide across the stage, their bodies gracefully lumbering, heads rising attentively, front legs smoothly rolling on metal wheels, sounds emanating from deep inside to fill the hall with primitive cries of hurt, pain, questioning, alarm. At times like this the effects of the stories we hear of elephant trauma, human attacks and disruption of habitat, become embodied in this highly sensitive, empathic performance and projected directly into the viewer’s conscience. The play works on the level of poetry, music, dance and drama imputing a direct engagement with these majestic, sentient beings—so close to us. The stories, poems, testimonies and songs are woven onto an aesthetically sophisticated matrix of performance art that creates a deeply moving, emotional and spiritual experience for the audience. The ensemble work is elegant; the actors and musicians communicate flawlessly and continuously in keeping with the reality of the strong, non-verbal connections of elephant society which is endangered and disrupted by human encroachment.
– Judith Scott, Minister, Public School Principal
Somewhere in the middle of Elephants and Gold, my jaw dropped, like I’d hit an essential and devastating chord within life’s primordial dilemmas. The piece brought me to this place unaware. How it landed me there, I look back to examine, since I am impressed by this gravity of experience. Visceral memories abound: the elephant movers balancing on big round rocks; the British tea cups jostling; the amazing songs…. yet it is its overwhelming sweep of humanity’s plight that I am so deeply woven into as I watch. The spirit in this work resonates deeply.
The show is deep with insight about theater as well as about the world.
– Audrey Kindred, Artist and Teacher
Experimental and violently sweet . Oppressive and liberating at the same time. Animal and human relationship as a vessel for self expression and intimate disclosures.
– Marisela Lagrave, Artist
Elephants and Gold 2 and 1:
“Elephants and Gold offers wonderful surrealistic vignettes speaking deeply to our animal-human connections….a mini-opera with songs/dances, full of concerns we all need to think about….strange language, brilliant, mysterious and great ensemble creativity….”
–Barbara Dilley, Naropa University Performing Arts Professor, Contemplative Arts Innovator
“In Elephants and Gold, Eliza’s rich vocals, sharp and playful lyrics, and poetic dialogue weave together to create contemplation on the most complex spiritual questions and human dilemmas that affect us all.”
–Leigh Fondakowski Playright / Director
“The piece was so powerful. I was most excited by: the movement; the abstracted objects used symbolically, yet so specifically; the commitment of the performers; the juxtaposition of text, song, and a story that was not told entirely linearly, yet had enough traditional storytelling to rope us in; the beauty of the ensemble singing. I felt very held as an audience member by the presence of the ensemble.”
–Gary Grundei, Musician / Musical Director
“Beautiful. Dreamlike. Humorous. This poetic exploration into the vital topic of beast vs. human, humanity vs. itself is a piece I want to see over & over. Here is a rare, intelligent, awakened authenticity that moves me at ALL levels.”
–Still, Platoon of Sparks
“Elephants and Gold defies gravity by giving way to it. This work is the kind of performance art that delivers. Beasts and bone crushed beneath buckets of brash, courageous story telling. By the finale we encounter our savage, standing selves and our questionable sense of dominion.”
— Snap Shot Sneak Peak, 5 stars
“This work pulls you in by your senses – the visuals and the motion, especially, grab your attention and pull you along. Just let go and enjoy the ride, the writer knows what she’s doing. She’s found performers who can make her music and her choreography work well as a multi-leveled experience of sensation and emotion.”
— Art Saves Lives, 4 stars
“Finally a show that will leave you feeling inspired and good inside! The singing from the entire cast was excellent, the storyline was sweet and sensual and the creative use of the stage was brilliant…. there’s even a hot lesbian sex scene (of sorts)… what’s not to like!”
–Slash Coleman, 5 stars
“T Schreiber Studio’s production of Israel Horovitz’s Captains and Courage represents theater at its finest and most essential. Armed with nineteen committed actors, a team of expert designers and technicians, and a crackerjack percussionist named Eliza Ladd; and with talented director Michael Cecchi at the helm, this company has crafted a rich and exciting theatrical adventure. It’s first rate storytelling, and first rate stagecraft.”
–NY Theatre.Com, on Captains and Courage at T. Schreiber Studio
“Jane Cox’s remarkable lighting, Joe Furnari’s sound, and Eliza Ladd’s extraordinary percussion combine to create stunning effects that are so convincing that you actually feel wet during the thunderstorm, and, when ben and Roland examine their haul, you actually see a net full of fish.”
— NY Theatre.Com, on Captains and Courage at T. Schreiber Studion
“With the able help of percussionist Eliza Ladd, together with blue fabric stretched out by sirens Noelle Holly and Eustacia Wilson, the impressive, multi-level wooden set feels like a ship lost at sea, no small feat in a small space.”
— Michael Lazan, Backstage, on Captains and Courage at T. Schreiber Studio
“Other notable performances were that of Jonathan Epstein as Nick Bottom, Eliza Ladd as the First Fairy, and the vocal talents of Jennie Burkhard, a singing fairy.”
— Karen Gardner, North Adams Transcript, on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare & Company
“Eliza Ladd’s Syracusan Antipholus is a good match for his brother, and both Antipholi and their leading ladies sail through sexually charged scenes with aplomb.”
— G.L Horton, AISLE SAY Boston, on The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare & Company
“Eliza Ladd has an excellent voice as evidenced by her rendition of ‘The Evil Still Remains’. She gave that song her all which made it my favorite number in the production. Ms. Ladd’s portrayal of Ann Mitchell was right on 100% of the time. She was a pleasure to watch.”
— Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens, Play Picks, on Meet John Doe at The Kraine
“The performer of ‘Live Sound Action’, Eliza Schwarz, moves water from one container to another, shovels sand at a plastic curtain (filling the air with dust), shakes a box full of crockery.”
— Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice, on Time’s Fool, at PS122