It’s a long-time dream of mine to visit Texas and direct plays in my home state.

My mother gave birth to me in Evanston, a suburban city just north of Chicago. To rectify that situation, my grandmother slipped a ziplock baggie of North Texas clay dirt under Mama’s mattress in the hospital. Come hell or high water, I would be born on Texas soil. That’s the family story, anyway, and we stick to it like the molasses we don’t cook with or flies on the cattle we don’t own. 

I grew up in Rockwall, Texas — a county separated from Dallas by a 30-minute drive across Lake Ray Hubbard. Dallas has always drawn me in with its swagger and its confidence. It’s “a city that dreamed itself up.” Dallas has no obvious reason to exist — none of the land formations or natural resources that usually inspire settlers and developers to drop anchor.* It’s the city’s ostentatiousness, its sheer force of will that compels me to return again and again. After all, don’t all Texans prefer to think of ourselves as self-made?

I also feel a drawn towards my home state of Texas. As an artist and citizen, I’m still working out what I make of it all – the state’s colonialist sweep of six nations and its Alamo martyrs who I was taught to revere; its rocky politics (who stole box #13?) and its 10-gallon real estate in the nation’s imagination (who shot JR?). My faith and political persuasion were both forged in opposition to my evangelical upbringing and abstinence-only sex education. Like many young queer Texans, I left the state at 18 chasing the promise of wider vistas of opportunity – alongside bluer voting districts. But my heart never stopped yearning for live oaks and smoked brisket; for gentle sincerity rounded out with a southwestern drawl. 

The Lone Star State is a magnet always pulling me back to simultaneously pay respects and cast aspersions. As a storyteller, I will always be eager for a chance to engage with the mythology and reality of Texas. What I’ll offer in return is an outsider’s perspective with an insider’s fondness and admiration. So if you have a Texas-based project to discuss, go ahead and fill out the handy-dandy form at the bottom of this page. Let’s start a conversation! 

*Heinrichs, Jay. “The City You’re Missing: Dallas.” Southwest: The Magazine, April 2018. 


Recent credits include Head Over Heels (Kokandy Productions, Chicago), I Know My Own Heart (Pride Films & Plays, Chicago), Harvey (Three Brothers Theater, Waukegan), Where All the White Sneakers At? (Second City, Chicago), Lungs (Granary Theatre, Cork, Ireland), and Electra (The Lir, Dublin, Ireland). Assistant directing credits include Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago), Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), and Vardo for the Dublin Theatre Festival (Anu Productions). Elizabeth has directed workshops and readings with About Face Theater, BoHo Theatre, Underscore Theatre, The New Colony, American Theater Company, and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, among others. Elizabeth holds an MFA in theatre directing from the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Arts at Trinity College, Dublin.

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