Tim J. Lord

Tim J. Lord

Tim J. Lord is the recipient of the inaugural Apothetae-Lark Fellowship for a writer with a disability and a 2017-18 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. As a native of the Midwest and a member of the disability community he tells stories of people and communities who are often overlooked on our stages and strives to illuminate ignored and underrepresented perspectives.

His...
Tim J. Lord is the recipient of the inaugural Apothetae-Lark Fellowship for a writer with a disability and a 2017-18 Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. As a native of the Midwest and a member of the disability community he tells stories of people and communities who are often overlooked on our stages and strives to illuminate ignored and underrepresented perspectives.

His play 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. The play received a finishing commission from Round House Theatre and will be produced in their 2020-22 season.

As the 2019 Reg E. Cathey Writer-in-Residence at the Orchard Project, he began writing The Hard Price which tracks the effects of our two wars in Iraq on two generations of a family over a decade and a half in North Dakota’s oil country. Using the House of Atreus mythology as a model for the play’s Erekson family, it interweaves the ambitions, atmosphere, and urgency of ancient drama into a familiar, contemporary narrative and asks how denying one’s own human weaknesses can become more disabling than a physical disability?

His other big Greek project is a radical re-imagining of the Oedipus story in the form of a trilogy of plays set in contemporary Southern Illinois. Over the course of his Lark fellowship, he wrote and developed the plays Down in the face of God, a post-apocalyptic mashup of The Bacchae and Antigone; and On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or, Owed, a riff on Oedipus which pushes the title character offstage, replacing him with a young woman with a serious physical disability who undertakes a difficult quest to discover what's slowly destroying her hometown. The final play, currently in development, will be I Never Cared for You; or, Lies, which will explore the global refugee crisis via the story of Oedipus' exiled father.

Other work has been developed and produced at The Public Theater, The Lark, The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, New Harmony Project, The Playwrights’ Center, Pillsbury House + Theater, Circle Rep, the Summer Play Festival, The Cutout Theatre, The Vagrancy, Barn Arts Collective, and The Working Theater.

Tim studied with Paula Vogel while a resident of Providence, RI, and is a graduate of the MFA Playwriting Program at the University of California, San Diego.

Plays

  • On Every Link a Heart Does Dangle; or, Owed
    The town of Thebes was once the jewel of Southern Illinois, but 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, leaving the residents to cast about for answers. Suspicion falls on Mellie, a young woman born with a serious disability. Despised from birth by the gods and barely...
    The town of Thebes was once the jewel of Southern Illinois, but 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, leaving the residents to cast about for answers. Suspicion falls on Mellie, a young woman born with a serious disability. Despised from birth by the gods and barely tolerated by the rest of town, it falls on her and the other women of Thebes to wrest power from the man who has led them to catastrophe in this radical reimagining of the Oedipus myth.
  • The Hard Price
    Faced with a "nothing future in a dead end North Dakota town," Joe Erekson enlisted in the Army. He got to see the world, met a beautiful girl from a foreign country, started a family—and all on Uncle Sam's dime. It was only supposed to cost him a few easy years, but then George H. W. Bush declared war on Saddam Hussein and his "easy years" turned into a career and two wars in Iraq—a...
    Faced with a "nothing future in a dead end North Dakota town," Joe Erekson enlisted in the Army. He got to see the world, met a beautiful girl from a foreign country, started a family—and all on Uncle Sam's dime. It was only supposed to cost him a few easy years, but then George H. W. Bush declared war on Saddam Hussein and his "easy years" turned into a career and two wars in Iraq—a life his eldest daughter would follow him into in a post 9/11 world. The Hard Price is an exploration of the lives of people on the frontlines of the wars the Bush Family gave us and an exploration of how they pick up the pieces in a radical reimagining of The Oresteia.
  • We declare you a terrorist...
    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...
    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.
  • Fault & Fold
    In the middle of an ambush at the height of the "surge" in Afghanistan, a female Marine kills the sister of an Afghani translator just trying to flee the Taliban and get a visa to live in the States, Shattered, isolated, and unable to cope with life in peacetime, they wrestle with themselves and each other, trying find their feet on ground that is always shifting.
  • Peloponnesus
    The Southern Illinois towns of New Athens and Sparta share a lot of history. When New Athens native Tom returns after years of running away from his past and gets involved with Rachel, a Sparta girl with quite a past of her own, history shows just how unrelenting it can be. (4 men, 3 women)
  • Down in the face of God
    Life for the kids of Thebes, Illinois, is a predetermined sort of thing: short with a bloody end, so when a new kid shows up in town with no regard for curses and gods he threatens to turn the old order on its head. But just what brought him to town and the destruction that follows could overthrow a lot more. (5 women, 3 men)
  • 11 Hills of San Francisco
    Kansas City to San Francisco and all the land in between. All the mountains, all the space, all the people, and all the faces. Can you cross the desert, or do you carry it with you? What does it take to cross that expanse? What does it take to make it? (5 men, 3 women)
  • G-Men!
    Dateline: 1956, The Big City! Special Assistant Deputy Director Ray Norman and his crackerjack agents are on the trail of a mad, dress-wearing bomber who’s blowing up ladies’ clothing stores. Led by no less than J. Edgar himself, our heroes brave a world full of liberals and commies and foreigners-Oh my! They banter, they quip, they defy time & space and rewrite history. They are…G-Men!
  • Better Homes & Homelands
    Brenda knows that if she can just grow the perfect plant she will find favor with God, her hubby, and (most important of all) the Subdivision Committee. But as her backyard project begins to take on a life of its own she begins to wonder if it’s a gift from Above? or a swift tumble into the fiery Below?
  • Uprooted
    After being turned into a tree, Daphne awakes in Apollo's private garden and plots her escape. Unfortunately, her only ally is a bumbling botanist who's more interested (and more capable) in expanding the scientific record than mounting a rescue. A contemporary riff on the Daphne & Apollo myth.
  • Montana Lovesong
    The parallel stories of a too-brief romance and a search for missing government property
  • The Good Housekeeping Guide to the Coming Apocalypse
    It’s just another typical morning before school at Jimmy and Jilly’s house-That is, if you consider Mom cooking up potions and Dad fighting demons from the Ninth Circle of Hell “normal.”
  • God's Love Poured Out in Texas
    A 3-part, 10-minute series of monologues tracking the disappearance of a prisoner's corpse in a Texas prison
  • Lonesome Valley
    Two spies, an illicit romance, one vicious act that needs correcting.
  • Department of the Interior
    Agent Mark Rollins has kept the Department of the Interior running through good times and bad, lean times and fat, school days and federal holidays. But now he faces his greatest challenge ever, a nosy president and an American public who’s never even heard of his department. (a cast of thousands, assuming you have a giant audience)
  • Men of Science!!
    The Mad Scientist Rex and his lab assistant Harold try to save the world from greed and a set of sizable, splenetic sea slugs!
  • Polar Bear Service & Repair
    Two guys meet on the road en route to new jobs and new lives, only their epic road trip ends up being a bit more epic than either of them expected.