Sometime during her Senior year at Northwestern University, Elizabeth (then known as Betsy) had a conversation with acting teacher David Downs about whether she should apply to grad school or see if acclaimed, retired, NU Acting Professor, Alvina Krause would accept her for study in Master Classes she was conducting in her home in Bloomsburg, PA. He suggested that while grad school would offer a more stable income and career track, study with A.K. would teach her more about theatre and life.
Following graduation in the fall of 1978, Elizabeth packed up the car and drove the 676 miles from Illinois to Bloomsburg. After a 6-month ‘journeyman’ period, she became a member of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in 1979.
In the 41 years since, Elizabeth has acted in somewhere around 150 productions. Favorite roles include Hazel in The Children, Joyce in Body Awareness, Irina in The Seagull, Margie Walsh in Good People, Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Vivien Bearing in Wit. Maggie in Women of Lockerbie, Dotty Otley in Noises Off, Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, Reggie Fluty in The Laramie Project, and Emma in Betrayal.
She has directed over twenty productions at BTE, most recently The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. She served two terms as BTE’s elected Ensemble Director. In 1992 Elizabeth was awarded a Creative Artist Fellowship from the Japan-American Friendship Commission for a six-month residency in Japan to study traditional performing arts. She returned to BTE to co-found, with noh expert Richard Emmert, the Noh Training Project at BTE where she served as Producing Director over its 20-year history. Attracting students from across the U.S. and around the globe, NTP/Bloomsburg offered the most intensive training available outside of Japan in the dance, chant, and instruments of noh.
As a result of her training through NTP, Elizabeth became a founding member of Theatre Nohgaku, a company dedicated to the creation and performance of Japanese noh in English. With TN she has toured across the U.S. and in England, Ireland, France, China, Japan, and Singapore. She is the author of Gettysburg: An American Noh, which premiered in Oct. 2019 at the University of Pittsburgh.
Elizabeth has served on peer review panels for several arts agencies, including The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The Pew Charitable Trusts/Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program, and The NEA International Programs.
In 2013 Elizabeth was selected as the Roe Greene Distinguished Visiting Artist at the University of Colorado,Boulder campus where she directed a KCATF-nominated production of Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives.
As an educator, Elizabeth was instrumental in the creation of BTE’s Theatre Program and taught residencies as part of the PCA Artist in Education program over many years. In addition to her teaching for BTE, Elizabeth offers noh workshops at universities and cultural centers across the U.S.
A proud and grateful resident of Bloomsburg, Elizabeth volunteers at the Food Bank, Agape, and is active in voter registration effort. She was part of a team of community members who reshaped the dormant Task Force on Racial Equity into the current Coalition for Social Equity where she has served on the Exec and Steering Committees. She is the current chair of their Woman In Action workgroup and organizes the yearly BLOOMSBURG READS event with Bloomsburg Public Librarian, Lydia Kegler.