Lizzie Borden took an ax. Gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her father 41.
As contemporary audiences, we know the two-dimensional portrait of Lizzie Borden. The young woman in the late 19th century who allegedly violently murdered her parents. The rock opera sensation, LIZZIE, calls into question that narrative. Did she murder her father and stepmother? Most likely. But she has her reasons.
Looking through a modern lens, LIZZIE focuses on the victim’s journey of a young woman trapped in the Victorian era with no way out. Abused by her father, trapped in an uncaring home, unable to love the woman with whom she had grown so close – Lizzie Borden is crushed beneath the weight of an unbearable pressure for which there is only one remedy – murder.
LIZZIE captures what it means to be bound so tightly that you erupt. And once in the freefall, find peace.
The lighting and the score combine to act as an ephemeral representation of Lizzie’s inner turmoil. Filled with saturate color and wicked guitar solos, this piece allows for the visceral interpretation of emotional angst and agony in a fundamentally felt way. Sudden movements, larger-than-life builds, targeted lights that blind the audience and pull them back onto the stage – all combine in a novel way that uses 21st-century technology to tell an eternal story – the story of someone who others refuse to see, someone who reaches a breaking point and takes back their freedom.
Playwright – Tim Maner
Composers – Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt
Lyricists – Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner
Director – Jennifer Alice Acker
Conductor – Ashley Prince
Choreographer – Bubba Carr
Scene Design – Charlie Calvert
Lighting Design – Maranda DeBusk
Costume Design – Alan Yeong
Media Design – Maranda DeBusk
Sound Design – Mikaela Fraser
Assistant Lighting Design – Rachel Lake
Stage Manager – Quintara Johnson
Production Stage Manager – Libby Mickle
Tech Director – English Brackett
Props Artisan – Nick Battaglia
Actors featured in Photos
Jasmine Renee Ellis
Photographer – Casey Gardner Ford