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Maranda DeBusk – Lizzie


    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.

    Production Credits

    Actors Express

    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

    Jessica deMaria
    Jasmine Renee Ellis
    Christina Leidel
    Megan Zhang

    Photographer – Casey Gardner Ford