CINCINNATI, Jan. 27, 2023) — Xavier University Theatre continues the 2022-23 season with its production of Lizzie. The musical, which is based on the 1892 Lizzie Borden trials, runs Feb. 10 through 18 in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theatre.
In 1892, Lizzie Borden was tried and acquitted for the bloody ax murders of her father and stepmother in a small Massachusetts town. More than 130 years later, four women tell this gothic story of American mythology set to a blistering and unapologetic punk rock score. The show features music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt, lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner, and book by Tim Maner.
Junior Abby Sherr, who is stage managing the show, said, “Most people know Lizzie Borden as an ax-wielding murderess, but this musical shows the challenging details of her life that led her to that point.” In summarizing the show, Abby said, “Lizzie is about a queer woman in the 19th century who is trapped in a horrific household and the ways in which she was able to get out. Each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done.”
Senior Emma Hunt, who plays Bridget, said that Lizzie “is the perfect opportunity to put my four years of education and performing experience to work.” Emma raves about the support in the rehearsal room and said that “because of this support I have been able to be fearless on stage and off. It is a super special way to end my four years at Xavier.”
Senior Jenna Treinen, who plays Alice, said, “What’s so powerful about this production is the story of four women taking the stage and sharing in their rage, love, ambitions and hopes.” Treinen said, “We have the incredible opportunity to take charge and take action in a story about what it means to take control of a life shrouded by the patriarchy.”
The cast consists of eight actors divided into two performance casts of four, the Rose Cast and the Pear Cast. The Rose Cast includes sophomores Mattie Cieplak (Lizzie) and Mary McMurray (Alice) and juniors Anna Kahle (Bridget) and Regan Utrup (Emma). The Pear Cast includes sophomores Kate Crisp (Emma) and Maria Zierolf (Lizzie) and seniors Emma Hunt (Bridget) and Jenna Treinen (Alice).
The show is directed by Stephen Skiles (who also acts as producer), with assistant directors junior Abigail Dirr, first-year student Brookelyn Duncan and sophomore Emma Halloran. Scot Buzza provides vocal and music direction. Peyton Wright provides choreography.
The design team includes Joe Beumer (lighting designer/set designer), Joe Leonard (technical director), junior Casey Johnson (video content lead), junior Sarah Malarney (assistant costume designer, junior Joe Mitchell (lighting assistant), Jessica Pitcairn (costume designer), sophomore Richie Pokrywka (lighting assistant), sophomore Tierra London Rush (assistant costume designer), senior Alec Schneider (production electrician/sound engineer), Kevin Semancik (sound designer) and Steven Stapleton (camera/video engineer). The stage manager is junior Abby Sherr, and the assistant stage managers are first-year student JD Hoffacker, sophomore Sam Johnson and Alec Schneider.
The Rose Cast performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, 11 and 16, as well as at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18. The Pear Cast performances take place at 2 p.m. on Feb. 11 and 12, as well as 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 and 18.
Tickets are available now. They are $15 each for adults and $10 each for Xavier students, faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/66144 or call 513-745-3939.