Actor’s Express
through July 24, 2022

Long before O.J.Simpson, there were some other real and/or mythical murder cases that spawned a lot of media attention. If you grew up in New England, part of elementary school probably included hearing of Lizzie Borden who had been tried for the alleged murder of her step-mother and father. And certainly part of local history had to include learning of the Salem Witch Trials and Aaron Burr’s duel with Hamilton.

What is not generally well known is that Lizzie Borden was for real. She grew up in a wealthy family in Fall River, Massachusetts, where the family home from the 1800s is now a historical museum. Lizzie was tried in New Bedford, MA and acquitted. While she was deemed innocent by the jury, the non-judicial jury of community folks always thought otherwise, and she was ostracized for years until she passed at age 66.

This intensive show by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt and Tim Maner is being staged at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. It is brought forth as a rock opera directed by Jennifer Alice Acker, with a live band under the direction of Ashley Prince, and choreography by Bubba Carr.

The players include Jasmine Renee Ellis (Lizzie), Jessica DeMaria (Emma Borden), Megan Zhang (Alice Russell) and Christina Leidel as Bridget Sullivan. Along with four more cast members they energetically sing and dance their way through 17 original numbers. Caveat: this one isn’t for the kiddies who might get freaked out, nor for the Ms. Prim who would have a problem with one number in which the usual “F word” is the universal modifier. But other than that, you will fid it a very energizing performance. More info and tickets at