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Theatre at Tarleton presents ‘Lizzie’ (as in Borden), a pulse-pounding musical geared for adults.

TSU Media Relations

Busy days are ahead for Theatre at Tarleton.

The troupe will present Lizzie: The Musical, a four-woman rock concert/musical hybrid, in eight performances at two venues.

Beginning with 7:30 p.m. shows Oct. 5-8 and 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 7 and 8 in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center in Stephenville, the show closes with presentations at 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 14 in Fort Worth’s Scott Theater.

Lizzie draws inspiration from Riot Grrrl music, queer sensibilities and ’70s/’80s female punk.

Riot Grrrl is a subculture combining feminism and punk music. Its songs frequently dealt with rape, domestic violence, sexuality, racism, patriarchy, classism, anarchism and female empowerment.

In late summer 1892 in Fall River, Mass., 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe. Testimonies were muddled, evidence was incomplete, and Lizzie was acquitted.

Lizzie: The Musical delves into the woman’s mind and speculates on her motivations, from loss of inheritance and a history of sexual abuse to overwhelming oppression and madness.

By her side are older sister Emma, maid Bridget and neighbor Alice. Together, the four women create a punk rock score to tell the story of why Lizzie “took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks” and why, “when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.”

Lizzie’s wealthy father, as she reminds throughout the show, wanted a son, thus her middle name, Andrew. By her account, her father sexually abused her. She and her sister, Emma, also said their stepmother, Abby, treated them harshly.

Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt wrote the play.

“Growing up in the 1980s, I developed a strong affinity for the hard rock and heavy metal scene of that era,” Stone said. “What better soundtrack for the life of an angsty rebellious teenager than the hard-hitting sounds of bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Sex Pistols, Judas Priest and of course Joan Jett.

“When I came across this play, I was immediately drawn to its pounding guitars and howling vocals, and I’m staging it like an ’80s heavy metal/punk concert incorporating aspects of Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty. This means harsh saturated colored lighting, sound that pierces and pulsates, unexpected surprises and ritualistic movement/physicality.

"The songs will be considered very loud, and lighting will be intense for some patrons."

The play is intended for audiences 18 years or older.

For ticket information call 254-968-9634.


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