Stephen F. Austin State University

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Student-directed 'Blood Relations' retells story of Lizzie Borden

October 27, 2014 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present the student-directed "Blood Relations" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, in the Downstage Theatre on the SFA campus.

Senior Austin Holt of Weatherford directs Sharon Pollock's full-length play that retells the story of Lizzie Borden, the American woman known for being tried and acquitted for the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Mass., in 1892.

"Lizzie and her friend, the Actress, act out the events that led up to the death of Lizzie's stepmother and father," Holt said in describing the play. "The Actress tries to figure out the answer to whether or not Lizzie Borden killed her parents."

The cast includes Paris junior Shelby Gilliam as the Actress; Frisco junior Shelby Gilliland as Lizzie Borden; Arlington junior Joshua Lopez as Harry Wingate; Beaumont freshman Kate Shirley as Emma Borden; West senior Brianna Veselka as Mrs. Borden; Redcar, England, exchange student Jamie Pew as Mr. Borden; and Longview sophomore Tanner O'Neal as Dr. Patrick and the Defense.

The production staff includes Monika Zimmermann, Singapore junior, as stage manager; Kara Bruntz, Southlake sophomore, assistant stage manager; Marley Graham, Port Neches junior, assistant director; Connor Clark, Mesquite senior, and Kindle Bonner, Lufkin junior, scenic designers; Brian Butler, Plano senior, costume designer; Ross Dennison, Houston junior, lighting designer; and Elyse Dishman, Beaumont senior, sound designer.

Faculty production advisor for the play is Rick Jones.

Holt directed "No Exit" and "The New Land" at SFA. Her stage management credits include "Romeo and Juliet," "Godspell," "bobrauschenbergamerica" and "The Madwoman of Chaillot." She has designed sound for "Trojan Barbie," "Blood Wedding (assistant)," "Language of Angels" and "Lone Star." She was a company management intern at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Tickets are $6. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu. "Blood Relations" is recommended for mature audiences (teens or older).