Program

BLOOD RELATIONS

by Sharon Pollock 

 

DIRECTOR’S NOTE

Did you Lizzie … Lizzie did you?”

 

People have been asking this question for more than one hundred years, and the public fascination with the atrocious murder of Abigail and Andrew Borden on the morning of August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, seems more captivating than ever. TV and movies continue to be made about the crime, and in particular about the woman generally considered to be the culprit: Lizzie Borden. 

The public obsession with the Borden tragedy is morbid and sometimes ghoulish: the house at 92 Second Street, where the murders took place, is now a bed and breakfast tourist attraction. You can sleep in the room where Abigail was butchered, and have the same breakfast the Bordens ate on the last day of their lives. (The tour continues to get rave reviews on Trip Advisor.)

What is it about this particular event that continues to fascinate the public, and, moreover, why does everyone still assume Lizzie did it, when she was championed as innocent by women’s rights advocates across America and finally acquitted of any wrongdoing? Why did children create a ghastly lyric exaggerating the number of hatchet blows delivered to the parents’ heads?

Sharon Pollock’s Blood Relations is interested in why everyone continues to be obsessed with this historical crime. Why are you interested?

Pollock’s play begins ten years after the murders, and is inspired by true events: long after her acquittal, Lizzie Borden met the Boston actress Nance O’Neill, and the two became very close friends. Rumours abounded.  Newspaper gossip columns of 1905 reported that the liaison with O’Neill had driven a permanent wedge between Lizzie and her older sister Emma.

What happened between Lizzie, Nance and Emma to cause this rift?  Like so much about the Borden tragedy, we have only our own imaginations to rely upon.  And this is why Blood Relations is a game of make-believe. The Actress, like everyone else (like you), wants to know if Lizzie did it, but there is only one way to find out. 

We hope you enjoy your time with Lizzie!

 

PERFORMANCE DATES

Wednesday, April 4th to, Friday, April 6th, 2018
Wednesday, April 11th to Friday, April 13th, 2018

7:30 PM 

$12 General Admission 

Please note: There are no Saturday performances

Moyse Hall Theatre, McGill University, Arts Building
853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal
Box Office: (514) 398-6070  
publicity.english [at] mcgill.ca  

Follow us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheatreMcGill

https://www.mcgill.ca/english/moyse-hall

 

CREATIVE TEAM

 

Director …………………………………………………………..….... Sean Carney

Production Manager ………...……………………………...………Corinne Deeley

Technical Director ………………...………………………….............. Keith Roche

Set Designer…………………………………………………………….Abi Quinlan

Sound Designer………………………………………..….Kazuho Sakai, Mei Yang

Lighting Designer……………………………………………………....Keith Roche

Stage Manager ………………….………………….………… ..Cheyenne Cranston

Choreographer…………………………………...………………Asha Bittenbender

Head of Wardrobe…………………...…………………….......... Catherine Bradley

Costume Designers …………………..…….…… Costuming for the Theatre Class

Poster Designer.……………………………...……………..Zhuoyi Anthony Zhang

Publicity ……………………………..……………….………………. Sean Carney

English Department Webmaster…………………..……………… Juan Ortiz-Apui

 

CAST

Olivier Bishop-Mercier as Harry
Siân Lathrop as Miss Lizzie/Bridget
James McDaniel as Dr. Patrick/The Defense
Georgia Pearson as The Actress
Francesca Scotti-Goetz as Emma Borden
Xheni Qamo as Abigail Borden
Andrew Young as Andrew Borden

 

PRODUCTION TEAM

Lighting Crew 

Cayla Clarkson
Zhiyi (Karen) Ren

 

Set Crew

Kiana Tom
Zoe Palmer

 

Props 

Abi Quinlan
Irina Li

 

Costume Crew 

Leighton Balagno
Christina Dovolis
Cassidy Gurev
Cynthia Barmish
Hilary Jay
James Pallotto
Lauriane Rouleau-Delage
Amita Symons-Yu
Zhuoyi Anthony Zhang 

 

Peer Mentor

Léa Tuizat

 

Work Study Assistants

Brianne Chapelle
Kenzia Dalie
Christopher Wheatley

 

BIOGRAPHIES

 

Leighton Balagno (Costume Crew) is a U3 student studying International Development and Communication Studies. In the past, she worked on costumes for The Cradle Will Rock and in the performing arts more generally. After working with the Costume Crew last semester, Leighton is excited to delve back into work on Blood Relations. 

Cynthia Barmish (Costume Crew & Program) is a graduate student in Education, in the MATL Program. She was a patternmaker and designer in the fashion industry but currently works as a language teacher. Right at home in the costume shop, she is happy to be sewing again. Cynthia looks forward to partaking in the magic when the cast, crew and director bring this play to life!

Olivier Bishop-Mercier (as Harry) is a U3 Drama & Theatre and Mathematics student hailing from the state of Vermont. Olivier has appeared as an actor in Players’ Theatre, Director’s Project Festivals and McGill Drama Festivals past. He was the director of Owners at the TNC Theatre. His Moyse Hall credits include Richard III, The Rover, and Chicago (AUTS).

Asha Bittenbender (Choreographer) is a U2 Drama & Theatre and Political Science student. Her original choreography appeared onstage at McGill in The Rover, Owners (TNC), and The Cradle Will Rock. She is a proud member of Inertia Modern Dance Company. She would like to thank her dancers for learning period dances in half an hour, and Sean Carney for the honor of collaborating with him on a second production. Break a leg! 

Catherine Bradley (Head of Wardrobe) teaches Costuming and History of Costume in the Department of English.  She is founder and curator of the Textile Resource Center, an online initiative which houses her textile dictionary and weave guide. Catherine has had the pleasure of working with a very dedicated team on this production, who from the inspirational image to the finished garment, has made almost every costume piece you will see on stage.

Sean Carney (Director) is an Associate Professor of Drama & Theatre in the Department of English.  Recent plays directed at McGill include The Rover by Aphra Behn, The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.

Cayla Clarkson (Lighting Crew) is a U2 student majoring in English, Drama & Theatre and minoring in Art History and Anthropology. Some of her past theatre experience include acting in Home, I Am An Emotional Creature, as well as various improv and sketch comedy shows around Montreal and Toronto. This is Cayla's first time working on tech in a show and she is very excited.

Corinne Deeley (Production Manager) has been Moyse Hall’s Theatre Production Manager for the past 16 years. After graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, Corinne worked as an Equity Stage Manager, Production Manager and Designer for several Canadian Theatre Companies touring Canada and the USA. Her recent theatre experiences include Ballet West, Cavalia, and Just for Laughs.

Cheyenne Cranston (Stage Manager) is a U1 student majoring in English, Drama & Theatre, with a double minor in English Literature and Communication Studies. Previous theatre credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for a production of Art, as well as a Stage Manager for the McGill Drama Festival and a production of Rhinoceros. She is very excited to be working on her first show in Moyse Hall! 

Christina Dovolis (Costume Crew) is a U3 student at McGill University, majoring in English, Cultural Studies and Urban Geography. Last semester she costumed for the English Department’s production of The Cradle Will Rock. She is also involved in Television McGill and McGill’s Symphonic band. She is jazzed to be costuming for Blood Relations this winter.

Cassidy Gurev (Costume Crew & Hair and Makeup) is a U3 student in Gender, Sexuality, Feminist and Social Justice Studies & International Development. This is her first production and she is very excited to be working on Blood Relations in her final semester. 

Hilary Jay (Costume Crew) is a 4th year student in Philosophy and Art History. This is her second experience with costuming in theatre and she is looking forward to learning with everyone involved in the production both onstage and off.

Linda Kuo (Assistant Stage Manager) is a U4 student at the Ingram School of Nursing. Some of her past theatre credits include You Can’t Take It With You, Hairspray, and Alice in Wonderland back in Vancouver during her high school years. Linda learned about McGill’s Drama & Theatre program at the beginning of this semester and is thrilled to be Assistant Stage Manager of the production.

Siân Lathrop (as Lizzie Borden) is a U1 Philosophy and English, Drama & Theatre student. This is her second English Department Production, her first being The Rover, in which she played Moretta. She is excited to be playing Miss Lizzie and is also excited to be writing her own bio.

Irina Li (Assistant Stage Manager and Props) is a second year student majoring in Drama & Theatre at McGill. Last year, she worked as Assistant Stage Manager for the show at Moyse Hall, Richard III, and worked as a photographer on several productions.

James McDaniel (as Dr. Patrick, Defense) is a U3 English Literature and German Language student. His only previous performance in college was as Don Pedro in The Rover. James is excited to be on stage again with old and new friends.

James Pallotto (Costume Crew) is a U1 student studying Psychology and Drama & Theatre. Some of his past costuming credits include working on The Cradle Will Rock last semester. James is very excited to be back in the costuming studio for Blood Relations!

Zoe Palmer (Set Crew) is a U1 student in French Language and Literature, minoring in Classics and English Drama & Theatre. She was the lighting designer for AUTS's production of Into the Woods, and has previously designed for DNA and Beau Jest, outside of McGill. She is excited to work on set for Blood Relations!

Georgia Pearson (as The Actress) is a fourth year student doing a double major in Economic and Political Science with a minor in International Development Studies. She is British but born and raised in Hong Kong and Singapore. Previous credits at McGill include ‘Paige’ in Dinner by Moira Buffini, ‘Valeria’ in The Rover by Aphra Behn and ‘Old Gentleman/Mr. Butterfly’ in Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco.

Xheni Qamo, (as Abigail Borden) is a U3 student studying Political Science and Art History. Some of her past theatre credits include Mad Forest: A Play from RomaniaThe Bald Soprano, and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. After two years of producing for McGill's first-year theatre company, DTC, Xheni is delighted to be involved in her first English Department production.

Zhiyi (Karen) Ren (Lighting and Sound Crew) is a U1 student majoring in Psychology and minoring in World Cinema and Behavioural Science. She is a member of the Stage & Lighting Crew. Karen worked as a spotlight operator for AUTS’s Into the Woods earlier this semester and she is very excited to contribute again in Blood Relations.

Keith Roche (Technical Director) has been at Moyse Hall as Technical Director for the past 21 years and has taught the Stage Scenery and Lighting Class for the past 15 years. Keith graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada and has used his experiences working in the many different aspects of Theatre Production to create his own production company.

Lauriane Rouleau-Delage (Costume Crew) is a U3 student double-majoring in East Asian Studies and Translation. She has not been in a play since high school but she enjoys portraying various movie and anime characters for cosplay. As a member of the costume crew, it has been her pleasure to create The Actress’s costume for Blood Relations.

Kazuho Sakai (Sound Crew) is an U2 international student from Japan majoring in English and Cultural Studies. This is her second time working backstage; she was the assistant stage manager in The Cradle Will Rock last fall. With great passion and love for the stage, Kazuho is eager to learn about sound and to contribute to this exciting show.

Francesca Scotti-Goetz (as Emma) is a U2 student studying Sociology, Communications, and English, Drama & Theatre. Since working with Sean Carney on The Rover, she is excited to be back in Moyse Hall with an incredible cast and crew for this unique production of Blood Relations! Some of her past theatre credits at McGill include East of Berlin, Superior Donuts, and the McGill Drama Festival with Players' Theatre. She looks forward to making you question your reality and continually asking yourself, "who dunnit?" in the dark and twisted world of Lizzie Borden! 

Amita Symons-Yu (Costume Crew Head) is a U2 student studying Urban Systems, Environment, and World Cinemas. Last semester, she worked on The Cradle Will Rock, which was her first costuming experience. She is delighted to now have the opportunity to work on Blood Relations!

Kiana Tom (Set Crew) is a U3 student studying Cognitive Science and English, Drama & Theatre. Past theatre credits include The Merry Widow as well as various high school productions. She is delighted to be working backstage once again and taking part in constructing the set for Blood Relations.

Léa Tuizat (Costume Crew Peer Mentor) graduated from McGill in Art History and Cultural Studies in 2016. Some of her past theatre credits include In the Next Room: The Vibrator Play, Night of the Assassins, and The Rover. After costuming for The Rover in Fall 2016, Léa is thrilled to be back in the costume shop helping her peers.

Mei Yang (Set and Sound Crew) is a U0 student looking to study Linguistics and Statistics. Some of her past theatre credits include Hairspray, Chicago, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The Cradle Will Rock. As an avid music enthusiast with an interest in sound design, Mei is excited to be a part of Blood Relations

Andrew Young (as Andrew Borden) is a U2 History Major. In his time at McGill he played Leopold in Forever Yours, Marie-Lou and Clegg in Owners. He is very excited to have this new opportunity.

 Zhuoyi Anthony Zhang (Costume Crew and Poster Design) is a U3 student studying Liberal Arts and French as a second language. He makes clothing with his grandma in the summer. He is currently working for a Montreal brand of streetwear, One & Only. In the costume shop he is seeking to perfect his creative and sewing skills. He costumed on The Cradle Will Rock last fall. He worked with local film production groups at the Montreal World Film Festival last summer. His credits include the Kung Fu film, The Hidden Sword. 

 

Special Thanks:

The National Theatre School of Canada
Julien Brosseau
Liesl Barrell
Max Barr