FIRST LOOK at BLOOD RELATIONS, a Lizzie Borden Psychological Murder Mystery, Opening 5/16

FIRST LOOK at BLOOD RELATIONS, a Lizzie Borden Psychological Murder Mystery, Opening 5/16

Collaborative Artists Ensemble presents BLOOD RELATIONS by Sharon Pollock, a psychological murder mystery based on historical fact and speculation surrounding the life of Lizzie Borden, from May 16 through June 15, 2014 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm at the Raven Playhouse, located in the heart of the NoHo Arts District at 5233 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA 91601. The production is directed by Steve Jarrard by special arrangement with the playwright. Featured in the cast are Carolyn Crotty, Deborah Cresswell, Jay Disney, Steve Jarrard, Hap Lawrence, Amy Moorman, Steve Peterson and Meg Wallace.

On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother were found bludgeoned in their family home. Lizzie was arrested for murder and the trial date set for June 5, 1893. The trial lasted fourteen days, and caused a national sensation as it was the first public trial in the United States to be covered extensively by the media. Popular opinion was split on the innocence or guilt of Lizzie Borden, with strong support coming from feminists and animal rights advocates.

In BLOOD RELATIONS, writer Sharon Pollock sets the action ten years after the trial as a play within a play, with the part of Lizzie Borden enacted by her friend, an actress from Boston, with Lizzie assuming the role of the maid Bridget, an observer and director of the replay of the events that culminated in the murder of the Bordens. This framework establishes the possibility of multiple perspectives.

Of course what "happened" ten years earlier depends on what is remembered, what is re-enacted. The play avoids realism and defies logical time progression as there aren't clear entrances and exits and the actors weave in and out of the present and past as they tell the story of that fateful night as well as the trial.

FIRST LOOK at BLOOD RELATIONS, a Lizzie Borden Psychological Murder Mystery, Opening 5/16There are three real characters on stage, Lizzie, the Actress, and sister Emma. The others are pulled up from the memories of the 1892 event. This gives the scenes with Borden, his wife, Harry, and Dr. Patrick a dreamlike quality; they are the ghosts of Lizzie's memory. We are the witnesses and try to ascertain the "truth" - which proves endlessly elusive and multifaceted.

So although Lizzie Borden was acquitted when her lawyers persuaded the jury that the evidence was circumstantial, the question still remains: "Did she or didn't she?" We challenge you to make your own decision after seeing BLOOD RELATIONS.

Tickets are $20 with a $5 discount for seniors and full-time students. To purchase tickets by phone, please call the box office at 323-860-6569. You may also purchase tickets online at or at the door one hour prior to curtain.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Collaborative Artists Ensemble, please email us at Follow us on Twitter @collaborativear and "like" us on Facebook.

Collaborative Artists Ensemble was founded in 2007 to create the opportunity for passionate theater artists to come together to create works that challenge and provoke both the artists as well as the audience. We are currently in our Seventh Season and "Blood Relations" is our 13th production. Past Productions include: A Strange Disappearance of Bees by Elena Hartwell (West Coast Premiere), Through A Glass Darkly (West Coast Premiere), "The Square Root of Wonderful" by Carson McCullers (West Coast Premiere), "Eleemosynary" by Lee Blessing, "How I Learned to Drive" by Paula Vogel, "Lucia Mad" by Don Nigro and "Standing on My Knees" by John Olive. For more information, please visit our website:

DIRECTOR STEVE JARRARD Steve Jarrard is a Southern California native and grew up in the business. Steve is an integral component of Collaborative Artists Ensemble, having directed 9 of our 12 previous productions including Nicky Silver's THE FOOD CHAIN, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, ELEEMOSYNARY, LUCIA MAD, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY and the West Coast Premiere of Carson McCuller's THE SQUARE ROOT OF WONDERFUL. He currently serves as Managing Director of the company. Some of his other directing credits include CIVILIZATION, DOUBTING THOMASON and Noel Coward's PRESENT LAUGHTER at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. He is also an actor and a poet.

Photo credit: Mani Horn

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