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Southern Plains Productions Announces Cast For The Rock Musical LIZZIE

Performances run August 18-19.

Southern Plains Productions, the Oklahoma City Theatre Company known for championing early-career artists and its work to make the performing arts more accessible, today announced the cast for its August show, Lizzie: the rock musical, with direction by New York City's Cameron King.

Sadie Farmer of Birmingham, Ala. will play the title character Lizzie Borden. Sadie is a rising senior at the University of Alabama-Birmingham where she studies musical theatre.

Lizzie's sister Emma Borden will be played by Los Angeles native, Joann Gilliam, a rising senior at Texas State University where she studies musical theatre.

Sasha Nikolaevna Manxetti, a rising senior acting major at Rutgers University in New Jersey, will play the Borden family's maid, Bridgett Sullivan.

New York City actress Haley Claire Gustafson, who studied at NYU, will play Alice Russell, the Borden's next-door neighbor.

Understudying these roles are Jessica Vanek, a recent graduate of the musical theatre program at Oklahoma City University, and Caitlin Zerra Rose, an Oklahoma City native and graduate of the Boston Conservatory who's now based in New York City.

The cast is backed with an onstage rock band led by music director Jude Caminos, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Lizzie is choreographed by Oklahoma City dance professor Hui Cha Poos and produced by Southern Plains Productions Artistic Director, Jackson Gifford.

Cameron King is a recent graduate of The John Wells Directing Program at Carnegie Mellon University. Lizzie marks her professional debut as show director.

"The electricity that pulses through this piece is simply contagious," King said. "I can't imagine a better time, a better cast, and a better home for this savage musical."

Lizzie: the rock musical

Lizzie Borden was acquitted. But what really happened that hot August day in 1892?

Set to a blistering, rock-infused score, Lizzie takes up the case of one of America's most notorious and unsolved murder mysteries. Four powerful females front a live rock band to sing of betrayal and rage and feminine liberation. The sound is less song than revelation.

Lizzie is the chain-smoking, motorcycle-riding, daredevil, kicked-off-the-cheerleading-squad-for-fighting-on-the-first-day-of-school third cousin to the rock opera. And musical theatre has disowned it.

That's because Lizzie makes its own rules.

"At Southern Plains Productions we're challenging the conventions of traditional live theatre," said founder and artistic director Jackson Gifford. "We want to expand society's idea of what theatre is and can be. Lizzie fits with this vision because it's explosive and completely unconventional."

Southern Plains Productions will feature two performances of Lizzie, August 18-19, at the Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. Tickets at

Southern Plains Productions is an Oklahoma City professional theatre company that champions collegiate and early-career artists, and accessibility in the performing arts. A 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company, Southern Plains Productions is committed to serving Oklahoma City with exceptional artistic productions, both musicals and plays, that enhance quality of life for our audiences and bring great credit to our craft.

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