Blood Relations | ordendelsantosepulcro.info
Performances Dates: February 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16 at 8pm and Sunday February 3 at 2pm Audition forms can be filled out online or at the time of your audition. Sharon Pollock's Blood Relations melds elements of Victorian. Pollock is best known for her play Blood Relations, which dramatizes As far as I can tell, the play only exists within a collection of Sharon Pollock plays, which is . voting to mail-in and possibly, in the future, online balloting. about how he became a writer, about what happened with his girlfriend. Blood Relations is a psychological murder mystery written by Sharon Pollock. The play is Lizzie was arrested for murder and the trial date set for June 5, The trial lasted fourteen days, and caused a national sensation: it was the first.
The aspiration of many young women was the freedom to develop their own personalities through education, work, or club activities, which became training schools for humanitarian, political, and social leaders, including suffragettes and feminists. Is it possible for any novel, within the next fifty years, truly to depict her as a finality, when she is still emerging from new conditions, The face of today is stamped with restlessness, wandering purpose, and self-consciousness.
In Blood Relations, Miss Lizzie attempts to find for herself a freer existence, but which she can only imagine through dreams or through role-playing. On the morning of August 4,Lizzie reported to Bridget Sullivan, the Irish maid, her discovery of the bloody body of her father sprawled on the sofa in the sitting room, and instructed her to fetch the family physician, Dr.
When the doctor and the police arrived, they also found the body of Abby Borden upstairs, her head similarly crushed by multiple axe blows. Bridget Sullivan testified that she had been in her own attic room, resting from cleaning windows on a very hot day. She had neither heard nor seen anything unusual.
Lizzie claimed that she had been in the barn, although the undisturbed dust on the barn floor seemed to indicate otherwise. Emma was out of town visiting friends. Four axes were discovered in the basement, one without a handle, and the head covered in ashes.Blood Relations
At the inquest, it was also revealed that Lizzie had bought prussic acid from a local pharmacy the day before, and that Abby and Andrew Borden had been ill that morning. Lizzie was arrested for murder and the trial date set for June 5, The trial lasted fourteen days, and caused a national sensation: Popular opinion was split on the innocence or guilt of Lizzie Borden, with strong support coming from feminists and animal rights advocates.
The legal rhetoric of the lawyer for the Defense as recorded in the trial transcripts is passionate, persuasive, and very playworthy: To find her guilty you must believe she is a fiend. Does she look it?
- Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia
- Audition Notice: Blood Relations
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As she sat here these long weary days and moved in and out before you, have you seen anything that shows the lack of human feeling and womanly bearing? Do I plead for her sister? Do I plead for Lizzie Andrew Borden herself? Yes, I ask you to consider her, to put her into the scale as a woman among us all, to say as you have her in charge to the Commonwealth whom you represent: It is not just to hold her a minute longer, and pleading for her I plead for you and myself and all of us that the verdict you shall register in this most important case shall not only commend your approval now, unqualified and beyond reasonable doubt, but shall stand sanctioned and commended by the people everywhere in the world who are listening by the telegraphic wire to know what is the outcome as to her.
She is not without sympathy in this world. This impassioned tone is also evident in the statement for the Defense in Blood Relations, reflecting a male bias against the possibility of women committing such atrocities: Gentlemen of the Jury!! I ask you to look at the defendant, Miss Lizzie Borden. I ask you to recall the nature of the crime of which she is accused. Is this the aid we give her? Accusation of the most heinous and infamous of crimes?
Do you believe Miss Lizzie Borden capable of these acts? I can tell you I do not!! I can tell you these acts of violence are acts of madness!! Although her testimony at the inquest was contradictory and confused, at her trial she was calm, impassive, and inscrutable. I leave it to my counsel to speak for me.
And in Blood Relations, Miss Lizzie also evades direct testimony. She, however, cannot grasp the circumstances that might explain why her sister would commit such a crime. Ten years after the murder of her parents, a crime for which she was accused and later acquitted, she lives with her sister Emma.
She has very firm beliefs about living her life by her own rules. Contrary to the expectations placed on women in the late s, Lizzie has no desire to marry and become a glorified domestic servant to a man she does not love.
She wishes to follow her own path and, like the pigeons she kept, soar above the confines of the earth. There are still whispers of her guilt, and her obvious sexual relationship with the Actress give further credence to the town gossip that she is an antisocial freak, an aberration of nature. True to her belief that people should be allowed to pursue their own interests regardless of what others think, there is a part of Lizzie that relishes her outlaw status.
By living her life publicly without shame or apology, she is showing others like her that it is okay to be yourself.
Pollock allows the audience to view the character of Lizzie from two unique perspectives in the play. The second Lizzie is presented in the flashback sequences. In these scenes, Lizzie is portrayed by her friend the Actress, an outsider to the events that took place ten years prior. He frequently visits her, going on long walks during which the two discuss their escape fantasies.
Harry will then run the farm as an auction site. The deal that Harry and her father arrive at convinces Lizzie that she will be slowly eliminated from the family, her means of support cut off. Harry is little more than a two-dimensional conniver whose presence is more or less a wake up call to Lizzie. Emma asks her regularly, a litany each day. Throughout the play there are more questions raised than answered.
The audience would expect empirical evidence, and the play produces the Defense attorney who questions the suspect and her maid. But their authenticity, their authority are in question because the events are being recounted by Lizzie.
Although it is based on an actual event, Pollock goes beyond the historical facts to delve into the mind and motivation of her central character. While the end results are the same—Borden and his wife are dead and Lizzie has been acquitted of the crime—Pollock raises questions as to the actual path taken to reach those results.
She forces the audience to question their own assumptions and conclusions about the truth of things, about why things may have happened as they did. She poses an ethical enigma to the Doctor. If he could only save one of two people injured and dying from an accident, whom would he choose?
Would it be the bad person or the one trying to be good? Lizzie focuses her questioning in a way that leaves the Doctor uncomfortable.
Blood Relations (play) - Wikipedia
In the same way, the spectator may become uncomfortable because it is clear that Lizzie is rationalizing the murder of her parents to preserve a way of life for her and her sister. She cannot stand by without any response. The puppy that is not quite right—who is a threat to normalcy—and is killed becomes the people who are obviously sick and must also be removed.
MacLeod is a neighbor who is a widower with three young children and is looking for a wife. With his daughter already in her thirties, Borden is worried that Lizzie will never go out on her own. The only solution for her is to marry.
Her stepmother sees nothing wrong with such a domestic arrangement. In exchange, she received a nice house to live in, food to eat, and companionship. But this is not what Lizzie wants from life. How was that case similar to the Lizzie Borden case? How was it different? Investigate the facts of the actual Lizzie Borden murder case. How consistent are the facts with the way the material is presented in the play? What do you think Pollock was trying to communicate?
Look up the concept of documentary theatre. Come up with a list of essential elements for this approach. How well does Blood Relations fulfill these requirements? Research recent crime cases in which women were acquitted for violent crimes that they most obviously had committed. What are the similarities between these cases and the Lizzie Borden case that is presented in Blood Relations?
Make a timeline of the major events. If Lizzie Borden had been living today, how might her situation have been different? You got to deal with the facts. She thinks this only fair. But she has no right. She is not supposed to be out walking and talking with married men, as she does with Dr. She is without any money other than what is doled out to her. She has no right other than the birthright of her body.
She can marry and have children. This is not a choice Lizzie could ever accept. While contemporary women have many choices in deciding their life course, this was not the case in the late s.
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Women were second-class citizens expected to fulfill specific—limited—roles in society. While Lizzie is spoiled, she is also prepared to work to preserve her independence. This is illustrated by her open relationship with the Actress, a relationship that appears to be homosexual in nature. Such activity was scandalous in the nineteenth century; respectable women were not supposed to be overtly sexual—especially not with each other.
Lizzie is willing to kill to earn her personal freedom. The actors weave in and out of the present and past. There are three real characters on stage, Lizzie, the Actress, and sister Emma. The others are pulled up from the memories of the event. This gives the scenes with Borden, his wife, Harry, and Dr. To make these sequences more surreal, the flashbacks are not played in a straightforward fashion.
Events from the present, the trial, and the days leading up to the murder are jumbled together—representative of the randomness of dreams and memories. The ambiguity of the play increases when Lizzie proposes playing a game in which the Actress will play her. And so as the dream progresses, the audience is unable to keep a distance. There is always a question of what is real and what is not. As the two women assume their roles in the re-enactment, the boundaries between Lizzie and the Actress fade.
And then it is unclear who is the real Lizzie. This approach provides the opportunity to consider the fluidity of truth, or perhaps the idea that there are many sides to truth and therefore many truths. The dream sequence is part of the structure that incorporates a play within a play, where action and conflict are happening on different levels.
This technique effectively illuminates for the viewer the personal path that Lizzie took to the murders. Documentary Theatre The roots of documentary theatre go back to and the work of Erwin Piscator. According to Robert C. Documentary theatre is a way to look at how performers relate to the audience and how performance relates to reality. Techniques that are used include dreams, reflections, monologues, and flashbacks that are laced throughout the work.
Laying bare the inner reality as opposed to external trappings. Symbolism Blood Relations weaves in two important images: Viewers are introduced to these images early in the play.
The birds are brought up when the crusts of bread that Bridget has for them are seen and their importance to Lizzie is made known. The birds represent the part of Lizzie that can fly, that can be free. This is seen in her flirtatious talk with Dr.
Patrick and her fantasies of stepping off to Boston with him. Like the birds, however, which are caged, Lizzie also is tied down. And Lizzie also is fed the crusts. The hatchet is a sharp-edged implement that clarifies and separates. Harry wields it, as does Mr. This symbol of masculinity and control is usurped, however, when Lizzie takes the hatchet to both her stepmother and father.
In addition to being the instrument of liberation from her oppressive parents, the hatchet gives Lizzie value and a place in the community.
Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia - Blood Relations
She is more than just an old spinster; she is the one who took the ax and killed her father and stepmother, a source of tremendous talk even ten years after it occurred. Lizzie Borden is arrested for the brutal murder of her father and stepmother, a murder which left the community aghast. Later an all-male jury acquits Lizzie of the murders. Simpson is accused of the brutal slaying of his estranged wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
Despite the civil trial results, many consider him a murderer who escaped justice through the deceit and trickery of his skilled defense attorney, Johnny Cochran. A rash of mergers and buyouts result in the formation of trusts, which are designed to reduce competition. This results in major increase of wealth for a few individuals, while the real wages of workers increase so slightly that they remained on the verge of financial ruin.
Microsoft, a multi-billion dollar computer software company, has successfully eliminated or reduced most of its competition, making chairman Bill Gates one of the wealthiest men in the world. Microsoft is under investigation for charges that it has violated antitrust laws created to prevent market monopolies.
The event attracts mostly gay women and makes the lesbian community quite visible. The beginnings of the AIDS epidemic calls attention to political concerns of the gay and lesbian communities. Ellen Morgan, the main character in the popular sitcom Ellen, comes out as a lesbian, as does the actress playing her, Ellen DeGeneres.
Although there is significant protest from conservative religious movements, the show continues on prime time television. Gays continue to fight for equal rights and for the right to marry same sex partners.
The only hurdle was the requirement that the amendment be ratified by three-quarters of the states in America. A strong opposition movement, fueled by irrational fears that women would lose special privileges and would have to go to war and share public washrooms with men, gathered steam. The opposition was successful and the ERA was defeated. In the Supreme Court, however, a victory for women was won in in the historic Roe vs. This legal precedent established the right of an American woman to have an abortion.
Some power was left in the hands of the individual states, which could place some limitations on the procedure. It was, however, a victory for feminists and, in essence, gave women the right of control over their own bodies. The success of the forces that opposed the ERA represented a growing movement of conservatism in the U. It was that movement that resulted in the election of Ronald Reagan as president in If government withdrew from certain areas of life, this conservative movement asserted, the economy would flourish and everyone would be better off.
This position turned a blind eye to certain sociological realities: Struggles for freedom were also occurring on the world front in A significant event in Poland foreshadowed the eventual breakdown of the communist dictatorship that controlled the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Shipyard workers in Poland went on strike to protest a rise in meat prices. Their stand unified the majority of workers in the country who had grown uneasy with the way the government ran their lives.
The spirit of protest spread to the general population of Poland. This event gave Polish citizens a foothold in controlling their rights. Also informer Beatle John Lennon was shot to death by a disturbed fan, Mark David Chapman, shocking the world and ending for good any fantasies that the Beatles, who had gone their separate ways in the early s, would reunite. Conversations with English-Canadian Playwrights. Although not well-known in the U. Pierre claimed that this technique creates far more dramatic suspense than the actual physical action of the ax.
And the court acquits her. Mary Pat Mombourquette noted in the International Encyclopedia of Theatre that Pollock is not one to let the audience off the hook. Passivity is not allowed. That play, she stated, will examine what happens to the woman who is unable to kill her father or mother, or even herself.
This is a label she both accepts with pleasure, looking askance at New York and London for acceptance, and one that she resists. When looking for clues to prove her guilt, investigators find a canary dead of a broken neck. Like Blood Relations, the play involves a stepmother and a violent act that tears the family apart. Another Sharon Pollock work, Saucy Jack, deals with a historical murder case. First produced inthis play explores the story of Jack the Ripper.
The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr deals with a forensic psychologist tracking a murderous governess. The novel deals with common nineteenth century perceptions of female roles and the often sociopathic lengths to which a woman wishing to live independently resorted.
Even within her family she had a reputation. Her father avoided bringing up uncomfortable topics with her. He seemed to be afraid of what she might say or do. Her influence over people only extends to trivial matters. When it comes to exerting her will to attain something that is truly important to her, she is powerless. Within the social structure of the late-nineteenth century, Lizzie is at the mercy of female stereotypes. This headstrong, peculiar young woman, who was accused of killing her parents with a hatchet, is in fact a victim of the conservative era in which she lived.
Lizzie puzzles over whether it was because her natural mother died at birth. Whatever the cause, she knows that she is different; she does not fit the mold. Her isolation from social norms is highlighted when her father attempts to arrange a marriage between her and a local widower.
Patrick as some kind of love interest. Unfortunately, Lizzie has no one else with whom she can relate and, despite his willingness, Dr. Patrick is not the kindred soul she seeks.
She feels isolated within her own family and ill-suited to fulfill the role expected of her. Ten years after the murder, Emma nags Lizzie about her relationship with the Actress, implying that they are lesbians.
Even her stepmother envies her, jealously complaining about the trip to Europe her father had given her. And although she is well provided for, she is the victim of abuse. While Lizzie appreciates the material comforts her family provides her, what she really craves is acceptance for who she is and encouragement to live her life as she feels she must. Borden vacillates between avoiding and ignoring her, to favoring her with gifts, to outright brutality when she tries his patience excessively.
Lizzie bursts in on the men, Harry slinks off, and she demands to see what her father has hastily stuffed in his pocket. These pigeons are more important to her than the humans who people the house. Borden realizes how vital the birds are to Lizzie. By destroying them he is consciously trying to wound her. It is possible that his intentions are to shock her into more acceptable behavior, but it is equally logical to assume that his act is one of pure malevolence.
Not only did she love them as pets, the pigeons, and their capacity for flight, were a symbol of the freedom for which Lizzie yearned. We understand, then, her attempts to please her father, her proclamations that she is trying to be good. Behind her tough guy act, Lizzie is a woman who has for years had to dodge the explosive, brutal anger of her father. She fears him and what he might do. Borden forms the cornerstone of the dysfunctional family in the play.
But in addition to the brutal, distant and controlling father, there is the conniving and bitter stepmother. She feels that Borden spoils his daughters—especially Lizzie. Borden brings all her resentment to bear on Lizzie. She has suffered, marrying a man and having to mother his two children and have none of her own. She feels that Lizzie presence is undermining her own happiness, spoiling what would otherwise be a good life.
Emma is brought into the triangle when her father asks if she has talked to Lizzie about entertaining MacLeod. Emma has, despite Mrs. But she complains as well.
Although it is highly unlikely that the two of them allied against their father would have had much impact, Lizzie still feels that she has to take a stand. Emma, however, chooses to sneak off to visit friends at the beach for a few days to avoid any confrontation. Emma is less fretful of the future, trusting that things will somehow work themselves out.
She prefers to avoid confronting her problems. As she tells Lizzie: Other people have been doing it for years. Blood Relations is a play in which the woman is in conflict, not with her father—she loves her father—but with the society around her. Lizzie is ultimately a victim of her times and her society. Lizzie has ideas in her head of how she wants to live her life. What is clear is that she will never succumb to the pressure to marry even though it—and motherhood—were the only real roles for women at the end of the nineteenth century.
When her father points out that marriage is a natural thing, she asks him if, because she does not want to marry, she is unnatural. If his daughter is, by biological definition, a woman and yet also not a woman by social definition, then the whole social order is in question. It is more than Borden can comprehend. Lizzie tries to explain to her father what she wants. I hate this house. Try to understand how I feel.
I could go into your office. Her father tells her that women do not work in offices. He begs her to think sensibly. As the daughter of a wealthy respectable community member, he and society expect her to function as a responsible and appropriate woman. The double edged sword is this: She demands as her right a third of the farm, but her stepmother makes it clear that she has no rights—neither society nor her family will give her any. She foresees her sister obediently waiting on their stepmother while she, Lizzie, will just sit alone, isolated, in her room.
This future is intolerable to her. She strolls and chats with Dr. Patrick, the one person with whom she can engage in fantasy of life with a bit of freedom. And although she may chat about going off to Boston, she counters that with talk about death, even her own: Patrick is flustered and tries to ease her out of her depression by discussing a fantasy they have shared about going to Boston.
When she is with Dr. Patrick she allows herself the fantasy that she is free, that she could do this or that. But on this particular day, that fantasy is crushed when she has to confront again the brutal killing of her pigeons. She has reached the point where fantasy is no longer satisfying.