Two One-Woman Lizzie Borden Plays Worthy of Mention

14 Jul

There are two one-woman plays centered on Lizzie Borden’s post-trial life at Maplecroft. One is the more contemporary Lizzie Borden Live and the other, Miss Lizzie Borden Invites You to Tea. The former stars the lovely Jill Dalton and the latter, playwrite and author Marjorie Conn. Both convey to the audience a Lizzie of conjectured character and substance based on case facts and what we know from newspaper reporting and court documents of her later life.


Jill Dalton gives an entertaining, humorous and insightful performance as a post-Trial Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie Borden Live”. Here’s a 6 minute excerpt from this engaging play. This video was shot by Richard Behrens of Gardenbay Films and is of exceptional quality.

“Spend an intimate afternoon with Lizzie as she speaks out for the first time about: the bad mutton, prussic acid, handleless hatchet, burned dress, betrayed confidences, morphine injections, confused inquest testimony, newspaper lies, dead reporter, bungled investigation, double murder reenactment, to her grand parties, European tour, and the relationships with her miserly father, overbearing stepmother, mouse of a sister and the stunning beauty and great Shakespearean actress, Nance O’Neil.”

The website for this play can be found here.


For over 15 years Marjorie Conn has been performing her play, Miss Lizzie A. Borden Invites You to Tea. It continues to be been performed at various venues around the country by different actresses.

“In “Miss Lizzie A. Borden Invites You To Tea” by Marjorie Conn, Lizzie is an aging, lonely spinster in 1913. Twenty one years after the murders of her parents, the notoriety of her trial has waned and her status as ‘social celebrity’ has faded. She’s been forgotten by all but a handful of hungry local journalists, and a bitter, taunting few. In this one-woman tour-de-force, starring Karen Asconi and directed by Frank Avellino, we witness Lizzie’s powerful lust for freedom and learn how such a yearning can drive one to acts of unimaginable desperation.” -website

I first saw Marjorie’s performance at the 1992 Lizzie Borden Centennial Conference at Bristol Community College in Fall River. I thought she captured the essence of Lizzie’s loneliness at Maplecroft and how much she valued her few visitors.  She still performs and was, in fact, slated to appear in this play at the now defunct Lizzie Borden Conference 2008.


Posted by on July 14, 2008 in Literature & Literati, Maplecroft


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2 responses to “Two One-Woman Lizzie Borden Plays Worthy of Mention

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