Program Information for LIZZIE

LIZZIE by Steven Cheslik-Demeyer, Tim Maner and Alan Stevens Hewitt

Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Theater on

May 14, 2021 at 2 PM



Run Time

Approximately 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.


Fall River, Massachusetts. 1892.

Content warning

This production contains mentions and descriptions of sexual assault/rape and incest during “The House of Borden,” “This is Not Love,” and “The Soul of the White Bird”; attempted suicide during “The Soul of the White Bird”; violence/murder.




Lizzie Borden — Paige Allen ’21*
Emma Borden — Nora Aguiar ’21*
Alice Russell — Eliyana Abraham ’23*
Bridget Sullivan — Giao vu Dinh ’24*


Conductor/Drums — Ed Horan ’22*
Keyboard — Halle Mitchell ’23*
Guitar 1 — Glenna Galarion ’21*
Guitar 2 — Nick Shaskini ’21
Cello — Anthony D’Arenzio ’21
Bass — Simon Rosen ’22



Director & Choreographer — Ines Aitsahalia ’22*
Music Director & Conductor — Ed Horan ’22*
Costume Designer — LCA Costume Shop
Stage Manager — Alexis Maze ’23*
Performance Stage Manager — Chloë Z. Brown
Sound Engineer — Kay Richardson

*denotes a certificate student in the Program in Theater


Elena Araoz — Production Advisor



Chair: Tracy K. Smith
Executive Director: Marion Friedman Young


Director, Producing Artistic Director, Theater And Music Theater Season: Jane Cox

View all staff profiles »
Producer: Darryl Waskow
Production Manager: Chloë Z. Brown
Production Stage Manager: Carmelita Becnel
Resident Musical Director/Composer: Vince di Mura
Assistant Stage Manager: Rob Del Colle
Costume Shop Manager: E. Keating Helfrich
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Julia Kosanovich
Draper: Caitlin Brown
Technical Director: Timothy Godin
Assistant Technical Director: Jesse Froncek
Theater Technician: Torrey Drum
Lighting & Stage Supervisor: Matt Pilsner
Props Master: Allie Geiger Khanna
Scenic Artist: Melissa Riccobono
Master Carpenter: Michael A. Smola
Sound Supervisor: Kay Richardson
Director of Communications: Steve Runk
Multimedia Specialist: Zohar Lavi-Hasson
Visual Communications Specialist: Tracy Patterson
Web & Multimedia Strategist: Jonathan Sweeney
Communications Associate: Jaclyn Sweet
Communications Assistant: Hope VanCleaf



Our LIZZIE journey was filled with twists and turns, and it began our sophomore year when Paige discovered LIZZIE (thanks, Eliana, for the rec). Paige proposed to direct the show with Theatre Intime, but the rights were unavailable. When considering musicals for our senior thesis, we returned to LIZZIE as performers: Paige was looking for a role outside of her typical typecasts that would stretch her vocal and acting range and stamina; Nora was hoping to find a challenging and interesting role in her first ever live musical theater show. LIZZIE satisfied all this and more. Drawing from punk and riot grrrl rock, LIZZIE connects late-nineteenth century history with twentieth-century radical feminism and present-day struggles. Its centering of fleshed-out, complex women’s perspectives is a rarity in musical theater, as is its focus on the rage and desires felt by women confined by heteopatriarchy. Any theatrical process is full of surprises, but our production of LIZZIE faced unique challenges. Pandemic conditions forced us to reimagine LIZZIE as an outdoor, socially-distant performance—reducing our production team (RIP Eliana’s lights and Reed’s set), limiting our casting options and audience size, and pushing rehearsals outdoors. Rights restrictions prevented us from streaming the show. A total of three performers took on the role of Alice: Lydia Gompper, our original co-proposer; Gabby Veciana, a brilliant first-year who worked on the role this spring; and Eliyana Abraham, our SM-turned-actor whose performance belies the brief time she had to learn the role. Each time we felt like “young girls” who could not “go and do and have,” our team adapted, overcame, and committed to telling this story with authenticity, determination, and joy. We’d like to thank all who made this weird and wonderful project possible: everyone at the LCA—especially the costume shop, Allie, and Kay; Jane and Stacy for their mentorship and faith in us; Ed for his expert ear and enthusiasm; Alexis for solving our stage management emergency; all of our Alices—Lydia, Gabby, and Eliyana; Giao for her flexibility throughout this unpredictable process; and Elena for offering support even when we were too swamped to respond to emails. Finally, thank you to Ines, for journeying with us as a brilliant choreographer and thoughtful director. Since their time at Princeton High School, both Nora and Ines have searched for a musical theater space that could be safe, constructive, joyful, and inclusive. Ines—I hope we have both been able to find that here. We’ve come a long way since PHS. Thank you for your constant dedication, energy, and love during this process. We’ve found sisterhood in the hardship and hilarity of working on this project and living together for the past year. We hope you’ll see, behind the riffs and the rage, the heart of this show—a search for love and understanding.

— Paige Allen ’21 and Nora Aguiar ’21



LIZZIE is less interested in retelling history than it is in making it. This small, all-female show deals with many subjects close to my heart, packaged into a rock opera bursting with rage, love, and resilience. While this is not the way we had originally dreamed of sharing this piece, I am so proud and honored to show LIZZIE as we have imagined it. All of us extend thanks to the LCA for their support—to Elena for her guidance; Kay for being so game to make this rock concert happen; to Allie for sharing my love of pigeons and confetti; and to the costume shop for making this anachronistic beauty real.

I would also like to thank Ed, our music director, and resident captain of saying “that was sick,” after every flawless harmony. His positive attitude never wavered, even in a show about literal axe murder. Huge thanks to Eliyana and Alexis, who shared the role of stage manager in a hectic rehearsal process with a boundless grace and organization only matched by Eliyana’s beautiful transition into acting. To Giao, thank you for giving LIZZIE so much dedication in a Princeton first year from hell. This cast would not be the same without you. Of course none of this would have been possible without Paige and Nora, the wonderful proposers whose note is surely more eloquent than this one. Thank you both for trusting me with this project that grew so close to my heart, and for welcoming me into the Princeton theater scene all that time ago. Special thanks to Adam Olkin for filming the archival recording (and auditioning for the nonexistent role of Andrew Borden) and the Aguiar and Aitsahalia families for letting a raucous group of screaming women into their backyards with open arms.

So please, let us all take you to an August in 1892 when all hell broke loose in the house of Borden.

— Ines Aitsahalia ’22


LIZZIE has been developed with the assistance of tiny mythic theatre company, HERE arts center, Took An Axe Productions (Hillary Richard & Peter McCabe), Brisa Trinchero/Corey Brunish (Make Musicals) and Van Dean/Kenny Howard (Broadway Consortium). LIZZIE was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in 2010 and further developed by Village Theatre, Issaquah, Washington (Robb Hunt, Executive Producer, Steve Tomkins, Artistic Director). LIZZIE was produced by Theatre Under The Stars, October 2013. The West Coast Premiere of LIZZIE was produced by Portland Center Stage, Chris Coleman, Artistic Director. To purchase recordings and sheet music, or for more information, please visit:


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