You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Costuming the Cast 1890’s Style’ category.

 

Congratulations to cast and  support crew on a great effort and performance this year!

Advertisements

The cast enjoyed a great day at the Lizzie Borden  Bed and Breakfast Museum as they, for the 14th year, adapted the facts of the case for performance to the public.  Tickets were sold out well before the afternoon, with starting times on the half hour this year.  An exit poll was given to the visitors and over 60 % of those who filled out the form decided Lizzie was the guilty party, with Uncle John Morse coming in a distant second.  There was a drawing at the end of the day for a gift certificate to the popular B&B.  Some of the cast is shown above after the day was ended, before being treated to a tour of all floors of Lizzie’s home on French St., Maplecroft.  For more about the day visit the Fall River Herald site article http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x84685033/Fall-Rivers-infamous-Borden-murders-reenacted-on-118th-anniversary

More script details and cast photos coming soon!

Sweet Bridget from County CorkThis year the role of Irish maid, Bridget Sullivan from County Cork will be played by P.E.P. newcomer Kristin Pepe.  Shown above getting into the character on June 20th at Lizzie Borden Live, Kristin’s greatest worry is getting down the Irish brogue, which may “for an Italian gal”-  be a bit of a challenge.  Kristin joins the P.E.P. Players fresh from the Lizzie Borden Society Forum and is an intrepid Mutton Eater First Class!  A few years ago Kristin solved the pressing mystery of where Lizzie’s sister Emma went to school-Wheaton Female Seminary, now Wheaton College in Massachusetts, and has since enjoyed researching other Borden-related projects.

Over the years, Borden house employees Kathleen Cramer-Troost, Samantha Carey, Amanda, and former general office manager Michele have taken a stab at playing the Borden maid.  Looks like Kristen already knows how to serve up something tastier than mutton!

Bridget with coconut chicken

Barbara Borden Morrissey as Emma and JoAnne Giovino as Mrs. Churchill

George Burns had his Gracie, Lucy had Ethel, Abbot had Costello, and the P.E.P. has been blessed with the dynamic duo of Barbara and JoAnne, proof  that great things often come in pairs.  The gals have been best pals for over two decades and have been frequent visitors over the years to the Lizzie Borden B&B, with both being regular guests every August 4th since the house was opened.  In years gone by, Barbara’s mother, Mrs. Lucy Borden, a decendant of Lizzie’s great uncle Cook Borden, was a regular August 4th guest at the house.  “Jo Jo and BoBo” are the leavening which makes any skit “rise” and after years playing various Borden case characters, their familiarity with the case makes for brilliant on -the- spot ad libbing which is always a crowd pleaser.  Their combined high energy and grasp of the Victorian era, as well as an instant rapport with the audience bring out the best in any cast.  Every performance is as fresh as the first, and every year an anticipation of what new twists the pair will bring.  “Lady Barbara” and JoAnne are both enthusiastic members of the Second Street Irregulars and dedicated Mutton Eaters whose annual desserts at meetings are always a revelation!  If the “Game is Afoot”, you can be sure these gals will be first out the door, dressed to the nines and leading the pack with all the fire usually attributed to redheads !

Recently, in an interview, Barbara had this to say about herself:

“No I have never done any acting unless you consider being a town meeting member for 24+years counts.  I was born in Fall River at St. Anne’s Hospital. My regular job is grandmother,wife and friend,and I love my job. I love to read mysteries (especially about Lizzie); gardening,travel and politics fascinate me. I do believe the only person with the opportunity and motivation was Lizzie.She and Emma had the most to gain,in fact the only ones who would gain anything if Mrs.B was gone. I think that is one reason why my family never talked about her, our family black sheep.”

JoAnne as Mrs. Churchill with “Dr. Dolan”, Ted Gregoire.

A few words from Mrs. Churchill herself-

“Anyhow….. I was born in Lynn,Ma. A big city similar to FR. It was know as the shoe capital and had several shoe factories. It was quite the city in the 50’s. Unfortunately, as FR it has taken a down turn. I saw it happening once big malls were developed. Downtown disappeared!
 
I graduated from Salem State College with a degree in elementary education. Right after graduation , I married  and moved to Dedam and then Saugus where I was a permanent substitute teacher. What a job…yuck! I have two daughters, Katelyn and Leslie Anne. Later my husband and I owned and operated our own business. He did the work and I spent the money. He is now retired. I went to Woodstock in 1969….groovy man. I was one of the few who actually bought a three day ticket. I went with my two best friends at the time. I have some great memories. as a matter of fact, My husband and I last year were up around that way and I had him stop at the site. of course it has changed but in my eye it was 1969. I shed a couple of tears.
 
I moved to Billerica and met Barbara 25 years ago and have been best friends like sisters really ever since. We have a great time no matter what we do but Lizzie is by far one of our most cherished things. I am  the chairman of the Billerica Conservation Commission . We review and condition development that impacts wetlands, floodplain, rivers etc. I was recognized by the premier state organization of conservation commissions, The Massachsetts Association of Conservation commissions and was named Conservation Commissioner of the year a few years ago. Also I was awarded an environmental award for my volunteerism and achievements from the federal goverment in 2003. I love to read, especially mysteries. Thanks to the Mutton Eaters, I have discovered Sherlock Holmes.I have a wild imagination (dressing little sheep in period costume!) and I never want to grow up.”

Ladies, take a bow!

The role of Bridget Sullivan, the Borden’s Irish maid, is the glue which connects the characters and revelation of the plot to the audience.  No one who exited the house on August 4th could forget the letter- perfect Irish accent of Kathleen Troost-Cramer.  With a mother whose maiden name was McMurphy, we might have a good idea where the great Irish brogue originated!  Kathleen, a daytime tour guide at the house on Second Street for the past three summers, has no problem slipping into the humor, posture, and dialect of Bridget.  With a B.A. in Theatre from Emerson College, Kathleen is no stranger to the actor’s life either.  Currently Kathleen is pursuing her PhD in Biblical Studies at Boston University and manages to squeeze in a trip to Israel to work on an archeological dig, work during the week at the Lizzie Borden B&B Museum and pursue many other interests and hobbies.  Kathleen’s husband Bob is sometimes seen behind the old black vintage stove at the Borden house as he ties on the apron to flip the jonnycakes on a weekend for overnight guests. 

Kathleen has a few ideas as to whodunnit: “I think Bridget is the most mysterious person in the case and knew more than she told in order to protect her reputation.  Just what did she know?  I believe John Morse killed Abby Borden that morning and an acquaintance of Morse’s later killed Andrew.  Bridget unknowingly let Andrew’s killer in the house.  After working here and seeing the layout of the house, my initial assumption that Lizzie was innocent soon disappeared.  It is impossible to believe that Lizzie did not know what was happening-that she knew nothing about the plot.  With Abby’s time of death a little “wonky”, as to the exact moment, there is room to believe that Abby died very early on and could be in the time frame where Morse could have managed it and taken a street car down to the Emery house to establish his alibi.

If I could play any other role than Bridget it would be Lizzie herself because there are so many ways to approach that character.  I do not think she wielded the hatchet- but she sure had a hand in it!  If I could have answers to three questions only they would be: 1.  What was the truth about the attempted purchase of Prussic acid?  2. Was there ever a note sent to Abby and if so who was sick and who delivered it?  3. What caused the rift between Emma and Lizzie in 1905?”

 

It seems hard to believe that someone just 21 this month has accomplished so much so soon!  But the handsome and dapper Mr. C. has managed a great deal in a short time and has returned this year in the role of Undertaker James E. Winward- Lizzie’s mortician of choice for her father’s funeral.  Mr. Winward had his offices at #13 South Main at the time of the murders, and was very busy overseeing the details at the scene of the crime on August 4th.  The funerals were held on Saturday, August 6th from the sitting room of the Borden’s home.

Andrew truly is an “old soul” and captured Mr. Winward’s proper diction and manner, impeccable sartorial elegance, and genteel mannerisms down to the nth degree! He has been on stage since he was 5 years old and has performed with The Little Theatre of Fall River, Trinity Repertory Company, New Bedford Festival Theatre, Bristol Theatre Company, and other local community theatre groups. 

 

  He is also a 2006 graduate of The New England Institute of Funeral Service Education at Mount Ida College and is currently an
Apprentice Funeral Director & Embalmer with Nickerson Funeral Homes on Cape Cod. He is member of The National Morticians’ Honor Fraternity: Pi Sigma Eta (Alpha Omega Chapter).

 Originally from Somerset, MA, Andrew currently lives in Wellfleet, MA. and enjoys community theatre, Victorian funerals, historic buildings,  and genealogy.

And who would Andrew say is guilty of Murder Most Foul?  With regret, Miss Lizzie!

It’s hard to believe that August 4th was Ted and Lorraine Gregoire’s first plunge into the dramatic arts.  The pair, now married for 36 years, was as calm and confident as Tracy and Hepburn!  Both of them were born in Webster, MA. but now live in Dudley, MA. Ted works in the Security Dept at Commerce Insurance in Webster, MA. His dapper and distinguished bearing lent a real believability to the role of Dr. William Dolan, city medical examiner.  There’s something about a moustache!

Dr. Dolan arrives in the Borden parlor

 Lorraine works at Gentex Optics in Dudley and is part of the polarized division that makes polycarbonate lenses for prescription sunglasses. Miss Manning was an ideal part for Lorraine, whose natural friendly “approachability” and skill at ad libbing on the spot gave visitors the feeling it was really 1892!

Getting ready for the first tour- always a large crowd 

As far as their personal interests, Ted works many hours, so to relax likes to work around the house.  Lorraine loves the old black & white movies from the ’30’s & 40’s and books, especially mysteries which of course led to the Borden case. “It’s never boring because there is always some new fact about someone involved that makes it interesting.”

Dr. Dolan looks down upon the body of Abby Borden, “This was no heart attack!” 


     Ted thinks Uncle John did it.   Lorraine thinks it was a collaboration between Emma, Lizzie and Uncle John, with Bridget getting caught up in the middle, and just wanting to get out and away without having to say any more than she had to. Ted and Lorraine are both Second Street Irregulars and members of the Noble Order of Mutton Eaters.  Stay tuned for more great things from this pair!

 

“Read all about it!”

Miss Manning, a.k.a. Lorraine Gregoire in real life, posed as The Fall River Herald’s Ace Girl Reporter out under the “pear trees” of #92’s parking lot on August 4th.

Dressed in a green plaid summer cotton frock with jaunty black straw hat, Miss Manning had her steno pad in hand to interview guests and visitors as they exited the Borden cellar.  As history records, John Cunningham,  the chap who was ambling down Second Street after exiting Wade’s market, overheard Mrs. Churchill exclaiming to a friend in front of Hall’s Livery about the shocking assault on Andrew Borden.  Cunningham, being an enterprising and helpful sort of guy, beat feet to Gorman’s Paper and Paint Store down the end of Second Street and rang up several newspapers and eventually got around to calling the police too! 

Mr. Manning, from the Herald, was soon dashing up to #92 in his carriage as one of the first on scene.  We had a “Miss Manning” this year, who filled a much-needed role of transitioning guests from the gift shop to the house, setting that 1892 tone immediately, and continuing it at the exit.  Visitors were amused, and naturally very chatty about what they had seen inside. Miss Manning’s easy, friendly warmth and vintage charm disarmed the crowds- for who in this day and age doesn’t enjoy escaping into the Past- even for a little while?  And of course- EVERYBODY wanted to give their opinions on whodunnit! 

Read all about Miss Manning’s Big Day in the Pages section to the right.

 

 

Lizzie Borden- LeeAnn Wilbur

Abby Borden  -Shelley Dziedzic

Andrew Borden – Jeff Massan

Bridget Sullivan- Kathleen Troost-Cramer

Emma Borden- Barbara Borden Morrissey

Mrs. Churchill- JoAnne Giovino

Mrs. Bowen- Susan Hauck

Mr. James E. Winward, Undertaker- Andrew Correia

Miss Manning from the Fall River Herald- Lorraine Gregoire

Dr. Dolan- Ted Gregoire

Detective Seaver- Ben Rose

Little Abbie Whitehead- Kathryn Woods

Alice Russell- Colleen Johnson  

Ellen Borden- Hairdressing              

 

James E. Winward was the man Lizzie Borden wanted immediately to undertake the funeral of her father.  On the day of the murders, just a very short time after Lizzie said she found her father on the sofa, she requested the services of Mr. Winward, who at the time had his business address at 13 South Main Street.  Even before the body of Abby Borden was found on the second floor, Lizzie was voicing the opinion that she would be the one to go down to Oak Grove Cemetery to arrange her father’s funeral and burial.  This may be construed as a curious statement as Mrs. Borden would have had this task herself-did Lizzie already know Mrs. Borden was lying dead upstairs?

Young Mr. Winward (aged only 38 on the day of the murders) came as requested, and was to find not one, but two bodies at #92 Second Street. He and his assistant had the grisly task of removing the heavily blood-stained sofa from the sitting room later in the day. 

 

 

Mr. Winward enjoyed a successful career in his field, and fitted the ideal of a funeral director in every aspect of appearance and decorum.  A photograph of Mr. Winward is soon to be published.  At the end of his life, Mr. James E. Winward lived in a prosperous section in the north end of the city on Madison Street.  He is buried with his wife Annie, his daughter Helen Winward Brown and his son-in-law in the cemetery where he spend  so many years organizing funerals for so many city clients- Oak Grove. The role of Mr. Winward was ably performed by funeral director Andrew Correia for the recent August 4th re-enactments at # 92 Second Street.

Lambie Winner 2009 Best Actor Joe Radza as John Morse

Cast 2009

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

December 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031