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Last year we were without an Andrew Borden, and at the last minute dramatic changes had to be made to the usual script which features Andrew.  How we could have used a Mr. Winward at the House of Mourning then!  The premise became that visitors to the house were arriving for calling hours on August 5th, late in the afternoon to pay their final respects to Andrew and Abby. The coffins had not yet arrived from Mr. Winward’s but the house was swathed in black crepe, mirrors covered in deepest black, the clock stopped on the mantel at 11 a.m., Andrew’s time of death.

The ladies, dressed in somber black, waited to receive the mourners.

(L to R) JoAnne Giovino, Shelley Dziedzic, Colleen Johnson,

Samantha Carey, Barbara Morrissey

Although the Bordens were not really laid out on the diningroom table, in the absence of coffins, the story was given out that the bodies had just been prepared for the laying out, and only the feet protruded from beneath the shrouds.  The feet on the right were ably portrayed by this year’s Mr. Winward, Andrew Correia. Mr. Correia, himself a mortician, then had a inkling of what it was to be on the other side of the sheet!

Guests were ushered into the parlor, in such a subdued spirit that one would have sworn a real wake was in progress. A few of them even arrived dressed in head to toe mourning so as to be ready to play along with the cast. The role of Bridget was played by day tour guide, Samantha Carey.  Miss Lizzie, portrayed for positively the last time by Shelley Dziedzic, greeted guests in her upstairs room as she bustled about laying out her mourning attire.  Mrs. Dziedzic, who clearly had not seen Lizzie’s age of 32 in over two decades informed the guests that the “ordeal” had added over 20 years to her face overnight.  Alice Russell (Colleen Johnson) hovered solicitously around Lizzie’s room, telling the visitors about Lizzie’s Wednesday night visit to her house and Mr. Borden’s “enemy”.  Quite by surprise, an unexpected visitor arrived in Lizzie’s room declaring he was Mr. Hathaway from the Metacomet mill.  He was dressed to the nines in full Victorian regalia and tendered his condolences, reassuring Emma and Lizzie that “the girls” would be kindly “looked after” by the Board of Trustees.  You just never know what will happen on August 4th.

Emma Borden (Barbara Borden Morrissey) baked funeral cakes on the old black stove in the kitchen along with her neighbor, Mrs. Addie Churchill, played by JoAnne Giovino. The pair had plenty to say about Lizzie and their theories.  Guests were asked if they wished to see the cellar where the hatchets and axes were found and thus ended their calling hour with lemonade and cookies after signing the condolence book and receiving a Victorian funeral card as a remembrance.  This year we decided it was a pretty good thing to have the fellows!  But for a one-time, 9 performances only script, -it was a novelty act. After all- the show must go on!

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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              

Applause applause! The Lizzie B&B day manager, Dee Moniz, designed some great tickets this year.  After last year’s crowd and sell out by noon, this year she decided printed tickets were the way to go- and it sure made things run so much more smoothly!  This was the first time this was tried and it will be a return engagement NEXT August 4th!  Thanks, Dee, from all the P.E.P. Players!

 

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.

After the 1992 Lizzie Borden Centennial was but a memory, six people who had met at the event decided to form an armchair sleuth society which would meet about every 8 weeks.  Dubbed The Second Street Irregulars in homage to the Sherlockian society, the group would soon form the core of the Pear Essentials Productions troupe, an amateur band of would-be thesbians dedicated to bringing the Borden story to life.  The original six would grow over the years, and so did their projects and creative endeavors- from singing costumed quartets to large cast productions at the Second Street house on August 4th.  We live what we love.

Lambie Winner 2009 Best Actor Joe Radza as John Morse

Cast 2009

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