Robin Morgan:
The "otherizing" of women is the oldest oppression known to our species, and it's the model, the template, for all other oppressions.

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For more information, contact:
Stacey Poirier
[email protected]

January 12, 2011

New play examines female murder motives

(Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota) Theatre Unbound closes its 11th season with a world premiere production of Murderess, written by company member Anne Bertram. In this suite of hair-raising, darkly comic monologues, seven notorious female killers from American history reveal their secrets. Each will be performed by a different actress and staged by a different director with a total of 19 women theatre artists having hands-on involvement.

Performances will be held at The Lowry Lab Theater, 350 St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul, March 19 April 10, 2011 (see calendar below).

"The script was originally written as a one-woman showcase for an actress in New York," notes Stacey Poirier, Theatre Unbound Artistic Director. "It contained only three monologues. But everyone who saw it was so intrigued by the stories of these women, I immediately got on the phone to Anne and told her to start expanding to a full-length script."

The most infamous of the killers is Lizzie Borden, who supposedly "gave her mother forty whacks" and was the subject of many a schoolyard jump rope chant. In addition, there is Laura Fair, who shot her married lover in 1870; Belle Gunness, a serial killer with a taste for rich bachelors; Margaret Hossack, who murdered her husband in his sleep (also the subject for the Susan Glaspell play, Trifles); Jane Toppan, a private nurse with a penchant for killing her patients; and Celia Bryan, a slave woman who murdered her owner/father in 1848.

Playwright and Theatre Unbound Executive Director Anne Bertram adds, "These are fascinating and troubling stories. I hope that the way I tell them makes audiences laugh, squirm, think, discuss, and maybe even go off to do their own research. I hope that the play pokes at some ideas about what women are or should be; in particular, I hope that it outright contradicts the idea that women do not meet violence with violence and are therefore safe to attack. That said, writing this play has made me think a lot about the difference between the stories we set out to tell and the stories we end up telling. So I'll let the murderesses take it from here."

Miriam Monasch (MN Jewish Theatre, At the Foot of the Mountain) will lead a team of six other Twin Cities directors, including Leah Adcock-Starr (Upright Egg Theatre Company), Mishia Edwards (Chameleon Theatre Circle), Carolyn Levy (Hamline University), Tracey Maloney (directing premiere), Wendy Resch Novak (Theatre in the Round), and Sarah Teich (3AM Productions). Monasch directed The Most Massive Woman Wins for Theatre Unbound in the 2009 MN Fringe Festival (Labeled A Must See by the Pioneer Press).

The acting ensemble includes Ellen Apel (MN Jewish Theatre), Megan Engeseth (20% Theatre Company), Emma Gochberg (Theatre Pro Rata), Amanda Whisner (Park Square), and Theatre Unbound company members Chenea Love Green and Laura Wiebers.

Set Designer, Ursula Bowden, will create a minimalist set that can be manipulated between the seven monologues. Lisa Conley will design costumes. Dixie Treichel and Brittany Eastburn will design sound and lights, respectively.


Saturday, March 19 - 7:30pm (post-show reception; all tickets $20)
Sunday, March 20 - 2:00 pm
Thursday, March 24 - 7:30 pm (pay-what-you-can)
Friday, March 25 - 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 26 - 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 27 - 2:00 pm
Thursday, March 31 - 7:30 pm (pay-what-you-can)
Friday, April 1 - 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 2 - 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 3 - 2:00 pm
Thursday, April 7 - 7:30 pm (pay-what-you-can)
Friday, April 8 - 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 9 - 7:30 pm (audio described)
Sunday, April 103 - 2:00 pm


General Admission Ticket Prices: $15-$20
Advance On-line Ticket Price: $12

Reservations: 612-721-1186 or order online at


Theatre Unbound delivers thought-provoking live theater conceived and created by women, providing audiences with engaging, rarely-seen perspectives on issues that are relevant and universal.



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