A BENEFIT READING FOR BEDLAM
On August 4th, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Andrew Borden, a surly banker and a boomer of a dad was hatcheted to death in the face while napping on the sitting room sofa. Upstairs, his second wife, the much-maligned hot/bad stepmom Abby, is already slumped face-down dead in the guest room having taken seventeen blows to the back of her head. Somewhere in the house Lizzie, the unmarried, spoiled, self-obsessed and limitlessly deserving daughter, was heard ominously laughing. Or at least that’s what Bridget, the really good maid with big eyes who apologizes too much, told police before she fled. Lizzie was acquitted, trial-of-the-century style. Her infamy outlives her. Her enduring mystery is the stuff of legends and nursery rhymes and plays like this one.
Fall River Fishing is a new Lizzie Borden story all its own, a darkly absurd comedy about what happened that day Lizzie did or didn’t murder her parents. It’s a story about broken Hollywood dreams, unrequited love, self-loathing, generosity, vanity and the mean things that step-moms say. Two brand new female playwrights join forces in this contemporary meditation on/war against a disappointing life. If we’re all made of our missed opportunities, this play is about laughing at how that feels. Also, if you like Ibsen’s A Doll’s House there’s some of that too.
Part of our NEW WRITING at BEDLAM Fall series.
MEET THE CAST:
Susannah Hoffman began her career as a daffodil in an elementary school play and has been hooked on acting ever since. She studied at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University and moved to New York City after receiving her MFA. She is currently based in Brooklyn.
Deb Knox is thrilled to be back in NYC and back at Bedlam. W/ Bedlam: Fall River Fishing virtual workshop over COVID; Peter Pan. Other theatre: Provok’d Wife (A.R.T) & 1:23 (Cincinnati Playhouse)–both dir. Mark Wing-Davey; Deathvariations (59E59/Aquila); Spill the Wine (TBG/NYC); Amerika (Jeune Lune/A.R.T.); Spring Awakening (Moscow); Slasher (Zephyr/LA); Crimes of the Heart (Deb Aquila/LA); Master Builder (Wallace Shawn & Andre Gregory). TV/Film: Brothers & Sisters & In Plain Sight /The Rage:Carrie II; Marvel’s The Consultant (w/ Clark Gregg). B.A. from Dartmouth College; M.F.A. from A.R.T. Institute at Harvard.
Rannells is best known for his work on Broadway, most notably for originating the role of ‘Elder Price’ in The Book of Mormon, for which he received a Grammy Award and was nominated for both a Tony and Drama Desk Award. Rannells has also starred on Broadway in Hamilton, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Jersey Boys, Hairspray and most recently, The Boys in the Band. Rannells earned his second Tony nomination for his role in Falsettos in 2017. On television he can be seen on the Showtime comedy “Black Monday.” Rannells also played ‘Elijah’ in the HBO series “Girls.” Other television credits include “The Romanoffs,” “Will and Grace,” “The Knick” and “The New Normal.” His film work includes The Prom, The Boys in the Band, The Intern and A Simple Favor. His memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough, was published in 2019.
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Committed to the immediacy of the relationship between the actor and the audience, Bedlam creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible, raw space, collapsing aesthetic distance and bringing its viewers into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life. In this new, fresh, active environment storytelling becomes paramount and the result is a kinetic experience of shared empathy.