Premiere Performance at Plymouth State University
PLYMOUTH, N.H.—The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at PSU will present the premiere production of The Watercress, a drama about Fall River, Mass. sisters Lizzie and Emma Borden by Professor of Theatre Paul Mroczka, November 17–20 at the Silver Center for the Arts.
A former National Endowment for the Arts fellow in playwriting, Mroczka has also garnered a Shubert Fellowship and the Jason Miller Award, and has received grants from the New Hampshire Council for the Humanities. His plays have been performed at New York’s La MaMa La Galleria, Nat Horne and Manhattan Punchline Theatres, among others. He has directed for the North Country Center for the Arts, the Pontine Movement Theatre, the Theatre of Newburyport and the Palace Theatre in Manchester.
Set in 1904, 12 years after the murders of Andrew and Abbie Borden in Fall River, Lizzie Borden (who had been acquitted of the murders) and her sister, Emma, live in the grandest house in town. After inheriting hundred of thousands of dollars following the deaths of their parents, they are also two of Fall River’s wealthiest inhabitants.
Although they love one another, Emma and Lizzie are like night and day. Lizzie lives an ostentatious lifestyle while her conservative sister tries to control her. But when Lizzie meets the love of her life, her relationship with Emma is changed forever.
The Watercress (which contains strong sexual content and adult language and situations) examines how these two sisters strive to reclaim their lives in a society that doesn’t allow them to move forward. How can they continue to love each other in spite of their differences, how can they acquire the loves they so desperately need and how can they love themselves?
PSU faculty member Sharon R. Paquette is directing the production. She says, “As an artist and a student of life, I am intrigued by how society treats those who have been accused of transgressing, and those who have actually transgressed. I am also intrigued by how we, as humans, learn to live with ourselves if we “fit” outside of society’s norms. Why do we continue to try people after they have been acquitted or served their time?”
“These are some of the exact questions this provocative and beautiful play raises. This finely talented company and I hope we have uncovered some of the answers to these questions and we hope that, as you watch The Watercress unfold, you will agree,” Paquette continued.
Paquette is an interdisciplinary artist from Franklin. She earned an MEd at Plymouth State University and an MFA from Goddard College. She has worked at New England College, Plymouth State University, The Barnstormers, the Community Players of Concord and various venues across New Hampshire. She also taught and ran a theatre company at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men for 10 years and has studied at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Mass.
Performances of The Watercress are Nov. 17–19 at 8 p.m., Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Silver Center. Note: The Thursday 11/17 and Friday 11/18 performances have sold out.
Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online. A convenience fee applies.