by Sharon Pollock
On a hot muggy day 1892 in Fall River an unknown person took an axe and gave a number of whacks to Andrew Borden and his wife Abigail. Andrew's youngest daughter Lizzie was acquitted of the double murder but acquittal did nothing to dispel suspicions. Did she? Or didn't she? The question still reverberates.
It it 1902. While sister Emma sulks upstairs Miss Lizzie entertains an intimate actress friend from Boston, Nance O Neill. She playfully teases, tempts, goads, and challenges Miss Lizzie to reveal her guilt or innocence. Miss Lizzie dances around a direct answer but suggests a game in which the Actress will play Lizzie with background information Miss Lizzie provides and what the Actress may deduce from that information. Miss Lizzie will play Bridget the Maid who was with Lizzie in the house on the day the Bordens died. The game generates the entrance of other characters who played a pivotal role in the murders and trial. What begins as a game directed by Miss Lizzie gains momentum from the Actress interpretation of Lizzie's story. As Nance gains control of the game and the story a murderer is revealed but the question remains “Oh Lizzie, you didn't - did you?”