‘Songs of a Murderess’
As part of this year’s Senior Thesis Festival, Jade Garisch ’15 presented her original one-woman show Songs of a Murderess.
The performance incorporated elements of dance, song and alternative theater techniques to analyze the conception of memory.
Songs of a Murderess was an excellent example of a successful one-woman play and Garisch flawlessly executed the multiple roles she played during the show.
Garisch also displayed a mastery of a range of theatrical skills, from her movement across the small stage to her distinct vocals.
The main role is Fallon, a young woman facing charges for the murder of her love interest, Guy.
The show depicts Fallon’s trial and uses flashbacks, music and video projections to argue her innocence.
Garisch wrote the entire 45-minute play herself and managed to incorporate multiple complex themes, including psychological issues.
The end of the play leaves the audience contemplating Fallon’s innocence and her mental state, as well as the concept of memory itself.
In an email to the Justice, Garisch explained that the play originated as a series of short stories. She eventually strung them together to create the murder-mystery plot with guidance from peers and her thesis adviser.
The show deals with very personal issues and Garisch explained how parts of the play were influenced by her life. Both her own and Fallon’s grandmother had curly red hair and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
“The character of the fiery, vivacious grandmother, and the choice to focus on memories in general, was all a result of knowing my grandmother all through my life up to seeing her when she couldn’t even remember my name,” Garisch explained.
For Garisch, her biggest challenge was allowing herself to feel vulnerable and then taking a leap of faith, not knowing how the audience would react to such a personal display.
She hopes that the play “inspires people to reflect on their memories in a way that is constructive for them and lifts them up.”