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'Murderess' symposium looks at women and violence

Ellen Apel, Megan Engeseth, Laura Wiebers, Chenea love Green, Emma Gochberg, Amanda Whisner, Muriel Bonertz

Ellen Apel, Megan Engeseth, Laura Wiebers, Chenea love Green, Emma Gochberg, Amanda Whisner, Muriel Bonertz

Theatre Unbound will dig deeper into the issues explored in their current production, Murderess, with an afternoon symposium Saturday at the Lowry Lab Theater in St. Paul.

"Mean Girls and Dangerous Women: Women and Violence in Popular Culture" features a quartet of speakers examining different aspects of the topic. It all ties in with Anne Bertram's play, which takes a look at several women murderers in American history.

The programming features several components, including a talk by composer Anne Lorentzen on "Women and Violence in Art and Performance." The Norwegian composer will also perform pieces from Alias Belle Gunness: A series killer from Selbu, a musical play about the infamous murderer who killed at least a dozen people in Indiana at the turn of the 20th century.The Gunness case is also part of Murderess.

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"The idea for the symposium came about after our executive director Anne Bertram and Anne Lorentzen connected and began discussing their works about the same woman, serial killer Belle Gunness. That led to exploring the possibility of bringing the Norwegian performance piece to the states," says Stacey Poirier, Theatre Unbound's artistic director.

That piece of the puzzle led to the rest of the program. "We suddenly had this great opportunity to build a discussion on women and violence that would compliment our own production of Murderess. Seeing the same story from two international perspectives is sure to be intriguing, and the addition of professional speakers from local organizations gives the topic a very personal edge," Poirier adds.

Other speakers include Judi Nelson-Hall, Sylvia Galvan-Kupke, and Lori Stee. A picnic supper is included in the cost and there is the option of purchasing a ticket for Saturday evening's performance of Murderess.

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