Blood Relations

Blood Relations Study Guide

Based on historical events, Sharon Pollock's Blood Relations is a chilling tale of unsolved murder. Pollock stages the events surrounding the deaths of Andrew Borden and Abby Borden, believed to have been perpetrated by Lizzie Borden, their daughter. The play theatricalizes Lizzie's retrospective relationship to her alleged crime, and stages the event as a game played between her and her alleged lover, the Actress.

Blood Relations premiered in 1980 in Alberta, Canada, and has been performed widely. A previous version of the play called My Name is Lisabeth was staged in 1976 at Douglas College, with Pollock playing Lizzie Borden.

The play has been interpreted as having a feminist message, but some felt that it did not look at feminist issues directly enough. Pollock won the Governor General's Literary Award, and Blood Relations was the first play to earn the award.