Murder Ballad

04/15/14 - 05/31/15


Sara’s life is perfect—Upper West Side husband, daughter, and life—until her irresistible past blows back into her life in the form of an old flame, a dangerous passion, and a love triangle headed for ignition. Staged cabaret-style in Stage 4 with full bar service before the performance, Murder Ballad puts the audience in the middle of its action for a full immersive experience. It’s Studio Theatre like you’ve never seen it before. An explosive rock musical from Jonathan Larson Grantee Julia Jordan and indie rock singer/songwriter Juliana Nash (Talking to Animals).

Play Name

Show Information

Runtime: This performance will run approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes with no intermission.

The 2014-2015 Special Events Season
is generously underwritten
by Susan L. and Dixon M. Butler.
Washington City Paper is the official media partner
Murder Ballad.


The Artists


Production Team


Brian MacDevitt

Brian MacDevitt directed Between Riverside and Crazy for Studio Theatre, where he designed lighting for Sucker Punch and The Real Thing, and he served as the Production Designer for Murder Ballad. His recent directing credits include Proof at Theater Three in New York and Spring Awakening at The Clarice Smith Center. Other directing credits include Joyce Soho and readings at New York Stage and Film and Naked Angels. He has designed lighting for close to 70 shows on Broadway, including Larry David’s A Fish in the Dark, A Delicate Balance with Glenn Close, and This is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan. Other Broadway credits include Death of a Salesman starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and directed by Mike Nichols; The Book of Mormon (Tony Award), The Coast of Utopia, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Fences, A Behanding in Spokane, Race, The Pillowman, Urinetown, and Into the Woods. He is the recipient of five Tony Awards, an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, a Bessie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, the Hewes Award, and a Drama Desk Award. He designed lights for dance productions with The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Tere O’Connor Dance, Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, Nancy Bannon, and many others. His designs for the Metropolitan Opera include The Enchanted Island, Le Compte Ory, and Doctor Atomic.  He is on the faculty of University of Maryland and is a member of the Naked Angels Theater Company.

(As of April 2015)


Laree Lentz

Laree Lentz designed An Iliad for Studio Theatre and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven for Studio 2ndStage. She has also designed locally for productions including The Gift of Nothing, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences; Tender Napalm, Signature Theatre; Romeo and Juliet, Folger Theatre; Stupid Fucking Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Never the Sinner, 1st Stage Theatre; Optimism! Or Voltaire’s Candide, Spooky Action Theater; Home of the Soldier, Synetic Theater. Other credits include designs for The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts Beijing, UNC Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College. Her upcoming work can be seen at Ford’s Theatre and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. She holds an MFA in costume design from University of Maryland, College Park.

(As of April 2015)


Ryan Rumery

Ryan Rumery is a musician, composer, and producer. His music is in the films Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock (Tribeca Film Festival 2017), How to Let Go of the World (And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change) (Sundance 2016, HBO), and City of Gold (Sundance, SXSW 2015). Recent theatrical scores include Fool For Love on Broadway, The End of Longing at MCC Theater, Emperor Jones at The Irish Repertory Theatre, and Between Riverside and Crazy at the Atlantic Theater Company and Second Stage Theater. Mr. Rumery, Christian Frederickson, and the late Jason Noble recently released their album The Painted Bird – Amidst. Mr. Rumery recently produced three albums for Jeremy Bass. Upcoming albums include Arlo Hannigan and The Walker Project. Mr. Rumery recently received the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design and Composition, and was a selected composer for the Sundance Institute of Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound.  

(As of September 2017)


Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen is a set designer based in the DC area. Recent area credits include In the Red and Brown Water at Georgetown University and Two Comic Operas: Lucrezia/Bastianello at Urban Arias. At University of Maryland, Mr. Cohen designed the sets for Twilight: Los Angeles 1992 and The Waiting Room. Last spring, he was the associate scenic designer for The Tempest directed by Teller and Aaron Posner at the American Repertory Theater, which premiered in Las Vegas. Upcoming projects include Occupied Territories at Theater Alliance and The Human Capacity at University of Maryland. Mr. Cohen recently graduated from University of Maryland with an MFA in scenic design.

(As of April 2015)


Andrew Cissna

Andrew Cissna returns to Studio Theatre after designing Murder Ballad, Silence! The Musical, and I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart. Regional credits include Jitney at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Noises Off and Harvey at Milwaukee Rep, Seminar at PlayMakers Repertory Company, and Noises Off at Perseverance Theatre. Recent DC credits include Gem of the Ocean and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Round House Theatre, Heisenberg and John at Signature Theatre, Me Jane at Kennedy Center TYA, and Copenhagen at Theatre J. Andrew holds a BFA from UNC School of the Arts and an MFA from the University of Maryland.

(As of February 2019)


Nancy Bannon is a performer, writer, and director. She was the movement director for Constellations, Murder Ballad and Pas de Deux at Studio Theatre and Romeo and Juliet on Broadway. Recent original theater work in New York includes Cornfield, Puncture, and The Pod Project (all immersive events). She is currently enrolled in an MFA in Film (directing) program in New York City with Christine Vachon from Killer Films. She has written and directed several short films. Her original feature screenplays have been recognized by the Sundance Screenwriters Lab (second round qualifier 2013, 2015), Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios (quarterfinalist), and the Slamdance Film Festival (grand prize finalist), among others. She has had a script optioned by Forrest Whitaker's production company and one is currently featured in WIFV's published catalogue, "Spotlight on the Screenwriter". As an actor, she was recently seen as the lead in Occupied Territories at Theater Alliance in DC and will continue with that production in its upcoming incarnations. Ms. Bannon is the recipient of three Princess Grace Awards, a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award, and is a graduate of The Juilliard School. She has served on the faculties of SUNY Purchase and Rutgers University and teaches Actor’s Process at the Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.

(As of February 2016)


Allie Roy

Allie Roy returns to Studio after last stage managing If I Forget. Other Studio credits include Translations, Curve of Departure, Straight White Men, Murder BalladSilence! The Musical, and the world premiere of Animal for the Women’s Voices Theater Festival. Regional credits include West Side Story in concert with the NSO as well as Love, Factually at The Kennedy Center; the world premieres of Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing and Diner as well as The Scottsboro Boys, West Side Story, and Elmer Gantry at Signature Theatre; the world premiere of After the War as well as When January Feels Like Summer and Ulysses on Bottles at Mosaic Theater Company; and The Originalist at Arena Stage. Upcoming regional projects include Grand Hotel at Signature Theatre and Describe the Night at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

(As of January 2019)


Nathan Norcross

Nathan Norcross is Studio Theatre’s Artistic Apprentice. He serves as the Assistant Director for each Subscription Series production as well as collaborating with the literary department. As a director, Mr. Norcross’ early professional career has spanned a variety of genres and forms—from large-scale musicals to intimate chamber pieces, from developing new plays with living playwrights to developing his own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Mr. Norcross has worked alongside a number of directors he now counts as valuable mentors, including Mark Lamos, Nicky Martin, Gary Griffin, Bob Moss, and Eric Rosen. He assisted Phylicia Rashad in directing a production of A Raisin in the Sun at the Westport Country Playhouse. Mr. Norcross is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he earned a BFA in acting, as well as Florida State University where he recently completed an MFA in directing.

(As of May 2015)


The hippest new bar on 14th Street is in an unlikely, unmarked location—specifically, the fourth floor of Studio Theatre, with access through the back door off the alley...Studio’s David Muse has transformed it into an ingeniously devised, immersive production with an exceptionally strong cast of singers.
Metro Weekly
Dwyer is a slinky, sultry Sara—she’s ideal in the part, all appetite and remorse...Burden has an indulgent swagger that gives Tom a hint of danger.
The Washington Post
Don't even think of skipping this one.
DC Metro Theater Arts

Featured Writing