Three womxn get back at their ex in ‘Drowning Girls’ from Strand Theater

A collection of ghost stories based on three Victorian womxn who were charmed into marriage to, and murdered by, the same man.

Continuing its 13th season as the only brick-and-mortar company in Baltimore dedicated to celebrating womxn’s diverse voices and perspectives, The Strand Theater Company presents the regional premiere of The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Daniela Vlaskalic, Charlie Tomlinson. 

In the play, Bessie, Alice, and Margaret have two things in common: they are married to George Joseph Smith, and they are dead. Surfacing from the bathtubs they were drowned in, the three breathless brides gather evidence against their womanizing, murderous husband by reliving the shocking events leading up to their deaths. Reflecting on the misconceptions of love, married life, and the not-so-happily ever after, The Drowning Girls is both a breathtaking fantasia and a social critique, full of rich images, a myriad of characters, and lyrical language.

Graphic design by Mika J. Nakano.

The virtual presentation is directed by Emilie Zelle Holmstock. The cast features Acacia Danielson, Betse Lyons, Mika J. Nakano, and Christina Sanchez (u/s)

Explained Strand Associate Artistic Director Erin Riley: “The Drowning Girls is a collection of extraordinary and tragic ghost stories based upon three Victorian womxn—Bessie Mundy, Alice Burnham, and Margaret Lofty—who were charmed into marriage to, and murdered by, the same man. Violence against womxn is not a new story. In fact, these instances are tales as old as time itself. Which is why the thoughtful and intrepid production of these stories is so important to furthering vital discussion about domestic abuse, gaslighting, and the victimization of those who identify as womxn. Director Emilie Zelle Holmstock has assembled a brave and resolute cast and crew who have dedicated their boundless energy to the faithful storytelling of these womxn, making sure their names are said and their stories are known from beyond the veil. Joyous and painful, stoic and silly, this trio of brides is devastatingly relatable and we mourn them and celebrate them against the background of dreams shattered and lives washed down the drain.”

The Drowning Girls runs through March 7, 2021. Tickets are $20 general admission, $10 for students, seniors, and artists.  All performances take place virtually—viewing links will be provided following ticket purchases. Tickets are available at

About the Playwrights

Beth Graham is an Edmonton playwright and actor, whose plays have been produced across Canada and internationally. Her latest play, The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, was the recipient of the 2015 Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama and was also a finalist for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Beth is one of the co-creators of The Drowning Girls, which was nominated for the Carol Bolt Award and received the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama. Other co-creations include: Comrades, Mules and Victor & Victoria’s Terrifying Tale of Terrible Things. Beth is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA acting program.

Daniela Vlaskalic is an actor and playwright who lives and works in Canada. Since graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting, she has worked in numerous theatres across the country. Daniela Vlaskalic began collaborating with Beth Graham and Charlie Tomlinson in 1999 with The Drowning Girls and continued collaborating with Beth Graham on several plays, including Comrades, The Last Train (winner of the 2003 Alberta Playwrights Network Playwriting Competition) and Mules. They also shared the role of artist-in-residence at Catalyst Theatre in 2006. Daniela Vlaskalic lives in Toronto.

Charlie Tomlinson is a teacher/director/actor who lives in St John’s, Newfoundland. He is the former artistic director of c2c theatre. He has worked at theatres from Newfoundland to the Yukon and has taught in Ontario, Alberta, and Newfoundland.

About the Strand

The Strand Theater Company champions challenging and provocative theater that especially celebrates women’s diverse voices and perspectives while bringing together the creative talents of both women and men as artists, technicians, and administrators. We invite patrons to experience some of the region’s best contemporary and reinterpreted works for the stage in our intimate North-East Baltimore theater.

Since launching in 2007, the Strand has presented over 50 full-length plays, including 15 World Premieres; offered 75 percent of the artistic positions on its productions—as playwrights, directors, designers, stage managers, and actors—to women; provided affordable theater space to many organizations and independent artists; and played an integral role in the revitalization of the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

In August 2011, the Strand was honored as one of Baltimore magazine’s “Top 5 Baltimore Theaters,” along with CENTERSTAGE, Everyman, the Hippodrome, and Single Carrot. To learn more about the Strand Theater Company, visit


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