Tiger LadyTiger Lady
By Layce Gardner
February 17 - March 11, 2006

Directed by Brenda Williams

Newspaper headlines across America screamed, "Butcher!", "Tiger Woman!", "Insane!" when they covered the lurid story of Winnie Ruth Judd with the same prominence that they gave the sentencing of Al Capone and the rise of Adolph Hitler. Tried for a grisly double murder in Phoenix, Arizona in 1931, Judd's notoriety has faded over the years, but her mysterious story still fascinates and it is the basis for the play TIGER LADY by Layce Gardner of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Carpenter Square Theatre will present its Oklahoma premiere February 17 March, 2006 in Stage Center's intimate arena theater at 400 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.

While this is the first time that Ms. Gardner's play will be performed in her home state, TIGER LADY has been performed in Los Angeles where it received Drama-Logue's Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Award. Other critically praised productions have been staged in Dallas, Memphis and Newfoundland.

Tiger Lady      Tiger Lady

After many years in Los Angeles writing teleplays for Lifetime and screenplays, Ms. Gardner moved back to Oklahoma where she has written for "The Trail of Tears" outdoor drama, among other projects. Ms. Gardner will be on hand for the opening weekend at Carpenter Square Theatre. Audiences will have a chance to meet her at the opening night party immediately following the performance on February 17. In addition, she will be at "Theatre Exchange" on February 18 immediately following the show. Theatre Exchange is a chance for the audience to interact with the actors, director and production, learn more about their dramatic process, and ask questions. In this case, the playwright will be available to answer questions about her play and writing process.

Tiger Lady   Tiger Lady

At the play's start Winnie Ruth Judd sits on death row one week before she is to hang. It appears that on October 18, 1931 in Phoenix, Arizona Winnie Ruth shot two of her closest friends and put their bodies into trunks. When one body would not fit, it was dismembered and body parts were placed in a suitcase and a hatbox. She set out for Los Angeles by train, hoping to dump the luggage and bodies in the Pacific. An observant baggage clerk, on the lookout for illegally smuggled venison, noticed that the heavy trunks were oozing a dark, foul-smelling liquid. When he asked her to open them for inspection, Winnie made a vague excuse about her husband having the keys and hurried away with her brother. Nevertheless, the distraught, young woman was taken into custody within four days, tried and sentenced to die.

Tiger Lady   Tiger Lady

While on death row Winnie Ruth's only visitor is psychiatrist Elijah Martin, appointed by the court to determine her mental state. If he deems her insane, her life will be spared. But during their sessions, Winnie Ruth is visited by many others in her memories. As these flashbacks play out onstage, the audience glimpses Winnie Ruth's childhood with her confused, oppressive mother, her relationship with a lesbian couple who become her alleged victims, and her love affair with a married man about town. While the play doesn't try to justify or explain her crimes, it does use both humor and drama to suggest how passion, met with persecution and rejection, can lead to tragedy.

Carpenter Square Theatre is the recipient of a project assistance grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council for this production. The theater is an Allied Arts member agency and the show is an Allied Arts Star Card event.

TIGER LADY is rated PG-13.

Tiger Lady
The Cast & Crew of TIGER LADY with playwright Layce Gardner
(Back row, 2nd from right)



Tiger Lady

Tiger Lady


Winnie Ruth Judd   Lisa Lasky
Dr. Elijah Martin   Hal Kohlman
Mrs. McKinnell   Sheryl Martin
Hedvig "Sammy" Samuelson   Elizabeth Brooks
Agnes "Anne" Leroi   Jeni White
Jack & Voice
of the Judge
  Eric Z! Nazim


Director   Brenda Williams
Set & Sound
  Steven Gillmore
Brenda Williams
Lighting Design   Steven Gillmore
Costume Design   Corey Martin
Stage Manager &
Light Technician
  Tori Stahl
Sound Technician   Cole Snider
Set Construction   Steven Gillmore
Scenic Painting   Rhonda Clark
Brenda Williams
David Mays
Steve Vann
Properties   Rhonda Clark
Running Crew   David Mays
Poster Design   Jeni White
CST Webmasters   Don Lusk
Phil Carlton


Terry Veal - Vikki Simer - Jon Womastek



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