It’s hard to believe this 1981 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, which was also turned into an Academy Award nominated film in 1986, was not only first staged 35 years ago but also that it was Beth Henley’s first produced play. A friend, unbeknownst to her, submitted it to the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Great American Play competition where it was a co-winner. Jobsite is excited to bring you this modern American classic in just a few short weeks!
“a classic that still speaks volumes to modern audiences” – DC Metro Theatre Arts (2014)
“An evening of antic laughter … While this play overflows with infectious high spirits, it is also, unmistakably, the tale of a very troubled family. Such is Miss Henley’s prodigious talent that she can serve us pain as though it were a piece of cake.” – NY Times (1981)
“it would certainly be a crime for anyone interested in the theatre not to see this play.” – NY Post (1981)
Warm-hearted, irreverent, zany, and brilliantly imaginative, Crimes of the Heart teems with humanity and humor. The Magrath sisters have gathered at the family home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, to await news of Old Granddaddy, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny (Christen Petitt Hailey), the oldest sister, is facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg (Katrina Stevenson), the middle sister, who quickly outgrew her home town, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe (Katie Castonguay), the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach.
Their grave and yet somehow still hilarious troubles are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick (Jobsite newcomer Christina Jane Capehart), and the awkward lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail. In the end the play is the story of how its characters escape the past to seize the future — but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the final blackout.
Filling out the Crimes of the Heart cast is J. Elijah Cho as Barnette Lloyd and Chris Rutherford as Doc Porter. The production is co-directed by Kari Goetz and Jaime Giangrande-Holcom with a set design by Kaylin Gess and lights by Matthew Ray.
This dark comedy holds up pretty well to the test of time, and in ways stands to highlight how we’ve changed (and not) — in the south, in respect to gender and aging, in regard to the opportunities available to women in theater. I’m a native southerner and have family members I clearly see in these ladies, and several of these situations feel awful familiar. I also have others in my life that might balk a bit at these representations, yet I don’t think even they would deny the truths embedded within however fraught.
I can’t wait to see what this group cooks up, and I hope you’re excited too! Advance purchases are strongly recommended to avoid disappointment (813.229.7827) as we continue our most successful season where a majority of performances have sold out prior to the day of show. On a budget? Remember that previews (3/5-6, 8pm) are just $14!
Hope to see you soon at the theater! Those of you coming opening week will see our 2014-15 season announcement before anyone else!