“Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley

Southern gothic dramedy

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
And the New York Drama Critics Circle Award

The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his final hours. They’re also dealing with Babe, the youngest sister, who is out on bail after shooting her husband in the stomach. In the end, the play, which is grave and yet somehow hilarious, is the story of how the characters escape the past to seize the future

Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc
Recommended for mature audiences – adult themes and adult language.

Crimes of the Heart will be performed at the Von Braun Center Playhouse in 2018 on May 11 – 12 & 17 – 19 at 7:30pm and May 13 & 19 at 2:00pm.

The Characters:

Lenny Magrath: 30’s. Oldest sister. Feeling frustrated after being the sister who was left to take care of the elder family members and the old family homestead. Jealous of her sisters’ accomplishments and romantic relationships. A withdrawn homebody.

Meg Magrath: Late 20’s. The middle sister. Left Hazelhurst for California to pursue a singing career. The other sisters have always held a slight grudge against Meg because she seems to have been the favorite child growing up. At the beginning of the play, Meg has returned to town after her singing career stalled – and a nervous breakdown and a stint in a psychiatric ward.

Babe Botrelle: Early 20’s. The youngest sister. The childlike bride of a locally powerful and wealthy lawyer, whom she has shot because he found out about the affair she was having with a teenaged African-American boy.

Chick Boyle: 30’s. The sisters’ cousin. A very demanding, opinionated relative whose only concern is how the antics of the Magrath family are going to reflect on her personally within the community. Matronly, nosy and bossy.

Doc Porter: Late 20’s/early 30’s. The boyfriend Meg left behind when she moved to California. Doc was injured during a hurricane (while he was rescuing Meg) and walks with a limp. Now married with children, he still holds a bit of a torch for her. A pleasant, easy-going guy, well-liked in the community.

Barnette Lloyd: mid 20’s. Babe’s lawyer – young, ambitious and up and coming. A little awkward, mostly because he has a big crush on Babe. He’s also aware of what this case could mean to his career.

This play takes place in a small southern town – these characters talk with a southern accent, but a subtle, realistic one. It’s never comic or exaggerated. If you’re not comfortable affecting an accent, don’t worry about it – just read with sincerity.

Auditions will be cold readings from the script.

To see a script, contact Leslie Gates at the Theatre Huntsville office: 256-536-0807.

For any other questions, contact the director, Sam Marsh, at sammarsh@comcast.net.

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