‘Crimes’ cries for crowds

  • Photo by Rhonda Kulhanek

    The cast rehearses for “Crimes of the Heart” by Women in Theatre.

  • Photo by Rhonda Kulhanek

    Kenna Shafter as Babe Magrath in “Crimes of the Heart.”

  • Photo by Rhonda Kulhanek

    The cast rehearses for “Crimes of the Heart” by Women in Theatre.

  • Photo by Rhonda Kulhanek

    The cast rehearses for “Crimes of the Heart” by Women in Theatre.

No matter where life takes individuals, family ties can remain strong, despite a dysfunctional environment, is how director Nell Foster describes Women in Theater’s upcoming production of the play, “Crimes of the Heart.”

The play was written by American playwright Beth Henley.

Foster said it isn’t your usual drama or comedy. Instead, it fills the bill for both. The serious situations are filled with humor and the humorous situations are poignant and filled with meaning.

“It’s a dramadey,” Foster said of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

In 1974 Mississippi, three sisters, who were raised by their grandfather after their mother dies at a young age, gather on the evening of the oldest sister’s birthday to support one another.

“They all have been profoundly affected by their mother’s death and we can see that reflected in how they deal with their current life situations,” Foster said.

The oldest sister stayed home to care for their grandfather, the youngest sister married a statesman and the middle sister moved to Hollywood to pursue a music career.

In California, the middle sister had a breakdown, essentially ruining her career, the oldest sister feels trapped as the sole caregiver for their grandfather and the youngest sister just shot her abusive husband.

“So they all have come back together on this day to support the youngest sister who has been arrested for her crime. They’re there to support each other,” Foster said.

Foster said the writing showcases the sister’s personalities, their characters and the situations they’re dealing with. She said she had a strong ensemble to work with in this production.

“I’ll tell you when these three women are arguing like sisters or relating to each other like sisters, it’s like they’ve grown up with each other,” she said.

The two male actors in the show have also done a great job developing their characters, Foster said.

This show stars, Anne Coyle as Chick Boyle, Kenna Shafter as Babe Magrath,Nicole Cowan as Meg Magrath, Kelsey Offner as Lenny Magrath, T.J. Hamilton as Barnette Lloyd, Ian Foster as Doc Porter.

Performances will be at the WITs End Theater at the Kukui Grove Center.

“We’ve created a boutique theater and it’s unique in the fact that you’ll be sitting at tables. We have tables of four. We serve beer, wine and concessions,” Foster said.

Opening night is July 13, with a pay as you can open dress rehearsal on July 12. The play runs for three weekends through July 29.

Those wishing to attend the performance can purchase tickets at womenintheatre.org

Tickets are $20, parties of four can reserve tables for $100.

Info: 635-3727

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Bethany Freudenthal, Courts, Crime and County reporter, 652-7891, bfreudenthal@thegardenisland.com

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