By Bob Fowler, Roane State staff writer
The Roane State Playmakers will be presenting a Pulitzer prize-winning play, “Crimes of the Heart,” by Beth Henley, this month at the O’Brien Theatre on Roane State’s Roane County campus.
Director Jon Chemay called the play a “Southern Gothic Drama” in the vein of Tennessee Williams or Harper Lee. He said, “There are some heavy elements to this play, but they are presented with a sense of humor distinct to the southern family.”
The play takes place in the small town of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters await news about their grandfather, living out his final hours in the local hospital. One sister, unmarried at 30, faces diminishing martial prospects, another has returned home after a failed singing career, and the third sibling is out on bail after shooting her husband in the stomach.
Their troubles, grave and yet, somehow, hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, by one sister’s old flame, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep the youngest sister out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her.
“The play examines life problems, some common, some unique, viewed through the lens of family,” Chemay said. “Jealousy, resentment, and of course, love prove essential if not to solving these problems, at least learning how to deal with them.”
Cast members are Courtney Briley, Shelby Stout, Karmen Miller, Morgan Henry, Seth Young, Ryan Carver, and Christopher Allen. Stout, Miller, Allen, and Briley performed in the Playmakers’ autumn performance of “The Odd Couple, Female Version.”
For Chemay, it’s the fifth time he’s directed for the Roane State Playmakers. He said many of the theatre students were interested in performing a drama, and “Crimes of the Heart” fit the needs of the current student actors and came highly recommended by the Roane State English Department.
Performances of “Crimes of the Heart” are Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
There will be a special performance featuring ASL interpretation on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for students, seniors, and Roane State staff members, and $10 for general admission. For more information, contact Chemay at (865) 882-4653 or [email protected].
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This story and photo were submitted by Owen Driskill.
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