Gannon University’s Schuster Theatre presents Crimes of the Heart

Categories:  Events    Theater
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 at 9:15 AM
Gannon University’s Schuster Theatre presents Crimes of the Heart by Gregory Greenleaf-Knepp

Thursday, Sept. 29

Crimes of the Heart is a play that walks a tightrope between levity and long-faced drama.

But it’s obviously a successful trek: Playwright Beth Henley won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for drama for her stage show.

“It’s a wonderful mix of seriousness and hilarity, not unlike real life,” explained Shawn Clerkin via email. Clerkin, director of theater and an associate professor in Gannon University’s School of Communication and the Arts, directs Crimes.

“I prefer tragicomedy as a description as it, for me, indicates that the nature of the plot and the predicaments of the characters would seem to want to result in a more serious ending,” he added. “But there’s a sense of Southern poetic justice, not to mention a strong feminine assertion from the playwright, that bolsters and encourages laughter, even at the uncomfortable climax of the play.”

Set in contemporary Mississippi during a 24-hour period, Crimes revolves around Meg, Lenny, and Babe: the three Magrath sisters. Babe has recently attempted to murder her abusive spouse.

Set in contemporary Mississippi during a 24-hour period, Crimes revolves around Meg, Lenny, and Babe: the three Magrath sisters. Babe has recently attempted to murder her abusive spouse.

Brought up in a dysfunctional family, their asocial upbringing is reflected in their past and current relationships. How this sorority serves penance for their individual “crimes of the heart” is the heart of the play.

“While it’s set in the very real Copiah County of Mississippi, in a very messed-up family, we can all identify with the need to maintain healthy relationships, especially in times of personal and family challenge,” summarized Clerkin. “We easily empathize with the heartbreak and hilarity the Magrath sisters endure on this almost unbelievable day.”

He added, “This is a touching and funny play that will please audience members in a truly affirming way. If you’re looking for repulsion, you’ll have to look somewhere else!” – Gregory Greenleaf-Knepp

8 p.m. Sept. 29, 30, and Oct. 1, 6, 7, and 8; 2 p.m. Oct. 9 // 620 Sassafras St. // For more information, contact the Schuster Theatre Box Office at 871.7494 or visit gannon.edu/schustertheatre.

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