Theater Program Presents 'Crimes of the Heart'

WILMORE, Ky. — The situation in Hazelhurst, Miss., is dire. Three sisters have gathered as their grandfather, the family patriarch, lives out his last hours in the local hospital. The oldest, Lenny, is 30 and still not married; the middle sister, Meg, has failed at a singing career; the youngest, Babe, is out on bail after having shot her husband.

Sometimes life gets so bad, it’s funny.

“Crimes of the Heart,” a dark comedy presented by Asbury’s Theatre and Cinema Performance program, will go on stage at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 and 30, and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 1. Written by Beth Henley, “Crimes of the Heart” won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1981.

“The idea behind dark comedy is that it addresses topics that are typically taboo, like death, in an unusually humorous way,” Student Director Jen Silver ’14 said. “Some of the heaviest moments of our lives become so bad that suddenly, they become hilarious. It’s why some people have an odd tendency to chuckle a little at funerals. This is a play that explores many heavy topics, but through outrageous humor.”

In the midst of classes and projects, the actors — all students — have taken advantage of the weeks leading up to the performances to dig deeply into each character’s actions and motivations.

“Finding a character isn’t a question of, ‘Who are they?’” Silver said. “It’s a question of, ‘What do they do?’ People always reveal their character by what they do. My actors have gone to great lengths to understand why each character gets angry, fights with someone, cries a little, leaves home, shoots their husband. They’ve worked hard.”

General admission tickets are $5 and available from the box office by calling (859) 858-3511, x3207 or e-mailing Viewers are advised that some thematic elements may not be suitable for young children.

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