Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CRIMES OF THE HEART by Beth Henley

The Book: Beth Henley, CRIMES OF THE HEART. Dramatists Play Service performance script reprint, 1982. Script is intact but mangled; front cover is torn, script is heavily marked and shows water damage.
First read: 1984
Owned since: 2007

Too tired for a long post, but I wanted to wish a very happy 21st birthday to Miss Shawna Houston, who played Babe in the production of Crimes of the Heart I directed last summer.

Crimes of the Heart, for those not familiar, is the story of two very bad days in the lives of the Magrath sisters. Lenny, the oldest, is turning 30; but no one remembers, because Babe, the youngest, has just shot her lawyer husband. Meg, the troubled middle sister, returns from California to lend a hand in the crisis, but complicates things further with unresolved issues from her own past.

Yes, it's a chick thing. Crimes of the Heart is a play by, about and for women, and particularly about the strength of the bond between sisters. I first saw it performed when I was in college -- I think it was a Friday Afternoon Theater production -- and what has struck me, over the years, is how my identification with each of these sisters has changed.

I directed the show for Gaslight Theater last summer, in my first directing venture in many, many years. It was a good show, and I wish more people had seen it; but the actors had a good time, and so did I, and that's what counts.

Back from Los Angeles with an alarming cough. The rain and cold don't help.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey, i cant seem to find a script for crimes of the heart! i was hoping you can send it to me. it seems incredibly interesting...

email: sutherland_katlyn@yahoo.com

please.

AnswerGirl said...

Sorry, the copy I own is my marked-up director's script.

"Crimes of the Heart" is available from Dramatists Play Service, and you can order it online here:

http://www.dramatists.com/cgi-bin/db/single.asp?key=1271

It is published in book form as part of a collection called Beth Henley Collected Plays Volume I: 1980-1989, published by Smith & Kraus; your local library may have this, or be able to order it through an interlibrary loan.

You might also be able to find a cheap used copy of either the DPS script or the Beth Henley collection on www.abebooks.com.