Friday, September 19, 2008

Play of the Week: Crimes of the Heart

The ghost of Hurricane Camille plays a large part in determining the plot of Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart. While there are apparent physical and emotional damages caused by the storm, the impact is farther reaching. Indeed the storm becomes a metaphor for the Mcgrath sisters' troubled past - which has produced much of the fall out that they are dealing with in the play.

Take a look at this play and see how much Camille is a silent character in the play. What characters are affected? How are they affected? Emotionally? Physically? Psychologically or perhaps in the way they deal with their relationships.

This play is one of the wonderful American plays about the inter-workings of our families. This play was definitely an oversight in our discussions on the Great American plays.

Another interesting thing to think about as you revisit this classic is August: Osage County. Both plays prominently feature three sisters and how they deal with their less-than-normal family. While it is not the same play, Crimes of the Heart definitely set the stage for this year's hottest new Broadway show.

Anecdote: I was first introduced to this play at Interlochen Arts Camp. It was my first year, and the faculty performed this show. I was horrified by some of the morals coming from a small town - it was unlike any play I had seen up until this time. It was, however, my favorite show the faculty did in my three summers there and many of the actors would be my instructors in later years. And while I was surprised by the show's morals, I enjoyed every minute.

Happy Birthday: Jeremy Irons (1948)

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