posted February 7, 2008

Hope Theatre to Present “Crimes of the Heart”

Hope College Theatre's production of "Crimes of the Heart,"by Beth Henley, will open on Friday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m.in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

The production will continue on Saturday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 20-23.

"Crimes of the Heart" is set in Hazlehurst, Miss., where the Magrath sisters are gathered to sort their grave yet somehow hilarious troubles. Their grandfather is living his last few hours in the hospital just in time for the youngest sister, Babe, to get out of jail on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Meg, the middle sister, has returned home for the first time in years after a failed singing career on the West Coast to help her two sisters and face her own issues from the past. Just about to celebrate her 30th birthday, the eldest sister, Lenny, finds herself busy caring for everyone else. Despite grim circumstances facing the characters, Beth Henley's "Crimes of the Heart" is a heartwarming and comedic taste of the South.

"While 'Crimes of the Heart' is set in 1974, sibling rivalry, understanding of our parents' choices, aging, and coming home again are all issues to which anyone can relate," said Michelle Bombe, director of theatre at Hope. "The comedy results from the unusual circumstances the sisters are in, though many of the themes are quite poignant."

The production is directed and designed by the faculty of the college's department of theatre. John Tammi is directing "Crimes of the Heart" with the design team of Michelle Bombe as costume designer, Perry Landes as lighting and sound designer, and Richard Smith as scenic and properties designer. Other members of the production staff include: Paul Anderson, staff technical director; junior Lisa Borton of Hudson, assistant stage manager; junior Jaclynn Cherry of Rochester, stage manager; sophomore Jeri Frederickson of Wheaton, Ill., assistant sound designer; and junior Katie Terpstra of Zeeland, properties assistant.

Cast members include: senior Steven Clay Branford of Nyack, N.Y., as Doc Porter; sophomore Jeri Frederickson of Wheaton, Ill., as Lenny; freshman Ben Hertel of Holland as Barnette Lloyd; junior Naomi Pointer of Manistee as Meg; senior Stacy Thomas of Clare as Chick; and sophomore Candice Tindell of Grayslake, Ill., as Babe.

Tickets for "Crimes of the Heart" are $7 for regular admission, $5 for Hope faculty and staff, and $4 for students and senior citizens, and are available in the ticket office inside the east entrance of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, the theatre lobby ticket office in the DeWitt Center will be open on performance nights shortly before 8 p.m. The ticket office may be contacted at (616) 395-7890.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave. between Ninth and 11th streets. The DeWittCenter is located 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.