Open Auditions: Crimes of the Heart

Category: Center Stage, Center Stage 2017/2018,

Open Auditions
October 24 & 25 at 6PM
Levitas Center for the Arts

Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center will hold open auditions for performances of Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart on Tuesday, October 24th   and Wednesday, October 25th  at 6:00 pm  in Southampton Cultural Center’s Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton.

Auditions begin promptly at these times with readings from the script.

Joan M. Lyons directs.

Performances will begin on  January 12th through January 28th

The scene is Hazlehurst, Mississippi, where the three Magrath sisters have gathered to await news of the family patriarch, their grandfather, who is living out his last hours in the local hospital. Lenny, the oldest sister, is unmarried at thirty and facing diminishing marital prospects; Meg, the middle sister, who quickly outgrew Hazlehurst, is back after a failed singing career on the West Coast; while Babe, the youngest, is out on bail after having shot her husband in the stomach. Their troubles, grave and yet, somehow, hilarious, are highlighted by their priggish cousin, Chick, and by the awkward young lawyer who tries to keep Babe out of jail while helpless not to fall in love with her. In the end the play is the story of how its young characters escape the past to seize the future—but the telling is so true and touching and consistently hilarious that it will linger in the mind long after the curtain has descended.

Crimes of the Heart was Henley's first professionally produced play. It opened at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1978, where it was declared co-winner of a new American play contest.[4] The play then moved to New York and was produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club.[5] Crimes of the Heart won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1981 as well as the award for Best American Play of 1981 from the New York Drama Critics' Circle.[6] The play also earned Henley a nomination for a Tony Award, and her screenplay for the film version of Crimes of the Heart was nominated for an Oscar as Best Adapted Screenplay.[5] Henley has stated that growing up with three sisters was a major inspiration for her play Crimes of the Heart.  Other plays include the Miss Firecracker Contest, Ridiculous Fraud and Family Week.


Lenny  (Female, 30) Celebrating her birthday, older sister to Meg and Babe. Maternal, responsible, trying to keep things together.  Lonely.

Meg (Female, 27) Middle McGrath sister.  She was wild in high school and left for California to pursue a failing singing career, breaks hearts along the way.

Babe (Female, 24) Youngest McGrath sister.  Sweet, a little crazy, naïve, impetuous.

Chick (Female, 29) First cousin to the McGrath sisters.  Exudes a superficial Southern charm, is self-absorbed and obsessed with appearances.

Doc (Male, 30 ) Meg’s ex-boyfriend who has recently returned to Hazelhurst, now married to a Yankee with children.

Barnette (Male, 26)  Babe’s lawyer, bright and ambitious working his first real case.  Holds a grudge and wants revenge.


For further information or for a script, email