Pulitzer Prize-winning play to be performed by GVSU

By Chris LaFoy | 11/2/11 11:11pm

Courtesy Photo / mercerspace.com A performance of "Crimes of the Heart", a theater show about three sisters will be held at Grand Valley State. The show opener will take place on November 11th.
by Courtesy photo / The Lanthorn

The most recent production from Grand Valley State University’s theater department tells the story of three sisters from a family that is anything but functional.

“Crimes of the Heart,” the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Beth Henley, will run in the GVSU Louis Armstrong Theatre from Nov. 11 through Nov. 19. Tickets range from $6 to $12.

“I feel Henley has created a story with a visceral and vulnerable window to the human condition,” said director Rob Ek.

The play is a dark comedy based around three sisters who reunite in their home town in Mississippi after one of them shoots her abusive husband. Although it is obvious the sisters care for each other deeply, their backhanded comments to each other throughout the play keep the tone somewhat light-hearted.

Within the humor of the play lie issues that were just as heated in the 1970’s as they are today, including race, domestic abuse, money and politics.

“Through this at times chaotic and hilarious reunion, they discover a strong need for each other and the strength of family” Ek said. “The journey of family through joy and sorrow is something that most of us have an understanding about.”

Participation in the production is not limited to GVSU students.

“Some of our productions also include community members and professional actors,” said Jack Lane, box office and house manager of the Louis Armstrong Theatre. “Our costumes, sets and lighting are all designed and managed by experienced professionals.”

Lane said GVSU’s productions offer the community a high-value production with less-expensive ticket prices than most Grand Rapids productions.

“While our budget may pale in comparison to other theaters, we are always extremely proud of the end results of our productions,” Lane said.

There will be two more main stage major productions this season. The GVSU Opera Theatre will perform “The Light in the Piazza” in February, and Theatre at Grand Valley will present “Antona Garcia” in March.

Performances will be held on Nov. 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 13.


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