Script Review: August 27, 2017

Audition: September 10, 2017

Crimes of the Heart

by Beth Henley
Directed by Sarah Merkey
Produced by Wendy Brinker
Stage Manager Casey Merkey


In the Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy, three eccentric Southern sisters come together after one shoots her husband, exposing their unique quirks, longings, and regrets as each comes to terms with the consequences of her own "crime of the heart."

Meet the Director

Sarah Merkey has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from Nazareth College of Rochester. She worked two seasons of summer stock at College Light Opera Company in Falmouth, Massachussetts, one summer on the technical crew and one summer in the vocal company. Merkey has acted in more than 20 plays and musicals, and has directed more than ten productions. In Rochester, she primarily directed high school students, with casts numbering more than 80. She loves working at Curtain Players, where the casts are more mature and more manageable in size. At Curtain, Sarah has acted in Trevor, directed Pack of Lies, and stage managed It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. She is a frequent volunteer, as house manager and parking attendant, and on the season-end celebration committee. Her goal in directing Crimes of the Heart is to bring out the truth and honesty of the playwright's words and the characters' emotions. Art is how we see the truth in ourselves.

Performance Dates

Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, & 16, 2017 at 8:00pm
Dec. 10 & 17, 2017 at 2:00pm

A Curtain Panels audience talkback follows the December 10 matinee.



Script review, auditions, and performances take place at:
Curtain Players Theatre
5691 Harlem Road, Galena, OH 43021

What to Expect at the Script Review

Curtain Players offers a script review session for each of its productions as a help for actors seeking roles, but attendance is not required to audition. The event is an opportunity for actors to become acquainted with the community theatre organization, to discuss the play with the director, and to ask questions about the audition process, rehearsal period, and production plans. Those interested in working behind the scenes are also invited to attend.

What to Expect at Auditions

Curtain Players conducts open auditions for its productions. Roles are not cast in advance. Casting decisions are made by the director and a casting committee comprised of a member of the theatre board, a general member of the organization, and individuals of the director's choosing. For Crimes of the Heart, the set designer, stage manager, and assistant director will be part of the Casting Committee.

For this production, initial readings will be cold reads from the script. Every effort will be made to give actors equal chances to read. Resumes and head shots are helpful but not required.

Curtain Players has donated two copies of the script to Westerville Public Library for general circulation.

Curtain Players conducts one evening of auditions for each production. In the event that someone wishing to audition is not available to attend on the appointed date, an early audition may be requested of the director. The early audition will be granted solely at the director's discretion.

The request for an early Crimes of the Heart audition must be made no later than Sunday August 27.

Questions related to the audition process may be directed to


An initial readthrough and rehearsal process discussion will be scheduled before the first rehearsal. Rehearsal for Crimes will officially begin October 1st, likely at Friendship Village of Columbus (off 161).

Rehearsals will typically run Monday - Thursday 6:30pm - 9:00pm, with the 3 sisters being called most Sundays from 2:00pm - 5:00pm for more detailed scene and character work.

Approximately one month before opening night, rehearsals move into the Harlem Road playhouse. Rehearsals will be suspended for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday 11/22 - Saturday 11/25. However, our first tech rehearsal will be the weekend of Thanksgiving -- Sunday 11/26 we will run from 2:00pm until finished.

Character Descriptions

Ages given for the roles in the script describe the characters as in their 30's, which is probably the ideal age for these parts. There was an excellent movie made of the script where all the actors were in their 40's. For this production we will target having most actors relatively close in age, so that the relationships are believable. Estimated minimum age 30, max age 45. Non traditional casting ok. The play is set in Mississippi, and we will work to develop good Mississippi accents. Actors will be asked to try the accent at auditions

These roles are available for this production of Crimes of the Heart:

  • Lenny – The oldest sister, the one who takes care of everybody and tries to keep the peace, has a deformed ovary.
  • Meg – The second sister, flamboyant, wants to be a singer, a heartbreaker.
  • Babe – The youngest sister, married older rich man, sweet, pretty naive.
  • Barnett – Young eager lawyer, develops a crush on Babe.
  • Doc – Longtime native of the town, handicapped leg, has always been in doomed love with Meg.
  • Chick – Wealthier cousin & neighbor of the McGrath sisters, nosy, bossy, gossipy, talkative, provides comic relief.