Photo by Holman Buchanan
Photo by Holman Buchanan

Juniors Witness “Crimes of the Heart” at New Stage

September 16, 2015

In a dark theatre in Jackson’s Belhaven neighborhood, Jackson Prep’s junior class intently watched as the New Stage Theatre’s cast performed “Crimes of the Heart.”

Crimes of the Heart
L to R: Lauren Gunn as Lenny Magrath, Annie Cleveland as Babe Botrelle, and Nicole Bradshaw as Chick Boyle. Photo courtesy of New Stage Theatre.The play, which takes place in Hazelhurst, MS, is about three sisters who meet at their grandfather’s house in Hazlehurst, Mississippi to take care of him. One sister has recently shot her husband, while the other two deal with their own “crimes of the heart,” relatives and past tensions.

On Wednesday, September 16, members of the junior class traveled to New Stage as a part of their English studies.  The students were dismissed after first period and returned in time for sixth.  These students were given a rare opportunity to drive themselves, with their parents’ permission, to the theatre.

The play was written by Mississippi native Beth Henley. It debuted in 1979 and went on to win the 1981 Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. It was first performed at New Stage in 1983. A movie was directed in 1984 by Bruce Beresford. Henley was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

After the play came to an end the cast were invited to have a question and answer session with the class.

The junior class congregates outside New Stage prior to the performance. Photo by Holman Buchanan.

“I enjoyed the humor of the play and also the connection I was able to make with the cast in the Q&A” said junior Brady Culbertson. English teacher Mr. Scott Rogers, one of the faculty chaperones, thought the trip a success. “I appreciated seeing that the kids could come out of the play having liked it and being able to see it on their faces,” he said.

The junior class left the theatre and were allowed to grab some lunch at a place of their choosing. Students were back on campus before or during fifth period.

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