“Crimes of the Heart” Cast with Latina Lead Actors opens 2012-13 Theatre Season

A production of Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Crimes of the Heart,” will open the 2012-13 Department of Theatre Arts and Dance season at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Left to right are CSU Domingues Hills production of “Crimes of the Heart” lead actors Stefani Baez, Catalina Cook, and Sulma Barrera with director and chair of theatre arts and dance Donis Leonard. Photo by Tom Marinello.

Directed by Donis Leonard, chair of theatre arts and dance, the play has been adapted with a Latina cast of sisters and will be performed in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month in the University Theatre on Oct. 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.

“Hispanic roots and culture have always been very strong in the South. Thus, casting the play with a non-traditional twist made perfect sense,” Leonard said.

Set in a small Mississippi town during the 1970s, “Crimes of the Heart” centers on the complex and loveable Magrath sisters—“Lenny,” played by CSU Dominguez Hills theatre arts alumnus Sulma Barrera, “Meg” played by senior liberal studies major Stefani Baez, and the youngest sister “Babe,” portrayed by senior theatre arts major Catalina Cook.  As they reunite around the kitchen table after Babe is released on bail following the shooting of her husband, they reflect on their lives and the tragedies that have befallen them. Their troubles are grave and yet somehow hilarious in this dark comedy, which was made into a movie in 1986 starring Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek.

In addition to the Latina lead actors, the cast includes senior theatre arts major Amie Thorton as “Chick Boyle,” theatre arts alumnus Glen Jimenez as “Doc Porter,” and junior theatre arts major Michael Tesfay as “Barnette Lloyd.”

CSU Dominguez Hills costume designer Carin Jacobs and scene designer Michael Chen bring to life the southern ‘70s era, while lighting and sound designer Stewart Christie sets the mood.

“Each night we will serve up for our audience a tasty southern slice of small town life, with unforgettable characters trying to find their way,” Leonard said. “Our designers, cast, and crew have all embraced Beth Henley’s themes of domestic violence, death, identity, and hope.”

Tickets to performances of “Crimes of the Heart” are $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. Group rates are available. To purchase tickets online, visit: www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets.htm. For other payment options, call the box office at (310) 243-3589.

For more information about “Crimes of the Heart” or the CSU Dominguez Hills Theatre and Dance program, call (310) 243-3588 or visit: www.csudh.edu/theatre.