Hilarious, touchy, tragic: Pulitzer prize-winning “Crimes of the Heart” to be performed at New Paltz

NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz Department of Theatre Arts presents “Crimes of the Heart” written by Beth Henley. Directed by Connie Rotunda, the performances will take place Oct. 11 – 21 in Parker Theatre located on the campus.

“Crimes of the Heart” is a tragic comedy centered on the lives of the three eccentric McGrath sisters – one who has never had a man, one who has had too many, and one who has just shot her husband. The sisters gather in the kitchen of their family home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi in 1978 for an unforgettable family reunion. They fight, struggle, laugh and cry their way through the day and, in the end, discover that the love between sisters can overcome any calamity. This Southern Gothic comedy looks at unconventional women whose lives have gone wrong. It is a show that has been acclaimed by theatre critics as heartwarming, heartbreaking and full of laughter.

The cast of “Crimes of the Heart” include
Lenny McGrath – the oldest sister – Brittany Martel
Meg McGrath – the middle sister – Emma Schunk
Babe Botrelle – the youngest sister – Jamie Kracht
Chick Boyle – the sisters’ first cousin – Jessica Contino
Doc Porter – Meg’s old boyfriend – Marco Dasilva
Barnette Lloyd – Babe’s lawyer – Robert Gagnon

“Crimes of the Heart” is the winner of the 1981 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play, a 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1982 Theatre World Award.

Rotunda is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and has worked as the training program practitioner in the New York City Feldenkrais® Method Professional Training Programs. She holds an MFA in acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. A professional actor and coach, she has worked regionally and off-Broadway, created and performed sketch comedy with Alarm Dog Rep, as well as performed and taught as a guest artist. She currently works as an actor and movement coach with Wallis Knot, an experimental theatre company based in New York City. She is a rogue artist with the Anthropologists.

Before coming to SUNY New Paltz, Rotunda served on the faculty at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts as the lead teacher of movement. In addition to Feldenkrais, she has trained in the Viewpoints with Mary Overlie, Wendall Beavers, Anne Bogart, and the SITI Company; Linklater with Andrea Haring; Middendorf breath work with Juerg Rofler; and Trish Arnold work with Merry Conway.

Performances of “Crimes of the Heart” will be held Oct. 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.newpaltz.edu/theatre or by calling the box office at 845-257-3880 Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $18, $16 and $10.