Ghostlight Repertory Theatre opened the last show of their 2019-2020 performance season with “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henly on Friday.
“Crimes of the Heart” is a tragicomedy about the three Magrath sisters: Meg, Babe and Lenny.
Set in Hazlehurst, the play tells the stories of the sisters’ misfortunes — especially after Babe shoots her husband, and their grandfather, Old Granddaddy, is hospitalized after a stroke. Gregor Patti, director and junior theater arts major, said he wanted to explore the different forms of love with this productions.
“Our concept was to look at what kinds of love there are and what are we really talking about when we talk about love,” Patti said. “I think that love can be bitter, love can be expected, it can be familial, betrayed. There’s lots of different kinds of love.”
Patti, who starred in the 2019 production of “The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus” chose “Crimes of the Heart” because he connected with the story after attending a production in Jackson.
“I like it because it’s in the South, and it’s about women. I was raised by my mom, grandmother and my two sisters… I love this story,” Patti said.
Though some of the themes of the play were dark, they were shrouded with wit, humor and lighthearted comedy that had the audience erupting into laughter throughout the show.
Clair Porter, the production manager for the show, said she was pleased by the reaction of the audience to the performance.
“It was a great audience. They laughed at everything, and at certain places (they laughed) more than I would have hoped for, but in a good way,” Porter said. “It was big laughter. It was a great opening night crowd.”
In Fulton Chapel, Ghostlight created a more intimate performance by turning the Fulton Chapel stage into a black box theatre. Seating the audience on stage, level with the cast and set, gives audience members the feeling that they are immersed in the scene.
With a single set throughout the show, the entire story was told in the main room of Old Granddaddy’s house.
Though Porter appreciated how much the audience enjoyed the show, she hoped that they were able to take away something from this performance.
“I really like that it talks about hope in the everyday things and taking joy in some of the small aspects of life,” Porter said.
Hannah Bosworth, who played Lenny Magrath, had a different opinion on what she thought the audience should take away from the show.
“It’s about siblings and women, and sometimes it’s about just buckling your seatbelt and dealing with whatever it is that comes your way. But it’s about love, familial love,” Bosworth said.
Bosworth had a deep connection to her character Lenny because of her siblings and her grandmother.
“I am the oldest of three kids, so that was very easy to connect with,” Bosworth said. “I am actually from California, so the Southern part was a little different for me, but my whole family is from here, so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She was born in Vicksburg, in the same age as Lenny, so I spent a lot of time with her and just listened to the way she talked and listened to the stories about her childhood and then tried to bring that into Lenny.”
Ghostlight now looks forward to its 2020-2021 performance season with more details to be announced soon.