Tragic comedy “Crimes of the Heart” hits the stage

Scene One Theatre presents the tale

Doug Richardson, left, and Jennifer Avey star in the play Crimes of the Heart, directed by Mark Wegman.

Doug Richardson, left, and Jennifer Avey star in the play Crimes of the Heart, directed by Mark Wegman. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

The tragic comedy “Crimes of the Heart” set in Mississippi in the 1970s is the latest venture for Scene One Theatre.

This play, written by Beth Henley, is the story of the MaGrath sisters, who were raised in a dysfunctional family and have come together as another incident has disrupted their lives.

The sisters, Shae Marie Eickhoff as Lenny, the oldest sister; Rebecca Seabaugh as the middle sister Meg; and Jennifer Avey as Babe, the youngest sister, come together to support Babe, who shot her husband. Past resentments come to the surface as the sisters are forced to deal with assorted relatives and relationships.

Doug Richardson plays the lawyer, Barnette and Terry Schoonover plays Doc, who is also Meg’s old flame. Tracy Wegman rounds out the cast in the minor role of Chick, the annoying neighbor and cousin.

Director Mark Wegman laughingly described the play as a chick flick along the lines of “Steel Magnolias.”

Wegman said the ladies playing the sisters are really coming together as sisters.

“I give suggestions or make a comment on how something might be done and at the next rehearsal it is incorporated into the lines and blocking” Wegman said.

He said that working with the cast is a real joy.

Shae Marie Eickhoff said that she first performed with Rebecca and Tracy in “Carousel” in 1989, and they have been friends and theatrical colleagues ever since.

“Sharing the stage with my close friends is like having coffee at the cafe. Our rapport is natural and real.” Eickhoff said. “It will definitely be an experience to add to my scrapbook of awesome moments in my life.”

Eickhoff played Chick in college and Jennifer performed the role of Babe in college, so it is like coming full circle.

The play is set in the kitchen of the old MaGrath family home now owned by Lenny. Set construction chiefs are Grant Lenhardt and a newcomer to the theater, Jenni Jones. It has been a challenge to show the audience what an old southern kitchen would look like. Set designer Marsha Stegemann is responsible for gathering all of the set pieces with the help of the entire cast.

Wegman credited the Little Theatre of Jefferson City for allowing Scene One to use their costumes, set pieces and props. Wegman said that TLT has always been very supportive of the theater.

“If you like ‘Steel Magnolias,’ you will love “Crimes of the Heart,” Wegman said.

At a glance

What: “Crimes of the Heart” by Scene One Theatre

When: July 25-27 and Aug. 1-3, 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: 121 E. High St.

Tickets: 573-635-6713 or sceneonetheatre@yahoo.com; $10 with half price ($5) tickets opening night

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