The gripping drama Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley will be playing on the Kim and Donna Brunner Main Stage at Augustana College from January 27 through February 5.

The play tells the story of the three McGrath sisters, together again in their hometown of Hazelhurst, Mississippi. Lenny is the caretaker of their granddad. Meg, the middle sister, left home to pursue stardom as a singer in Los Angeles, but so far has only found happiness at the bottom of a bottle. The youngest of them all, Babe, has just been arrested for the murder of her abusive husband, Zackery Bottrelle. Under the scorching heat of the Mississippi sun, past resentments bubble to the surface and each sister must come to terms with the consequences of her own “crimes of the heart.”

Crimes of the Heart features Augustana students Lauren Clapp ’19, Sarah Baker ’18 and Elise Campbell ’19 as the McGrath sisters. The cast also includes Shyan DeVoss ’20, Liam Baldwin ’17 and Tristan Odenkirk ’20. Joe Oliger ’20 serves as stage manager and Laura Bergren ’18 as dramaturg.

Director Jennifer Popple described the production as a “laugh-out-loud comedy with moving and tragic elements woven throughout it.

“The play has been produced many times with a realistic setting and realistic acting. Knowing that history of it, and at this point in my directing career, I wanted to try to connect to the meaning of the play, and the energy under the surface, and incorporate a non-realistic set and some non-traditional movement,” she said. “It has been a wonderful experiment and I have appreciated the contributions of so many students to the process.”

Performances will be on the Brunner Main Stage, January 27-28 and February 3-4 at 7:30 p.m. and January 29 and February 5 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $11 for the general public; $9 for senior citizens, students and Augustana faculty/staff; and $5 for Augustana students and children. Tickets can be purchased through the Augustana Ticket Office at 309-794-7306 or by visiting

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.