‘Crimes of the Heart’ debuts this week at KC

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The Kilgore College Theater Department production of “Crimes of the Heart” will premiere tomorrow evening in the Van Cliburn Auditorium on the Kilgore campus at 7:30 p.m.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a dark comedy set in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, centers on three sisters, Meg, Babe and Lenny, who reunite at the grandfather’s farm after many years apart. As the story unfolds, the sisters recount their shared past and the diverging paths their lives have taken.

Director Lauren Ufkes has plenty of onstage experience – she has a master’s degree in Acting from the University of Houston and has performed with the Texas Shakespeare Festival. Directing KC drama students will be a first for her, however.

“This is a big jump for me,” Ufkes said. “I’m pretty excited. I was more than thrilled to be given the opportunity to do this production. I have been a part of the Texas Shakespeare Festival and I’ve performed onstage before but my name is on it this time.”

In only a few months, Ufkes and the cast and crew have shared a journey, from casting and set construction to costuming and rehearsals.

“I’m extremely proud of the cast and crew. We’re a tight group, we’re all onboard with one another. This has been a tremendous experience. It has flown by so quickly!” the director said.

After living in Kilgore while working as an actor during TSF, she decided to relocate here and got right to work, expanding her passion for drama from acting to directing.

“It’s a lot of responsibility,” Ufkes said of her directing work. “I now permanently live here and I do call Kilgore home. All I want to do is give the public and give students a look inside at a different kind of show to come through Kilgore.”

“Crimes of the Heart” is a comedy but audience will see humor of a different style than the earlier spring production, “The 39 Steps.”

“They can expect comedy and some wonderfully dark humor and there’s going to be some elements of surprise that might shock you. In this day and age, humor is getting even more shocking and progressive. I’m going for some shock value in those places and the comedy will really come out in those places,” she said.

“If you’re looking for a story that revolves around some strong women, this is the show for you.”

“Crimes of the Heart” will show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Apr. 25-27, with a matinee performance 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for KC students with a student ID.

Purchase tickets online at www.Kilgore.edu/Drama or by calling the box office at 903-983-8126.

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