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Crimes of the Heart opens at McNary

Of the Keizertimes

Getting into Crimes of the Heart, a Pulitzer Prize winning play about three sisters, Babe, Lenny and Meg Magrath, who reunite at their family home in Mississippi after Babe shoots her abusive husband, was easy for McNary students Camryn Runnow, Annie Purkey and Skyla Cawthon.

They all have sisters.

“There’s one particular scene where Lenny gets really angry and upset at something that Meg had done and it’s a pretty easy place for me to go to because my younger, middle sister sometimes gets on my nerves a little bit,” said Purkey, who plays Lenny. “It’s not that difficult. Myself, I don’t like to release all of that but in the show I get to. It’s an outlet where I can do that without actually doing it, without getting in trouble.”

The play opened in the Ken Collins Theater on Wednesday, March 15 and runs through March 18 at 7 p.m. with an additional matinee performance on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available at

“It’s just about us three sisters and we are all together again for the first time in a very long time and with that comes arguments that we used to have and problems,” said Runnow, who plays Babe. “I shot my husband. They’re trying to keep me out of jail and then with Meg and Lenny there’s a lot of tension.”

The play, which also features Cawthon as Meg, Madi Zuro as Chick Boyle, Josiah Henifin as Doc Porter and Matthew Albright as Barnette Lloyd, takes place in the Magrath kitchen with the audience on the stage and ostensibly in the kitchen with the sisters.

“I think it’s necessary for this kind of show because it’s such a close, intimate setting, that it brings them right into the kitchen and right in the middle of all the ups and downs that they’re all going through,” Purkey said. “There are scenes where we are laughing until we cry and then getting angry until we cry. That’s something that’s been really difficult is playing all of those emotions in the two hours. But still fun at the same time.”

Cawthon has enjoyed spending more time with her co-stars.

“It’s been really fun to grow in a relationship with my cast members,” she said. “We’ve been able to get really close, especially with it being a family. I love this show.”