Move over Shakespeare, Beth Henley’s tragically comedic “Crimes of the Heart” is on the Salomon Theatre Playbill.
“As You Like It,” a Shakespearean comedy, was going to be performed this fall at the Salomon Theatre, but the play has been changed to the comedy “Crimes of the Heart.” Professor Williams, a current theatre instructor at PLNU, is also the director for the fall semester show.
He intended to have a large cast of about twenty-six perform Shakespeare.
“I like to do Shakespeare once in a while, and I thought we were due,” Professor Williams said.
With many theatre students studying abroad in London, Professor Williams re-worked the script so he would only need twelve men, or even ten, if necessary. But only three men auditioned for the play.
“That was going to do it. This hasn’t happened before, but I think it may be for the good. Shakespeare can be a lot to do,” Williams said.
Adjusting quickly to the changes he had to make, Professor Williams knew who his talent was and the potential actors he could work with. This made it easier for him to choose a new play, one that had strong women roles.
“Crimes of the Heart” was the solution. The six-person play consists of four female roles and two male roles. Professor Williams said that with a small group you have to make do with what you have; he turned a potential crisis into an opportunity.
“The cast is comprised of actors who have previously worked together in a comedy last season, “Tartuffe,” and there is an already existing bond among the cast which will definitely be channeled to the audience,” said senior theatre major Luciano Gallos, who is cast as Mr. Barnett.
Seniors Lara Hague, Elizabeth Lambert and freshman Katie Emma Filby play the three sisters who the play is based on.
“I’m sad to hear that there won’t be a Shakespeare play anymore; I love them. But I understand that things have to be changed, and I’m excited for ‘Crimes of the Heart,’” said sophomore theatre performer Kat Potter.
Though “Crimes of the Heart” has been cast and is currently in rehearsal, now the concern is if the theatre department will need to face the issue of fewer men auditioning for plays in the future.