Charlotte Gowdy will direct Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley in Watermark Theatre’s 2019 summer season.
Q: What excites you about the play Crimes of the Heart?
CG: So many things! I love the nuance and subtext of Henley’s writing and the rich history embedded in the relationships between characters. I am also excited by the Southern gothic setting of the play (Mississippi 1970’s) where a lazy, cheerful surface is intensified by an underbelly of explosive desire, deception, desperation and drama. This play has a wonderful mix of comedy and tragedy. I love that the characters can laugh even in the darkest moments.
Q: What does the play say about sisterhood?
CG: The bond between the sisters in this play is immensely powerful, and I think it’s what keeps each of them from going off the deep end. Babe, Meg and Lenora are each so different in personality and lifestyle, but their shared history, and being together in times of crisis, serves to empower and embolden them. Of course, they fight and argue, and things are not easy between them, but there is a strength in their bond that is beyond words… I have been so fortunate in my own life to have experienced the powerful and uplifting force of sisterhood and female friendship. This play celebrates that force.
Q: What other challenges do you think this play presents?
CG It’s a slow burn. In this day and age, when people are accustomed to being overstimulated by technology and fast-paced entertainment, the play asks the audience to slow down and appreciate the depth of soul in each character and the subtle details of the plot. It asks the audience to appreciate the small things in life and the importance of family and resilience in the face of adversity. That said, with our amazingly talented actors, I am certain the audience will have no difficulty being drawn in to the drama!
Q: How does the play touch you
CG: My heart aches for each of the sisters. They have faced immense tragedy in their young lives and still, they move forward, coping as best they can, and with a wonderful sense of humour. It’s inspiring! I am also deeply charmed by the men in the play. They are good men, enamoured by the sisters, and doing their best to help. At its core, the play looks at the complexities of being human, and of being a woman in a man’s world. This is not only relatable to me but also particularly relevant to everyone in the world today. The heartfelt relationships reassure me that connecting with other people is the only thing worth living for. And that fills me with joy!
Crimes of the Heart runs from July 5th to August 30th at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico