BWW Q&A: Marisela Barrera & Rick Frederick on CRIMES OF THE HEART at 100A Productions

Crimes of the Heart will run from March 7th to 10th, 2024.

By: Feb. 21, 2024
BWW Q&A: Marisela Barrera & Rick Frederick on CRIMES OF THE HEART at 100A Productions
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100A Production will present Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, a heartfelt and witty drama that brings to life the eccentricities and challenges of the MaGrath sisters. We spoke with the creative team about bringing the show to the Tobin Center.

The play is scheduled to run from March 7th to 10th, 2024, at the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theatre within the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts located at 100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio, TX 78205.

The cast features Lee Drahl as Babe Botrelle, Victorya Ross as Meg MaGrath, Georgette María Messa as Lenny MaGrath, Kaitlyn Jones as Chick Boyle, Blake Hamman as Doc Porter, and Jordan Peña as Barnette Lloyd. The cast also features understudies Sarah Hamilton and Michael Roberts.

The production team includes Chuck Drew, who leads as the Lighting Designer and Tech Director, Jeremiah Teutsch as Scenic Designer, Mellissa Marlowe bringing her expertise as Costume Designer, and Edward Diaz in charge of Set Construction.

Rick Frederick, the Producing Artistic Director, oversees the production, ensuring that every aspect aligns with 100A’s mission to deliver focused and concise productions that cater to the interests of the local community and the broader region.

Under the visionary direction of Marisela Barrera, this production draws upon her unique San Antonio perspective, along with a talented cast and creative team dedicated to finding truths that resonate with our community. The play, a testament to the strength and resilience of family bonds amidst crisis, promises to be a connective and innovative experience for audiences.

Opening Night isThursday, March 7, 2024, with performances running through Sunday, March 10, 2024. Evening shows will begin at 8 PM following a 7 PM lobby opening with bar access. Matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday will start at 2 PM, with the lobby and bar opening at 1 PM.

What inspired you to choose Crimes of the Heart for your next production?

Rick Frederick: Our community actually helped inform the selections for our inaugural season. We asked anyone and everyone, from our audience and artists of San Antonio, what their favorite works were. What nonmusical theatre would they like to see on stage? What work would artists be interested in playing with? The 39 Steps and Crimes of the Heart rose quickly to the top of the list. The next step was to examine if the plays were something that could be done well with the resources available. During that time, I had spoken at great length with theatre artist, Alison Vasquez about our shared philosophies of working in theatre today. We talked about process, rigor, and accessibility, but also about the importance of finding shifts in our story telling that can uncover a fresh perspective of tried and true classic that speak to today’s audience. So, when Alison shared her enthusiasm for Crimes, I knew we had to have it on our first season.

Can you share some of the unique San Antonio perspectives that you are bringing to this production?

Marisela Barrera: Our production of Crimes of the Heart is rooted in San Antonio. Every member of our production team is local: actors, designers, technical crew. Although we honor the script’s setting, we infuse design elements with nods to a 1974 central Texas small town. Our sound design, for example, includes Texas artists of the era; our set design includes Easter eggs that nod to HemisFair ‘68.

How have your experiences as an arts advocate and resident actor influenced your approach to directing?

Marisela Barrera: As an actor, writer, director, teaching artist/educator, and arts advocate, my work resides in action, community building, and struggle. I engage in what I call “mindful teatro.” My work is centered on building a collaborative and compassionate rehearsal room. Once compassionate connections are made between artists, the work onstage is magnetic.

Can you speak to the relevance of Crimes of the Heart to our current societal state and how you hope to convey this through your production?

Rick Frederick: The setting of Crimes, as stated by Beth Henley, is five years after Hurricane Camille which places us around 1974. These are characters rebuilding after a disaster. In a time of social unrest, war and cultural divides. Similarly, we are close to the fall out of a recent disaster. We are surrounded by unrest, and our divide is ever present and wide. And our daily struggles in our search for connection and meaning are challenged now as it was then. Henley masterfully challenged us to see ourselves fully and embrace the complexity of our lives. Or at the very least, acknowledge it. None of us are entirely good or evil. We are both at the same time; cruel one minute and loving the next. This play is a gift and a reminder to see each other.

Why must audiences come and see the show?

Marisela Barrera: Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominee for Best Play opened off-Broadway in 1980. Driven by craft and fueled with passion, this play is funny, thrilling and ultimately, very touching. In the hands of our San Antonio artists, staged in a three-quarter thrust, artists and audience members are swept up into an exhilarating night of theatre.