The Players Guild at Sugar Hill will open its 2022-2023 season with the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Crimes of the Heart.” 

“‘Crimes’ is a brilliantly written play by Beth Henley that examines the plight of three young Mississippi sisters betrayed by their passions,” said Justin Walker, the play’s director. “What I love about the play is that it’s equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.”

Walker, who became artistic director of the Players Guild in May, said the guild considers “countless” titles to determine its lineup of performances — its season runs from August to May.

“As a community theatre, (the Players Guild) is searching for shows that the organization believes will speak to, serve, and entertain the members of our community,” Walker said. “‘Crimes of the Heart’ does just that. The play is incredibly well written, examines difficult but relatable life circumstances, and yields a wildly entertaining performance capable of changing hearts and creating conversation.

Photo courtesy of Players Guild at Sugar Hill.

“Just as the three sisters in the play are reimagining what their futures may hold, Players Guild is undergoing a transformation this year as we reimagine how and why we make theatre,” Walker added. “Opening the season with ‘Crimes of the Heart’ just makes sense.”

The play, which won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for best drama and was later adapted into a Golden Globe-winning film, features six cast members — Kayla Arjae will portray Babe; Jamie Goss will take the Eagle Theatre stage as Meg; Amy Arnold will portray Lenny; Amanda Cirilli will play Chick; Christopher Nathan will appear as Barnette; and Jackson Trent will take the stage as Doc. Two understudies will make an appearance on stage before the play begins.

Behind the scenes, almost 20 crew members are responsible for the set, lighting, sound, stage management, costumes and props.

“The talent that has come together to produce this play is remarkable,” Walker said. “What’s special is that we have a lot of new faces working on the production. About half of the cast is new to PG (and) this my first time directing here …”

Nationally recognized lighting designer Toni Sterling, who is based in Atlanta, has provided her expertise for the lighting design for “Crimes of the Heart.”

“Toni’s design work can be seen in just about every professional theatre in the Atlanta area and in regional theatres throughout the country,” Walker said. “I fully expect audiences to be wowed by her work on this show. The lights alone are worth the price of a ticket.”


  • What: Players Guild at Sugar Hill’s production of “Crimes of the Heart”
  • When: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 and 19; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 and 20; 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14 and 21
  • Where: Eagle Theatre, 5029 W. Broad St., Sugar Hill
  • Cost: $25 to $165
  • For more information: Click here

FEATURED PHOTO: Cast members in the Players Guild at Sugar Hill’s production of “Crimes of the Heart” rehearse for the play, which opens Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at the Eagle Theatre in Sugar Hill. Photo courtesy of Players Guild at Sugar Hill. 

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Deanna Allen has served as editor of the North Gwinnett Voice since June 2021. Effective communication and creative design are her passions.

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