Dallas — Beth Henley, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Crimes of the Heart, visited Theatre Three to catch the final weekend of her 2015 play, Laugh. Henley, a native of Jackson, Mississippi who lives in Los Angeles, graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1974 and performed at Theatre Three in the 1970s. She has family in Dallas and has revisited the theater several times, such as when her friend and fellow SMU alum Camilla Carr's play All About Bette was performed there. (Carr was also at Laugh Saturday night.)
Henley's plays include The Miss Firecracker Contest, Impossible Marriage and The Jacksonian, and she wrote the screenplays for the films of Crimes of the Heart and Miss Firecracker. Inspired by silent film and melodrama, Laugh is decidedly wackier than what Henley is known for. It debuted in Washington, D.C., in 2015; Theatre Three's staging is the second professional production.
We caught up with Henley after the Saturday, Jan. 28 evening performance of Laugh. In the video below, she offers her thoughts on the production and director Jeffrey Schmidt's additions, and talks about her inspiration for the work and what's next for her.
The final performance for Laugh is 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29.