Scenes for Young Females in "Crimes of the Heart" Acts 2 and 3

A play by Beth Henley

A birthday cake is a symbol in this play.
Lenny's Birthday finally gets celebrated at the end of the play. CSA Images

Beth Henley's play Crimes of the Heart, winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is a rich resource of scenes for young females.

Please note that this is the second of a two-part article. The scenes described below come from Acts 2 and 3 of the play. For six scenes from Act 1 plus setting and character descriptions, please click here.

Act II: 3 Scenes

1. Characters: Babe and Lenny

Lenny complains that Meg told hospitalized Old Granddaddy all sorts of lies about her successful Hollywood singing career and then goes on to complain that Meg was the sister who always got whatever she wanted. Babe wonders if Meg's problem is that she is the one who found their mother after the suicide and she fills Lenny in on some of Meg's past behavior. Then they discuss how Meg abandoned Doc Porter after he was injured in a hurricane.

Begins with:

Babe: Lenny, hi!

Ends with:

Babe: I guess I don't have any room to talk, cause I just don't know.

(6 pages)

2. Characters: Babe, Lenny, and Meg

The sisters look at Babe's photo album and reminisce about their parents and the cat and about being little girls at their mother's funeral. Lenny scolds Meg for eating her box of birthday candy. Babe gets mad at Meg for letting Lenny know that Meg knows about Lenny's Lonely Hearts Club man. Meg criticizes Lenny for being stupidly influenced by Old Granddaddy.

Begins with:

Meg: Hello.

Ends with:

Babe: I just hate it when you make Lenny cry!

(13 pages)

3. Characters: Chick, Lenny, and Babe

Chick gives Lenny a list of people to call to notify them that Old Granddaddy has slipped into a coma. Lenny regrets her fight with Meg and bemoans the fact that she herself has no talent. Babe assures Lenny that she certainly does have talent.

Begins with:

Chick: Lenny! Oh, Lenny!

Ends with:

Babe: Life sure can be miserable.

To view these scenes in Act 2, click here.

Act III: 3 Scenes

1. Characters: Meg, Lenny, and Babe

Lenny and Babe cannot control their laughter as they try to tell Meg about Old Granddaddy’s coma. Meg and Babe convince Lenny to call the man from the Lonely Hearts Club. Babe shows Meg some extremely incriminating evidence that her lawyer has obtained—photographs of her with the 15-year-old boy.

Begins with:

Babe: Ah, Meg--

Ends with:

Meg: I won't. I won't tell Lenny.

(8 pages)

2. Characters: Chick, Lenny, and Babe

Lenny reports that she was just too nervous to call the Lonely Hearts Club man. Chick comes over to criticize Meg and "you trashy MaGraths and your trashy ways" and Lenny explodes. She finally stands up to Chick and then chases her out of her house with a broom!

Begins with:

Lenny: I just couldn't do it! I couldn't make the call!

Ends with:

Chick: You're crazy! Help! Help!

(3 pages)

3. Characters: Meg, Babe, and Lenny

Meg finds Babe with her head in the gas oven. She pulls her out and listens as Babe explains how she now knows why their mother hung the cat along with her. Meg assures Babe that her husband is trying to bluff her by saying he will have her declared insane and locked in an asylum. Babe realizes that with her two sisters, she will never be alone. Meg and Babe surprise Lenny with a birthday cake that is a day late and covered with lots of flickering candles.

Begins with:

Meg: Babe! Oh, my God! What are you doing?

Ends with:

Lenny: Oh, how I do love having birthday cake for breakfast! How I do!

(8 pages)

To view these scenes in Act 3, click here. (Note: The video incorporates the script’s Act 3 into Act 2, so you will need to slide ahead to reach the Act 3 scenes.)

Reminder: This is the second of a two-part article. For six scenes from Act 1 plus setting and character descriptions, please click here.