Actor/Director: The Crossover At Crossroads

Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize winner "Crimes of the Heart" opens this Friday in a production directed from on-stage by Brandon Wentz.

crimes-Carolyn-Conover-as-L

Photo: Tiara Watkins

Carolyn Conover as sister Lenny.

Event Information

Crimes of the Heart

Beth Henley's Pulitzer-Prize winning play in a southern gothic setting


ISU's New Theater

July 1, and 2 at 8, 3 at 4 and then into the rotating repertory 2011

812 237 3333

The Crossroads Repertory Theatre in Terre Haute presents Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Crimes of the Heart. It opens this Friday, in a production directed by Brandon Wentz–who also appears onstage. \

Wentz is an Indiana State University graduate currently based in Cincinnati. This is his tenth year as an actor at Crossroads, but only his second as a director.

“Last summer, the kid’s show Pixies… was my first directing since grad school. This summer, I was looking forward to a somewhat similar assignment, with the upcoming 1,001 Arabian Nights. I had planned to just act in Crimes of the Heart, but the original director wasn’t able to continue and I got the job.”

Two Hats

Wentz doesn’t minimize the difficulties of wearing two hats. “It’s a fine balance,” he says. “I find that when I’m really focused on the show, when I want to watch the show and to see the journey the characters are going through and come up with some helpful notes for the actors, it’s hard for me to step down to the stage in the middle of a scene. At least at first, I’d be thinking about the overall picture, and not doing such a hot job of helping out my acting partner. But later, when I would take a minute or so, stepping in as an actor was the easier part of the job.”

Although he has no regrets, Wentz is hesitant about embracing directing “Directing is very rewarding, but it’s very exhausting. I have much more fun and a lot less stress as an actor just because it’s the mindset that I’ve always been in. Directing takes a much different kind of focus and expenditure of energy. When you’re acting you take specific times to work on things and I find that when I’m directing I can’t get it out of my mind, even when I’m trying to sleep.”

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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