See the play in a different way as chalk muralist creates 'Crimes of the Heart' outside American Stage

The sign on the door says "American Stage," but the murals on the sidewalk outlined "Crimes of the Heart."

For muralist Laura Thomas, the challenge was getting people to pay attention to American Stage and its production of the classic play based in the 1980s. 

The play features three sisters, bound by the bonds of family and love, thrust into the turmoil that comes from heartbreak and trauma.

Translating the story onto the pavement in front of the theater was no small feat.

Muralist Laura Thomas creates scenes from 'Crimes of the Heart' at American Stage

"I came up with a few pieces. I have a birthday cake, a cat, rope, some lemonade, I believe, and a kitchen stove," Thomas said. "I tried to incorporate a little of everything... These elements are there for a reason."

Those elements are along the walkway of the venue. 

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Imagery from 'Crimes of the Heart' outside American Stage in St. Pete

American Stage hopes Thomas's art will tempt travelers walking the area. The stage work production will be showing at American Stage through February 5.

To properly depict the production, Thomas watched the performance and drew inspiration from the characters.

'Crimes of the Heart' at American Stage in St. Pete until Feb. 5

"They're all kind of dealing with their own issues," she admitted. "That sisterly bond kind of brought them together."

Thomas is used to her artwork telling stories and conveying messages. It's been a passionate pursuit of hers for years.

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Scenes from 'Crimes of the Heart' at American Stage

"I've been a professional traveling chalk artist for over 12 years," she said with a smile. "Chalk art is definitely performance art. It's meant to be watched as it's being created. It's definitely the dirtiest and most painful form of art I've ever done."

But the reward is in the smiles and approval of every passerby, and American Stage hopes that it translates to viewers enjoying their production.

Muralist Laura Thomas creates scenes from 'Crimes of the Heart' at American Stage

To see these murals, walk the area in front of American Stage at 163 3rd Street North in St. Petersburg. To learn more about Laura Thomas and her artwork, visit

For more information about the performance, visit