A recurring theme in Lillian Hellman’s depictions of the American south is the way cruelty often springs not from malevolence but from fear and selfishness. This dynamic is vividly illustrated in her 1959 account of an unhappy family, one of whom is so enamored of their shared discontent that she thwarts those innocents who would subvert the status quo by escaping. The stamina demanded by the lengthy dramas of this period can be challenging to actors, but under Nicolas Minas’s direction for Blindfaith Theatre the cast resolutely mines the characters’ sly manipulations and shadowy motives. –Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 4/15: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM, Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 773-250-7130, $18-$20.