The Scarlet Letter
by Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts
In 1666 in the Massachusetts Bay colony, Puritans and Algonquian have an uneasy truce. Hester arrives from England, seeking independence. Awaiting her husband, she establishes independence, fixing up a house, befriending Quakers and other outsiders. Passion draws her to a young pastor. He feels the same, and when they learn her husband has probably died at the hands of Indians, they consummate their love. A child is born, and without her husband at hand. Accusations and public humiliation ensue, whereupon she is forced to wear a scarlet letter as punishment. Her husband appears in disguise after a year living with Indians. Calling himself Chillingworth, he is disgraced, angry, and seeks revenge, searching out Hester's lover and stirring fears of witchcraft. The story finally ends in a tragic confession by the minister, which ultimately kills him. Chillingworth dies within a year later and Hester and Pearl set off to England. Hester returns to the colony, however, to be near the remains of the one she loved, voluntarily wearing the scarlet ‘A’ upon her chest for the rest of her life.Senior Finn Mitchel plays Chillingworth, the antagonist. “I feel it’s very important for high school students to see,” he said. “We study the book in school but seeing the play is different from reading it. You see life lessons, how they were applied back then and how they apply today. When you see it on a stage, you are much more able to pick up on it.”
Junior Alyssa Hall plays Hester Prynne. “I auditioned for Hester because I thought it was a strong female lead and it was a really challenging role,” said Hall. “I felt I’d be up for the challenge. I think the story is really powerful. It’s one of the greatest tragic love stories ever written.”
Senior Mason Marie portrays Dimmesdale. “The most challenging aspect of the play for me is being able to communicate Dimmesdale’s inner torment – he’s shirked his responsibility for seven years – and communicate it well to the audience without seeming overdramatic,” he said.
I believe APA really outdid themselves in this amazing stage presentation. I was mesmerized throughout the entire production and found the dramatic elements not on histrionic, but powerful and gripping.
Performed April 23 - 26, 2015
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