Review

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The Crucible
by Carlsbad High School

The witches have cast their spell over Salem, and many will be put to death because of it. Sadly, the ones put to death wonít be the ones casting the spell. This is Arthur Millerís drama The Crucible, with Miller taking on McCarthyism through another real-life witch-hunt that occurred three centuries earlier during the Salem witch trials when several people were executed for the felony of witchcraft. And because some of their neighbors didnít like them, or wanted their land. Itís a lot scarier than other stories of witches, as this story is true.

Millerís story revolves around John Proctor, his wife Elizabeth, and the teenager Abigail Williams with whom John once slept with. Said Abigail is caught with some of her friends performing a pagan ritual in the woods, led by the slave Tituba. Abigail denies witchcraft, but when an expert on witches is brought in to determine if Satan lives among them, Abigail soon sees an opportunity to destroy people she hates, including John Proctorís wife. Threatening the other girls (she says sheís seen Indians kill, and she can do it to them), she holds them in her sway as she claims they were bewitched, and that she knows who the witches are.

Rory Team is John Proctor, sick with worry and shame as Abigail begins her reign of terror, and he knows Elizabeth could be on the list. Rory transitions nicely from his anger and frustration at the unfolding nightmare, to his embarrassment, to his tender concern for his wife. Elizabeth is played by Michelle Nicolas as a woman permanently saddened by her husbandís unfaithfulness, but still in love and standing with him as the evil circles.

Ashley Avan is that evil. A chilling Abigail who knows what she wants (John Proctor) and lacks all empathy as she goes after him. The other girls, and probably most of the audience, are all understandably terrified of her. The only hope for the Proctors is their housemaid Mary Warren. Eleanor Rudolph delivers a magnificent performance as she struggles between the truth, her concern for the Proctors, her love of God and fear of hell, and her even greater fear of Abigail. It builds to a riveting climax between the Proctors, the judges, and the accusing girls, with the soul of Mary Warren in the balance.

Director Monica Hall stages an excellent production that keeps a running tension through the entire show. Her cast is deep with many other strong performances including Daniel Liuag as the most logical and sensible of the witch hunters, Arrianna Tate as the fearful Tituba, Millie Beetham as the sage and kindly Rebecca Nurse, and Dakota McIntire as the ornery Giles Corey. The entire cast ratchet up the intensity for a stellar courtroom battle between evil and enlightenment.

Of course, the good news is that humanity is more enlightened now and has moved beyond all inclinations to such ignorant and dangerous behavior, so these things could never happen again.

Performed January 22 - 23, 2010

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~
 
Reverend Parris: Chris Taylor
Betty Parris: Mischa Bateman
Tituba: Arrianna Tate
Abigail Williams: Ashley Avan
Susanna Walcott: Nastacia Schmoll
Mrs. Ann Putnam: Megan Doak
Thomas Putnam: Paul Geisterfer
Mercy Lewis: Siera Willes
Mary Warren: Eleanor Rudolph
John Proctor: Rory Team
Rebecca Nurse: Millie Beetham
Giles Corey: Dakota McIntire
Reverend Hale: Daniel Liuag
Elizabeth Proctor: Michelle Nicolas
Francis Nurse: Chris Ohlin
Ezekiel Cheever: Mark Patricio
Marshal Herrick: Stephan Deemer
Judge Hathorne: Jon Fuson
Deputy Governor Danforth: Blake Wilson
Martha Corey: Martha Mallory
Sarah Good: Hannah Long
Hopkins: Shane Nicholas
Girls in Court:
Adelie Carstens
Kim Gosnell
Teddi Johnson
Tina Samsamshariat
Ashley Werwage
Officers of the Court:
Brian Brennan
Justin Feinman
Jamen Nanthakumar

Director: Monica Hall
Student Director: Emily Kuperman
CAC Tech Director: Daniel Czypinski
CAC Tech Support: Chad Dellinger, Matt Johnson, and Colin Pate
Costume Assistance: Jane Craig-Jones and Sue Team
Student Tech Crew:
William Catlin
Joe Macker
Ricky Messino
Emma Scarpelli

   

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