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PCPA’s “The Crucible” crushes it

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PCPA starts it’s 2018 theater productions with a performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Inspired by the Salem witch trials of 1692 and events of the Red Scare, The Crucible focuses on the story of a farmer and his wife after being accused of witchcraft and working for the devil.

The story of The Crucible begins when Reverend Samuel Parris (Don Stewart) when he discovers his daughter, Betty Parris (Madison Davis), is bedridden and petrified after a night of dancing in the woods with other girls, including the Reverend’s niece, Abigail Williams (Skye Privat), and his slave, Tituba (Méami Maszewski). After long questioning towards Abigail and Tituba, Reverends Samuel Parris and John Hale (George Walker) come to the conclusion Betty has been taken over by some sort of witchcraft and the devil resides within her. Soon, hysteria spreads and the entire village is believed to be touched with this evil and villagers begin accusing one another of associating with it. With talk of witchcraft circulating, a perfect window is opened for Abigail to accuse the man she loves, John Proctor (Andrew Philpot), and his wife, Elizabeth Proctor (Polly Firestone Walker), of witchcraft. Upon his wife’s arrest, John Proctor goes to the court, freeing his wife, but landing himself a spot in prison while doing so. John Proctor is then faced with a choice to either live jailed but keep his integrity, or live a free man, but live each day lying to himself and everyone else.

The performance contains extremely strong actors. Andrew Philpot (John Proctor) does a great job of acting accordingly to his character all throughout the play. Philpot portrays his character in a way that makes the audience feel his anger and frustration as the play goes on. The audience can’t help but feel John Proctor’s pain as Philpot conveys his disintegration after arrest. Skye Privat (Abigail Williams) also does a great job of reigning true to her character. Abigail is deceitful and manipulative and Privat hits these notes and makes the audience really despise her as well. George Walker (Reverend John Hale) makes his character interesting by clearly delivering his character development. In the beginning of the play, Reverend Hale is stubborn and it is hard to decipher whether he has good or bad intentions; however, as the play continues and Reverend Hale grasps a better understanding of the situation; Walker is sure to convey this, and as a result, gives the audience a better understanding as well.

The set is simple, but intriguing. A massive, wooden fence encloses the back of the stage, making the stage feel larger and the actors more intimate at the same time. Sound effects are huge in this play; characters deliver soliloquies or after the lights go down for a scene change, sound effects of the wind blowing or of characters whispering significant lines emphasize the moment. All in all, sound effects are major. Lighting also plays a significant role; dim lighting is used at particular points throughout the play to give a spooky, ominoius feel to the scene on stage, which reflects to the feeling of the audience.

The Crucible is a definitely not your average play. With elements of historical events, The Crucible simultaneously delivers societal morals that are applicable to the stage of today. While The Crucible is a more serious and intense play, better suited for a mature audience, it is undoubtedly a production worth watching. PCPA crushed it with this performance.

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1 Comment

One Response to “PCPA’s “The Crucible” crushes it”

  1. rachel carlson on March 12th, 2018 9:13 AM

    Amazing article, You did an amazing job giving a full review of the play and it really soudned like you were a professional critic.

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PCPA’s “The Crucible” crushes it