Review: ‘The Crucible’

Through the long hours of rehearsal, the memorization of lines, the sewing of costumes and getting into character, it is obvious the Spotlight Players were prepared for “The Crucible.”

After seeing many plays and musicals performed by our theatre department, I can honestly say this was the first time I’ve seen one that was done about a true story. Though a lot of students have actually read “The Crucible” in their English classes, I have not, so this was all new to me. For those who haven’t read it, “The Crucible” is a dramatization of the Salem Witch trials that happened in Salem, Mass., in the 1690’s. Many people were wrongly accused of witchcraft, and the show portrays their sides of the story.

It’s clearly evident the theatre department put a lot of time and effort into this show, especially the actors. Three characters that really stood out to me were senior Nic Deckard, Reverend Paris; junior Andrew Henke, John Proctor; and junior Sean Gundersen, Deputy Governor Danforth. Deckard, Henke and Gundersen really got into character and showed so much emotion.

Henke actually went to Salem over fall break with his family to prepare for the show and saw the graveyard where real people who died in the Salem Witch Trials are buried.

“Salem is a neat town. The people are really embracing of what happened with the people,” Henke said. “It helped me learn the history behind the Salem Witch Trials and get into character for the show.”

Although not all of the characters got to experience Salem in person like Henke did, you still will feel the emotion in the story. Many of the times when Deckard, Henke and Gundersen were yelling at the other characters, or even each other, the anger was definitely there. During a scene where Henke was yelling at junior Kellie Grezinger, Abigail Williams; I actually got the chills because of the emotion in both his face and voice, and I don’t think that’s because I was sitting front and center.

Two other actors who really stood out to me were junior Jasmine Chandler, Tituba, and senior Kristen Kochmann, Sarah Good. Chandler did a really good job appearing scared and upset when needed. Kochmann’s character seemed to be the comic relief of the whole play because she was a young, crazy pregnant girl. I can honestly say I laughed the whole time she was on stage, although it was a short period of time.

With all of these positive things, obviously there are going to be a few flaws in every show. Although I understand it helped create the scene, I wasn’t a fan of the stage lights being so dim. I think it would have still been okay if they were turned up even just a little, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Another thing that kind of bothered me was the make-up on the characters that were supposed to be old. I know that some of the characters’ faces were supposed to look dirty, but that’s not what I’m talking about. You aren’t supposed to be able to tell the wrinkle lines are drawn on with eyeliner.

Also, a few actors turned their back to the audience sometimes which I know isn’t supposed to happen, but even with these few mistakes, they weren’t big enough to take away from the show.

Director Michelle Moll definitely chose a great play for the Spotlight Players to perform. She also did a very wonderful job at choosing actors for each individual character. Overall, “The Crucible” was a very good show. It is very informational and is performed by really amazing actors.

Thursday was opening night. Friday and Saturday will also have shows for “The Crucible.” Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 at lunches and $8 at the door.