Sunday, December 1, 2019
The Crucible Essays (577 words) - Salem Witch Trials,
The Crucible The Crucible was written by Arthur Miller and, in the Northern production, directed by Deborah Barton-Moore. The play is set in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692, where suspicions of witchcraft were floating around the town air. The play opens with Betty Parris sick in bed, and Reverend Parris tending to her, and wondering what made her so sick. Soon Abigail Williams saunters in, and through much probing, Reverend Parris eventually finds out that she, Tituba, Susanna Walcott and Betty were all involved together in a secret practicing of witchcraft. Abigail tells of a dance around a cauldron, in the woods, and says that was all that happened But, when Reverend Parris tells how he was in the woods at that particular time, and saw these dances, as well as some other very strange rituals, Abigail gradually explains what went on, while leaving herself out as the main practitioner. She says she was sort of led into it all by the other girls. Anyway, now the stage is set for a variety of unexpected accusations, scandals and tribulations. Abigail's performance stood out to me, as I enjoyed how she could change from that little sweet. innocent girl, to a fierce, roaring woman. Her costume fitted the time period, and was quite appropriate for the scenes, when coupled with her movement, and manner. It was very noticeable the way she could change the attributes of her character, as I mentioned before (a girl to a tiger), just by the subtle change of various bodily actions. This was accomplished by vocal changes, and different method of walk, from a light dainty movement, to a fierce romping thump. The play had four main sets, each one for each scene. It started out in a small upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Parris, with a bed, for sick Betty, a small night table, and a chair. Even with this small number of physical props, the cast made very good use of space, and it looked visually attractive. As a director, I might provide a long table, or bench, so that when Reverend Parris accuses, the four women, they would back away from him, to show their fear, but then run out of space and be forced to lean or sit on the table or bench and hear the Reverend out. This way, there is sort of a non-verbal role of superiority to the Reverend, as he is standing over the four who are sitting, thus making for the body language that he's in charge of the situation. Through the rest of the acts, the scenery shifts are made quickly, along with the lighting to create a shift in time as well as place, and it provides for a noticeable variation in the mood. Overall, the technical aspects were quite good. The majority of the work must have gone on behind the scenes and thus was un-noticeable to the audience and myself. But, to think how well they did, considering all they had to do and watch out for. As far as I saw, all the lighting and other cues seemed to be right on target, and there never was a moment where the actors had to compensate for a faulty lighting or prop switch. (Although, I believe the actors and actresses would be most ready to do so if the moment arouse.) Just think back to last year's performance of the Front Page. I remember the performance I went to, Hildy (Erik P.) picked up the phone and started to talk to the other party, -then it rang. Oh well, he made it up well, and this year's show was quite impressive.