The School of Theater’s first mainstage play of the season is The Crucible by Arthur Miller.
The play is set during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, where a Puritan farmer named “John Proctor” and his wife “Elizabeth,” are accused of being witches.
“This show was chosen because it is a classic of American Realism and needs to be in our acting students’ repertory,” said D. Lance Marsh, head of performance and director for the show. “It was also attractive to us because of the large number of female roles, and the fact that it raises a ton of political questions, right before the election in November.”
Nick Mayes, acting senior, plays “John Proctor.” Marsh double-cast Kally Duncan, acting senior, and Ali Wonderly, vocal music/theater performance senior, in the role of “Elizabeth.”
“Abigail Williams,” the main accuser, is also double-cast, played by Keziah Williamson, acting junior, and Julia Waits, acting senior.
“This show completely drains and exhausts everyone, but in the most gratifying way,” Mayes said. “It’s physically demanding being onstage the whole time listening with our bodies and our hearts.”
There are a number of features that have been added to the show, such as several movement pieces that tie the acts together, and the fact that the entire cast is onstage the whole time, Marsh said.
The cast consists of 27 actors, all of them working as a team to stay focused during a four-act show.
“From the very first rehearsal, this cast has been so supportive and ready to work,” Williamson said. “I feel like I can trust each and every one of the actors, which is the most important thing during a rehearsal process. Also, it doesn’t hurt that they’re all insanely talented.”
The set design is reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trial Memorial. It’s a small, claustrophobic space, surrounded by the untamed wilderness, which is symbolic of Salem at the time the play is set, Marsh said.
“The Crucible is a drama, and should give the audience all the feels and chills,” he said. “This is a different and darker Crucible than some people may be familiar with.”
The show will run Oct. 27-30 in Burg Theater in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. Tickets and prices are available through the box office tab on okcu.edu.
“I hope the audience takes away a message of peace and tolerance,” Mayes said. “The people in The Crucible seem crazy when we look at them. And in Salem’s defense, they knew hardly anything outside of the little towns and forest edges. But, if we’d all take a step back and look at ourselves, we could all argue that we’re just as insane today.”
Editor’s Note: Wonderly is a photographer for Student Publications. She did not participate in the writing or editing of this story.