‘The Crucible’ cast members embrace more realistic, serious tone


Lauren Hill (left) and Lilliana Bond (right) play Mary Warren and Elizabeth Proctor, respectively, in Bearden’s production of The Crucible.

Bearden’s theater department is hard at work preparing for their production of The Crucible.

This 1953 classic by Arthur Miller tells the story of the Salem witch trials of 1692. This play provides a challenge for the cast as well as director Ms. Katie Alley because it is a more serious production than Bearden has put on in many years.

“The last three [shows] were epic storytelling, [with] ‘larger than life’ characters, and a lot of it was narration and presentational acting,” Ms. Alley said. “The Crucible, even though it is set in 1692, is highly realistically written. The dialogue and the behaviors are much more how people would have talked and acted, and it is much more of a human experience”

Senior Luke Bouchard, who played Detective Cioffi in the fall performances of Curtains, has had to work more on developing his current character since it is a much more serious role. Bouchard plays Reverend Samuel Parris, the minister of Salem’s church and a main instigator of the hysteria.

“Parris is really different from Cioffi, as I’ve gone from playing a heroic, bold character to a much more sketchy, nervous, and evil one,” Bouchard said. “It has made me really dial it in and focus more on the intricacies of my work.”

He has found playing this character to be more challenging than light-hearted roles, but the support of the rest of the cast has helped him be successful. Acting as such a serious character means more time has been dedicated to analyzing the story and the interactions within it.

“I have struggled with disconnecting myself from the darkness of the show,” Bouchard said. “Luckily, my friends have helped to keep me stable. My favorite part of working on the show has been analyzing it. Talking with castmates about what the play means is very important to me.”

Instead of focusing on creating a visual story like in previous years, Ms. Alley and student assistant director Bella Patterson have focused on portraying relationships and dialogue between characters.

“This show is more about understanding the psychology of a character rather than necessarily painting the pictures,” Ms. Alley said.

Analyzing the play has been important in helping the cast understand the important themes they must portray. The Crucible was written as a parallel to the Red Scare when many Americans were accused of being communists, and were forced to accuse others of the same.

“Basically you were blacklisted until you gave names of other communists, and that happened to the author,” Ms. Alley said. “Arthur Miller wanted us to see that history does repeat itself, we just get used to the context that we’re living in.

“Human nature has this desire to latch on to hysteria and spread misinformation. It happens the same today, and the same human error happens.”

Shows are in the Bearden auditorium Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

“Even though you probably already know the story, do come and see it,” Bouchard said. “It is a very unique experience to see this show live with real actors.”