Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Review: The Crucible

By • Jan 21st, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Reston Community Player’s opening night performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible [MP3 4.51MB 4:51].

Laura: We’re talking about Reston Community Player‘s opening night performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

Mike: The Crucible is a story written in the 1950’s during the McCarthy communist mongering witch hunt. The story of the Crucible takes place in the 1600’s when some girls in a small town are dancing in the woods and are stumbled upon and that’s a bad thing. So they said they were possesed by demons and devils and started naming names of people that were satan worshippers and it kind of went down hill from there. Ended up as the Salem Witch Trials. Where people who were innocent were hung or otherwise put to death by the state. It was an interesting show.

Laura: It was a good show. It was not a lighthearted show, although there were some funny lines in it, they were incidental. It was a thinking show.

Mike: It was a deep show. It’s one that’s going to make you question things, which is good. Questioning is ok to do.

Laura: I liked the staging. I thought the costumes were very well done. They did well with the staging. Between scenes because it was a complex stage, they had to bring out the props, the tables and chairs and things and they did it fairly quickly so it moved well. The lighting I thought was good.

Mike: Yes, they had good effects. That was really the only lighting was the color on the backdrops and on some of the characters. Everything was browns and black and white. I’d be willing to bet if we were to watch it again, we could look at the color of the costumes the people were wearing and see if there was symbolism in the black and white isssues versus shades of gray. The judges in the middle scene during the trial they did wear red, but tht was about the only bright colors in the whole show other thaan the lighting at the very end of the dawn coming at the time of the hanging. So it was a good show. I really enjoyed the character John Proctor played by Joshua Redford. The main character whose wife was arrested early on and accused of being a witch and he had to deal with that. One of the children who was doing the accusing was someone who worked in their household. So it made an interesting dilemma for him. To try to get her to recant her testimony of his wife being a witch and that came out in the second act of what ended up happening. He did a really good job. He had a complex role. He had a lot of emotions to play.

Laura: The character that I liked was Mary Warren played by Pam Sabella. She was the maid for the Proctors. She cleaned the house and took care of the kids and that kind of thing. She had an intense role because she was caught in the middle. She had to deal with her friend Abigail and her making up the stories and then when it all blew out of proportion her having to decide if she was going to come clean and say she really did not see spirits.

Mike: She had a lot of emotions, too. She had to switch sides from being with the girls to being with the Proctors and then she went back to the girls. Calling on the people because they were witches. There was a lot of emotion in a lot of these characters.

Laura: It was an intense play.

Mike: The trial was a pretty intense scene. The judge made the statement several times that you have nothing to fear from being named and it’s ok because if you have nothing to hide you won’t mind testifying. That’s not necessarily always true. I might not have anything to hide, but I don’t want to get up there and testify. It will make you think about a lot of things that are going on today that went on in the 1950’s. Just because you might support someone doesn’t mean you want to give them full access to whatever it is you’ve got. Lots of parallels in the world.

Laura: A show not for young children. I would say high school and above.

Mike: This show was complex. You’re probably not going to want young kids to go see it because it’s old english and not a lot of visuals to watch. Young children will probably get bored pretty easily. High schoolers and above can probably process the play and know what is going on. Reston Community Players opened tonight. It’s playing for another two weeks. The house was almost full. I don’t know if they still have tickets. You might want to give them a call if you want to go see this.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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