Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Annandale High School The Crucible

By • Dec 21st, 2009 • Category: Cappies

Wild witches storm the stage, screeching like banshees, howling like hyenas. They dance in and call on spirits, they chant incantations and drink vile potions. They quickly disappear when the reverend runs after them in fear. So began Annandale High School’s recent production of The Crucible.

The Crucible is a highly renowned theatrical piece by Arthur Miller, known for its thought provoking depiction of the Salem Witch Trials. The curtains open on a child sick in bed, with her father, also the reverend of Salem, praying for her soul. The reverend has suspicions that his niece and other girls of the town have been practicing witchcraft, leading to numerous unexplainable, eerie sicknesses. From here, the play follows the lives of the wrongly accused, and the journey to try to rectify immeasurable wrongs.

While some of the cast were not particularly dedicated to their performance, a few stood out as exceptional. One of these was John Odom, playing John Proctor. His unusual, witty, and sarcastic portrayal of a character usually played simply as an irate farmer was inventive and pleasantly surprising. He and Michelle Kinzer, who played Elizabeth Proctor, had a clear understanding of their characters’ relationship as man and wife, which made their interactions both excellent and believable.

The majority of the supporting cast played their parts with conviction and vigor, although some were lacking energy. One of the better-played supporting roles was by BJ Odom as Reverend John Hale. Odom’s portrayal was of an awkward man torn between conflicting beliefs and differing perspectives of the world. Odom’s performance merited many laughs, and was amusing to watch.

Most technical aspects of The Crucible were well-executed and added to the foreboding mood of the play. Some of the modern hairstyles, and inconsistency of costumes, including the wearing of bonnets made the play seem much less period-appropriate, and in some scenes detracted from the performances. However, the lighting crew of Yaritza Pacheco and Alex Forsley enhanced the feeling of the play with good choices. Increasing the intensity of red lights to show the work of the devil and artistically placed lights made it seem as if the prison cell’s only light really was a solitary lamp in the corner, casting shadows and doubts over reason.

With many masterful performances, and innovative new takes on a well-established classic, Annandale High School’s production of The Crucible was a skillfully performed show, and was well worth seeing.

by Kaylee Shuey of H-B Woodlawn

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