Intense. Captivating. Entrancing. Few words can describe the play The Crucible, that was recently held at Kearney High on October 1st, 3rd, and 4th. Centered on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the play told the story of John Proctor, played by sophomore Nathan Bonsall and Elizabeth Proctor, played by senior Lauren McNeal. The beginning of the play started with fear rapidly spreading through Salem as unseen forces of witches start to torment girls of the village. The afflicted girls, led by Abigail Williams (senior Jeri Dawn Dennis), accused women and men alike of signing the Devil’s Book, throwing the entire town into witch-fearing chaos.
John Proctor, the main character, is a God-fearing man plagued by the sins of his past adultery with a former maid of his house, Abigail Williams. As Abigail accuses his wife Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft, he must face his past sin in order to save his wife. By getting help from Giles Corey (played by senior Trey McNeil) and Francis Nurse (played by junior Tony Koetters), they fight against Deputy Governor Danforth (played by senior Asael Arevalo), Reverend Parris (played by junior Connor Garrison), and the afflicted girls. Towards the end of the play, John admits his sin to the rest of the church and is finally jailed, along with Giles. Elizabeth is freed due to the fact that she is pregnant with a child. He is then relentlessly battered to confess his sins of association with Lucifer. In the end, he remains strong that he is indeed innocent and is ultimately hanged.
The production was incredibly suspenseful, from beginning to end and it was obvious that a lot of hard work and effort was put in to create this astounding production. As Lauren McNeal (Elizabeth Proctor) said, “It (the play) portrayed a very dark, but very real, part of American history. Every scene had a very high intensity, and the character’s lives were constantly at stake. I constantly had to channel fear, anger, and strength.”
What made the play even more captivating was the fact that it was based off of real people who lived during this time period. “The play is very mature in the way that the characters are real and while the story is fictionalized, all of the events actually took place,” Asael Arevalo (Deputy Governor Danforth) said. The fact that these people actually lived, endured and died in the Salem Witch Trials made the production an even bigger success.
The actors did a phenomenal job at performing and conveying this sense of fear. As sophomore Elizabeth Vyvlecka (played Rebecca Nurse) revealed, “Ms. Cameron, our artistic director, made available for us to view documents from the actual Salem Witch Trials, and seeing the testimonies of all those involved in the condemnation of these was very moving. For example, I saw the actual paper that condemned my character, Rebecca Nurse, in real life all those years ago. I viewed her death warrant, as well as the signatures of the judge and the witnesses. Seeing that warrant made the experience so much more lifelike. Knowing that the person I was portraying lived, walked, and talked on this earth and was then signed over to the courts by her friends who would eventually lead her to her death, was unfathomable.”
The Crucible was emotional, suspenseful and even tear jerking. The cast and crew did an above-and-beyond job at putting this play together and making it the best it could possibly be.