Seabury Hall prepares for the upcoming production of ‘The Crucible’

Seabury+Hall%27s+performing+arts+department+is+preparing+for+the+opening+of+Arthur+Miller%27s+play+%22The+Crucible%22+on+Friday%2C+February+24.+This+is+a+joint+production+with+Maui+Academy+of+Performing+Arts.+

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Seabury Hall's performing arts department is preparing for the opening of Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" on Friday, February 24. This is a joint production with Maui Academy of Performing Arts.

Alex Abraham, Staff Writer

The Salem Witch Trials were a time of conflict, fear, and allegation where over 200 innocent civilians were accused and 19 people hanged. Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” tells the story of these horrific events in the small community of Salem, Massachusetts in the late 17th century. This month, several Seabury Hall Upper School students and faculty members will take on this classical theater production.

While the the characters portray a great deal of panic and trepidation in the play, the cast members seem to be having the opposite experience behind the scenes.

After talking to several members of the cast and watching rehearsals, they prove to be comfortable and supportive with one another. The cast provides an amiable environment that encourages taking risks and making mistakes while practicing.

Kalan Birnie, a senior who plays Reverend Parris, mentions that he has made new connections with students and teachers he did not know before starting rehearsals. “I don’t have any classes with Mr. Aaron Romano-Meade, who plays Giles Corey, but he is so funny and can make me break character and laugh all the time during rehearsals,” Birnie said.

During rehearsals, the cast displays a certain sophistication in dealing with such a heavy and moving themes. Camille Erdman, a junior who has performed in several Seabury Hall productions before taking on the lead role as Abigail Williams, expressed certain difficulties she had when trying to find a connection to her character. “It is frustrating because you can’t actively do anything to become your role. You have to let it come to you,” she said.

Swanzy Media and Photography
Senior Zander Medrano plays John Proctor and junior Camille Erdman plays Abigail Williams in Seabury Hall’s upcoming production of “The Crucible.”

Since beginning rehearsals in early January, Erdman and the cast have been practicing two to three hours hours a day for five days a week with Johnston. As it gets closer to opening night, the rehearsals will begin to lengthen as they prepare their scenes for the stage and lights.

With the production nearing, anticipation from the cast rises as they begin preparing costumes and memorizing lines. “Learning lines has become a huge pressure on me because the show goes on at the end of the month, and I have a big part. David Johnston, the director, has really helped me through that though as he keeps me reminding me to trust my instincts when it comes time to perform,” said Zander Medrano, a senior who plays John Proctor.

“The Crucible” is a joint production between Seabury Hall’s performing arts department and the Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA). While Johnston is the director of this play, he is also the Executive and Artistic Director of MAPA and has been professionally directing theater productions for over 30 years.

Another compelling aspect of the upcoming play is the theatre-in-the-round staging. Instead of the cast performing strictly towards the audience, the performers will be surrounded by the crowd. Johnston decided to use this staging method to enclose the cast with people they do not know and to make the production a more real experience for both the viewers and characters.

“I think this staging suits the material a lot more than it would on a flat stage. There is a sense of intimacy there that would not be present otherwise,” Medrano said.

The audience can anticipate an exciting night full of drama and emotion as the cast portrays the difficulties of the Salem Witch Trials. After tireless hours and months of rehearsal, this production will surely be one to remember.

“The Crucible” will open on Friday, February 24 and will run for two weekends with five shows. The first weekend will have night shows at 7:00 PM on Friday and Saturday while the second weekend will have shows on Friday, Saturday, and a matinee show on Sunday at 3:00 PM. All showings will be held at the `A`ali`ikūhonua Creative Arts Center on Seabury Hall’s campus.