Sylvania Southview to perform challenging ‘Crucible’ for HalloweenWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Sylvania Southview High School will take audiences back to the Salem witch trials in time for Halloween.
The school will perform Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a play inspired by the McCarthy hearings on Communist activities of the 1950s. The play “focuses on the inconsistencies of the trials and the extreme behavior that can result from dark desires and hidden agendas,” according to a news release.
More than 50 students are involved in the production, including the cast, crew and orchestra.
Director Brandi Shepard chase the play for two reasons: It’s a classic that adds variety and it’s one of her favorites. It is a show she has wanted to do since she started teaching seven years ago.
“Even though it is set in the 1600s, we still see this type of behavior today. I call it ‘the old-school ‘Mean Girls’ … You spread a rumor and just a couple of girls can set off such a situation,” Shepard said.
Shepard also said the production is fitting for the Halloween season. She originally wanted to do a murder mystery or vampire tale.
“Nothing caught my eye as much as this one,” she said.
Staging “The Crucible” comes with challenges.
“It requires 12 strong male actors and I often don’t have [that],” Shepard said. “This year I do. I said, ‘all right, I have to do it while I can.’”
Another challenge is the language used in the play — it’s not in a modern dialect. At press time, the cast was still struggling with only a week before opening night.
“I’ve gotten angry, I’ve tried to be supportive … I tried to be playful and I’ve tried to turn it on them and ask what I can do to help. What do we need to do?” Shepard said. “This has actually been my hardest of all plays.”
Shepard said she likes to pick more challenging shows.
“I can only do so much fluff,” she said.
The actors cast for bigger roles in “The Crucible” range in ages, which was not intentional.
“It always goes where talent falls,” Shepard said. “I love when it falls like that but it completely goes with who has the best audition.”
Some lead roles include Christie Handwork (senior) playing Abigail Williams, Alex Ulrey (senior) playing John Proctor, Jessica L’Heureux (junior) playing Elizabeth Proctor, Max Ruff (sophomore) playing the Rev. Parris and Sara Young (sophomore) playing Mary Warren.
Shepard said the show is the least technical one they have done, which leaves more room for the storyline and character development.
The show will be at at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and 26 at Sylvania Southview High School, 7225 Sylvania Ave. For the fourth year, the school’s production has combined efforts with the International Thespian Society for a food drive in support of the “Trick-or-Treat so Kids Can Eat” campaign. Bringing two canned goods or nonperishable food items takes $1 off of the ticket price.
Tickets for the show are $9 for adults and $7 for students and seniors, both for general admission. To reserve a specific seat, tickets cost $20. Tickets will be sold at the door.