This past Thursday, October 19th, almost all of Lee Vining High School’s senior and junior classes traveled to Mammoth to watch the Edison Theater’s The Crucible, adapted from Arthur Miller. Because both of these classes (AP English and English 11⁄12) just finished reading the profoundly dramatic play, seeing the play in real life helped students gain a better understanding of the work as a whole. In my opinion, the play certainly had its strengths and weaknesses, but overall it was worth the time and really helped me process the theme and ideas of The Crucible much better.
The factor that helped me most was that the director kept many important quotations exactly the same from Arthur Miller’s written play version. Seeing the characters deliver them in person made me think back to my quotation reflections and helped all of us process everything better. Another one of the best parts of the play was that unlike the movie version, where the beginning and end were dramatic but the middle was somewhat slow, the play kept the audience on its toes and didn’t get too boring. With all the characters acting super dramatically, yelling and running around a lot, it was hard to space out or get sleepy.
The set of the play was simple but well done; it did a more than adequate job of setting the play’s scene and making sure the audience understood what was going on at all times. As for the characters, you could tell it was their opening night because they made a few mistakes at first, but they greatly improved as the play went on. In my opinion, the best actors were those who played Elizabeth, Hale, Tituba, and John Proctor.
Each of these people did an amazing job portraying their characters and weren’t scared to get into their role and even exaggerate it a bit. John Proctor started out a little timid but gained more confidence as the play went on, and by the end he was definitely one of the best actors up there. His actions really made the trial scenes worth watching and understanding. Elizabeth Proctor was just as amazing throughout the entire play and you could tell that she really identified with her role–or at least did a flawless job pretending she did. Even though she isn’t one of the play’s very main characters, her role is essential and she just made the whole play work by playing her part so well.
The only part of the play I wish was better is that some of the actors, such as Abigail, Danforth, and Parris, who were supposed to be evil, could have done a better job of going crazy and yelling at people like they did when we read the play in class. Their pure evil is supposed to contribute to all the irony and make the play more dramatic, but since they only did a mediocre job at this, things weren’t as exciting as I wished.
Overall, I am thankful that us juniors and seniors got the chance to go see The Crucible, because it was a super fun and educational experience. We all hope to see another play like this sometime soon!