The Crucible: Performers decide the show must go on

A scene from The Crucible, featuring Samuel Glasberg, Ariane Hero, Ross Cohen, Bobby Eddy, and Annabelle Shea.

Not even high winds, townwide power outages, and school closings will stop Weston High School’s theater group, Company, from putting on its fall production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

For Company, this year’s “Frankenstorm” was unsettlingly similar to last year’s “Snow-tober,” during which actors in The Importance of Being Earnest also had weather setbacks. Like last year’s group, the cast is continuing to push for opening the show as scheduled: Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 and 8, and Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2.

On the witch hunt, from left, Krista Nayden, Maddie Johnson, Annabelle Shea, Emily Koller, and Ariane Hero.

Many cast members were unable to reach the school until last Friday, when rehearsals resumed as scheduled. “This past week would have been the last time we have the luxury of working on the acting without any technical distractions, but now we have to work with them simultaneously,” said the show’s director Damian Long. “But the cast is doing amazing work, and the techies are toiling away in the theater, and it’s inspiring to see all of these components of the show being furiously worked on at once.”

Mr. Long said tough times call upon extra reserves of energy from the group, and so far, they were delivering, even after a week of deprivations. “This is an American classic, and we want to do it proud. So far, we’re on schedule to do just that,” he said.

Despite these setbacks, students are hard at work practicing lines, sewing costumes and building sets at the high school. “This is the week where we really piece together the show,” said stage manager Izzy Kerr.

Jack Seigenthaler as the conflicted John Proctor in The Crucible.

Jack Seigenthaler, who plays the conflicted John Proctor in The Crucible, said Company members adopted a new rehearsal schedule involving long blocks of rehearsal time over the weekend in order to produce a “fantastic product.”

“We all are committed to giving the audience an amazing performance,” said Caroline Cannon, who stars as Elizabeth Proctor. “In true theater spirit, we will work 100% to ensure that the show will go on.”

The Crucible is Arthur Miller’s famous dramatization of the infamous Salem witch trials. Company will perform the show on a thrust stage, meaning the audience will sit on three sides of the playing area, and will be very close to the action. This creates a very intense environment for both the audience and the actors, which has proved both challenging and rewarding.

For many of the actors, this is the first time they have performed to this sort of audience.

“If anything, rehearsing in a limited space has helped us get a sense of the intimacy of this kind of set-up,” said Sam Rosenthal, who plays Judge Hathorne.

Company hopes the same community spirit that rallied after the hurricane will continue into the weekend of the show. “We want as many people as possible to buy tickets to see this product,” said Caroline Cannon.

After the success of the hilarious Guys and Dolls, members of Company are ready to showcase a more dramatic side. “As charming and funny as Guys and Dolls was, The Crucible is as profound and dark,” said Jack Seigenthaler.

Tickets will be sold almost exclusively online at whs-company.com, with any remaining tickets available for purchase at the door. (Some performances are close to selling out already.) Tickets will also be sold to students at the high school during lunch on Thursday and Friday.

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