Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review of The Crucible at Indiana Repertory Theatre

Once upon a time I went to show, and it was called The Crucible. It was written by Arthur Mille,r and it was directed by Michael Donald Edwards. It was about the Salem witch trials, but it wasn't just about the Salem witch trials; it was protesting McCarthyism. I think that Arthur Miller was trying to say that you are basically doing this to people: you are taking them away and just assuming that anybody who is accused has to be the person who is doing a bad thing. In the play the bad thing is trying to make witchcraft. In McCarthyism, it is being a communist. It is a very interesting play and they are still trying to remind us, "don't do this again; you should look for evidence before you do something horrible like this to an actual person." This was a very scary production, probably because all the actors are really good at making everything seem very real. It is scary because of all the horrible things they do to these people who are innocent. This play made me feel really sad because I just don't want anything like this to ever happen again, and if it does that would be really bad.

I really liked Tituba (Milicent Wright). She was a slave that was bought from Barbados and accused of witchcraft. She was one of my favorite characters because she was optimistic. She wasn't always like, "Oh! I'm locked up in jail! I will never get out of here! No!" Her attitude was, she was always talking about Barbados and she was never sad about being in jail and just by thinking about Barbados that made her happy, and that made me feel happy for her. She lies that she is actually a witch, but I think it was a good thing to lie at this point because she wasn't like, "I must keep my pride otherwise people will never like me." She chooses life over pride.

All of the girls that accused people of witchcraft were not likable at all, except for Mary Warren (Caitlin Collins) but that was only for a few minutes. I don't mean that all the girls are bad actors; I mean they did a good job of making all the girls unlikable. It all started with Abigail Williams (Isabel Ellison) and Betty Parris (Lola Kennedy) who was getting sick. And you are probably thinking that she just doesn't want to go to school or something like that, but she really just wants attention because in Salem none of the girls were allowed to like boys or play games or be crazy or funny or dance. If I lived in a place like that I wouldn't be that happy either. But if I thought that there was a way that I wouldn't have to be so not understood anymore, I might want do it, but I wouldn't want my happiness to cost many many many people their lives! I think that when Betty started pretending to go crazy because of witches that part of the scene was scary because she got up and just started screaming names and she kept saying "I want to go and see my mother," because her mother had died.

Abigail liked John Proctor (Ryan Artzberger) but he was already married. She wants his wife Elizabeth Proctor (Elizabeth Laidlaw) to be killed or break up with him so she decides she'll accuse her. But when she accuses her it doesn't make him like her more; it makes him angrier at her and not want to marry her even more. One of the characters who I liked at first but hated later was Mary Warren. She was one of the girls in the group and when she came home to her masters, John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor, she told them about the witch trials and there was this pin that was stuck in this doll that she made for Elizabeth. And everybody thought that Elizabeth had done it to hurt Abigail, but Mary knew that it wasn't true. So Mary tells John Proctor and John Proctor makes her go to the court. And at the court she says, "Ok, we have not been actually seeing witches. We just wanted attention and we're sorry." And then the girls--Abigail, Betty, Susanna Walcott (Kendra Obermaier), and Mercy Lewis (Allison Prein)--start saying, "Oh no! There's a bird! There's a bird! It's about to pounce!" And then Mary Warren says "I see it too!" And then they start screaming and running around the room. Not a very pretty sight. I'm mad at Mary Warren because I really liked her for doing this for John Proctor, but then if she doesn't actually do it I don't like her that much. She probably changed because she wanted Abby to still be her friend.

John and Elizabeth are not the best two to get married I think. I think that they weren't such a good pair because he didn't seem that grateful about the things his wife did. He had an affair with their servant just because Elizabeth was sick! And he also lies to his wife a lot. And when she makes food, he doesn't just say, "Mmm. This is good." He has to sneak into the house and put a weird something spice on it. And then he'll eat it. He is a very picky eater. I understand why he treats Abigail in a mean way--because it kind of seems like she kind of was like "Your wife is sick, so why don't you come have an affair with me." And he gets even meaner to her when she starts the Salem witch trials. I really liked the character of Elizabeth because she was kind of cranky but she also seemed sweet and I thought that if she hadn't been the wife of John Proctor she wouldn't have been as cranky as she was.

The scene where John Proctor made a big decision was really scary. He only has bad options. His decision is to get killed. I think he did that because suddenly he didn't want his name clapped up on a door saying "I have done bad things. No one should come near me." By choosing to be killed, I think he is actually happier. He's saying to the judges: "You tried to make my life a horrible place, so I don't want my life anymore." It is sad because I think that Elizabeth Proctor found that she actually loved her husband.

All of the reverends and judges were not good reverends and judges because they really believed that the devil was actually working around Salem village and that witches really exist and were helping him to do bad things. The people who actually do the bad things are the reverends and judges because they listen to the girls and they execute the people who are accused or press them to death. Reverend Parris (Rob Johansen) I think he seemed like he was sometimes nice to his children but his problem was that he, according to the play, only preached about candlesticks in church. That showed us that he was really only doing this preaching stuff so he could have money. Deputy Governor Danforth (Stephen Pickering) was a very mean character because he was always yelling at people. He allowed John Proctor to get killed even though he didn't believe the girls anymore. I thought that he seemed like somebody who, if a little homeless baby came up to him and asked for a penny, he would slap her in the face. He seemed like a person who would say no to everything, except if it was like, "Let's go and kill someone!"

Reverend Hale (Dennis Grimes) was not very likable at all at first because he really believed Betty Parris and he came to visit John Proctor and wasn't exactly very nice. Then later in the play, after he had given Mr. and Mrs. Proctor the bad news that she had been spoken of in court, I think he kind of gets a soft spot. He starts getting nice because he feels like he has just killed a bunch of innocent people. He is like, "I have done something wrong. I have to do something to help the people of Salem who I have hurt." I was not expecting him to turn into a nice guy. I thought that was a really good decision because then you actually have someone who you actually trust in the play. Reverend Hale shows us that it is not good to say, "Well, I don't want to admit that I am wrong" like Danforth. Miller is saying, "People have to start saying that they made mistakes because otherwise more people will get hurt."

The lights (designed by Jennifer Schriever), whenever something bad was going to happen, you knew it was to going to happen because the lights went darker. And even when something just was weird they would have a light effect for it. I thought it was good to have different light effects for different emotions you were going to have. The sound (designed by Fabian Obispo) at the very end when John Proctor was getting executed was like a big snap! I don't really know what the snap! was but I think it had something to do with the rope or his body. It made me feel really scared, like it was happening to me or that I was witnessing it.

People who would like this show are people who like everything dramatic, freaky little girls, and golden candlesticks. This show is not in Chicago. It is in Indianapolis. People should go see this play because it is a really scary but awesome experience. I would recommend driving down there because it is great place and the theatre is really great. And this play is totally worth going on a four hour drive for!

Photos: Zach Rosing

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