PA Thespians Perform the Crucible at Sections

by Tone Deinema, PAW Editor

“I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him, I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!” (The Crucible)

Would you expect your peers at Providence Academy to perform a play about girls going out of their minds and pretending to be witches?  Probably not.  However, this year PA thespians really outdo themselves by taking on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and wowing the audiences and judges with their incredible performance.

“The story is a historical look at the Salem Witch Trials during the 1690’s,” says Mrs. Melissa Simmons, drama teacher at Providence.  “Much of the dialogue is taken word for word from court documents and record. However Miller wrote it as an allegory to McCarthyism.  It’s dark, wordy, and incredibly complex in it’s entirety. For contest we are limited to 35 minutes, so we only performed a cutting (part) of the show.”

Although their time was limited for such a powerful play, the PA thespians put in all they had.  Since this is a true story and all of the roles were actually real people, each cast member researched and really got to know their own character.

“This year’s cast and crew went above and beyond that of previous PA productions in their preparations” says Mrs. Simmons.

And their hard work paid off.  The PA students finished second place at sub-sections, beating their nemesis SPA, and earning a spot at sections.  At sections, they earned fourth place, and beat the school that took first place at subsections.

“The subjective nature of contest is probably the hardest part,” says Mrs. Simmons.  “It’s not like a sport where the scoreboard makes sense (a free throw is one point, a lay up is two and a three pointer is… well, you get the idea).  Instead, imagine taking three strangers, pulling 5-8 random book or movie titles out of a hat, and asking those three strangers to rank those book or movie titles by preference.  One who likes comedy is going to put the funny movie at the top, and someone else might see it as ‘stupid humor’ and put it at the bottom of their list.”

Since the judging is subjective, no one knows what the judges will like each time around.  Therefore, all anyone can do is their best.

“This group was the hardest working group I’ve ever worked with in PA theatre,” says Michael Villafana ‘15, crew member of The Crucible.  “I was glad I got to work with every single cast and crew member.”