The Crucible opens at St. Andrews Friday
Additional performances Saturday and Sunday
Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews University Theatre Department presents Arthur Miller’s The Crucible this weekend.
The show opens Friday at 7 p.m. in the Morris Morgan Theatre. Additional performances are Saturday and Sunday; both at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for the general public, $7 for seniors and $4 for students.
The Crucible was written by Miller in 1952 and debuted on Broadway in 1953. It is a dramatization of the Salem witch trials in 1692 and 1693. The historical timeline of the play is a departure from recent St. Andrews productions, according to sophomore Emma Dendy, who plays antagonist Abigail Williams.
“The past few shows we’ve done have been fairly modern,” said Dendy. “It’s been a bit of a challenge jumping back in time just to pick up the dialect used.”
Dendy has appeared previously in productions by the Missoula Children’s Theatre, ENCORE! Theatre and was in the St. Andrews production of Cabaret. This marks her first time working with director Francis Boyle, visiting assistant professor of theatre at St. Andrews.
“It’s been a really good experience,” Dendy said. “It’s good for a change of pace and keeps you from getting complacent.”
First time cast members Christine Harrellson and Holly Hickman agree that Boyle has created a great environment for the production.
“Francis has helped us out a lot and everyone has been working hard,” said Harrellson, who plays Rebecca Nurse and Susanna Wolcott. “We have honor students, athletes, equestrians and pretty much every other activity on campus represented in the cast. We are all busy but Francis has been mindful of that.”
Hickman agrees, “This has been a great experience. It’s time consuming but I’ve met new people and formed closer bonds with those I knew before. The play has really helped me learn to work with a group in a way I hadn’t had to before. It’s been really fun and worthwhile.”
Part of the fun for Hickman has been portraying Ann Putnam.
“She is a hysterical woman who lost seven of her eight children within a day of their birth,” Hickman said. “She is really superstitious and jumps to conclusions when she hears about witchcraft. She has moments of sanity as she is from the upper class, but if someone mentions children or witchcraft and she loses it.”
Dendy also had fun getting in touch with her evil side as the play’s antagonist.
“Abigail is the alpha female of the group,” Dendy said. “She is dealing with the aftermath of her affair with John Proctor. I really feel like that was her reason for doing all that she does to spread the rumors of witchcraft. She is feeling abandoned.”
Dendy also spends some time on stage as Sarah Good, one of the accused.
“She is an older woman and a social outcast, making her an easy target,” Dendy said.
While many are familiar with the play through high school reading assignments, Dendy encourages everyone to attend this weekend’s performances.
“You have to make a commitment to watching it,” she said. “It is well worth it. There is more to the play than you read in high school. It is meant to be seen and this is going to be a really good production.”
Harrellson agrees, “I think people will be surprised by some of the things they see.”
“People will get to see a little bit of history,” Hickman said. “They will get to see how witchcraft was handled. Audiences need to stay open-minded about what they are seeing and it will be a great experience for everyone.”
For more information about The Crucible at St. Andrews, contact director Francis Boyle at 910-277-5498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.