Sunday, July 10, 2011

‘The Crucible’ casts a spell with intense emotion

     Valencia Character Company is currently presenting Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible” at Valencia's East Campus. The powerful Tony award-winning story, a canon of American theater, is portrayed with intense emotions and new innovations not typically seen in this production.

     John DiDonna, the play’s director, said, “We're doing a very visceral production with dynamic subject matter based on true events. It’s fast-paced. The emotions run high. We even had a few audience members actually crying out in the hallways.”

     The most notable addition are the “Afflicted Girls of Salem” who act as a Greek chorus to the bewitched actresses’ performances. Though often laying quietly next to the stage, they become loud and interactive during key scenes, such as the girl's confessions of their devotion to God and accusations of witchcraft.

     Kristin Abel, the production’s technical director, said, “I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback. Audience members are amazed at the staging and fresh interpretation of the script.”

     Shannon McGough, the lead actress playing Abigail Williams, is a theater major at Valencia. McGough said, “People have been getting very emotional during the show. I’ve seen a women with tissues, and last night a girl sitting in front of me was grabbing onto her boyfriend’s arm.”

     Lead actor Cory Boughton, who plays the conflicted John Proctor, is a UCF student who performs with several other theater groups in the area. Boughton said, “People use the word intense. I like to think of the play as being visceral, with the added emotional level not typically seen in this play.”

     Laura Mejia, who studies theater at Valencia's Osceola campus, said, “I love the intensity of this play, and the afflicted girls and other actors help me feel very connected to the performance.

By James Tutten

(Published: Feb. 23, 2011 issue of "Valencia Voice" on page 1 and 2.)

(Above photo courtesy of Kevin Abel)


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