Huntington Beach's �The Crucible� transports the audience into the world of Salem during the Salem witch trials, a story of deceit and hysteria caused by fear.
With stage presence like no other, Keri James as Abigail Williams is a continuous standout throughout the play. James delivers a performance of jealousy for the life Abigail wishes to have with John Proctor (Benjamin Marshall). While not directly speaking, James stays engaged with the scene by biting her nails or fidgeting with her hands all while deep in thought. Despite not using body mics, James fills the entire theater with her words, being very clear in her diction.
Playing the old man Giles Corey is Ian Richards. From the moment Richards steps on stage one can't help but turn their heads over. His distinct walk is reflective of his age using a cane to carry his weight, hunched over, and much slower than the rest of the younger characters. Playing the other older character Rebecca Nurse is Cameron Mullin. Similarly to Richards, Mullin displays her age in her walk, walking with a slight limp, arms close to her chest at a slower pace than everyone else.
Hair and Makeup by Sydney Hernandez, Leo Piccinino, and Clovi Camacho provides actors with wigs, mustaches, beards, and sideburns. The makeup reflects how old the characters are with wrinkles and gray hair as well as bruising or dirt along the arms and face in scenes where characters had been in the woods or been chained up. This works perfectly Costumes by Kennedy Watkins and Zoya Sanati. Watkins and Sanati provide specific costumes for each character all while staying in theme to the time using distressing to display the experiences the characters have gone through. However, at times headpieces and hair made it difficult to see actors' faces.
The minimalistic set designed by Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello does an excellent job of transporting the show to every location. With the simplicity of the set, Run Crew (Daylen Ellis) can seamlessly take set pieces on and off for each different location.
Through its technical elements and intense performances, Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible� will completely immerse you in the world of the Salem witch trials all those many years ago.
by Ali Valenzuela of Los Alamitos
Huntington Beach�s The Crucible is moody, emotional and wickedly tense
Who are you to trust, in a world full of lies? The Crucible follows John Proctor, through a time when a group of teenage girls are accused of witchcraft, and the paranoia and distrust that ensues.
Ben Marshall, as John Proctor, perfectly guides the audience through the hysteria of the time. His performance is vulnerable and emotional, imbuing each line with meaning and depth. Abigail Williams (Keri James) highlights the hypocrisy and frustration present at the time. Deputy-Governor Danforth (Collin Higgins) performs coldly, and convincingly serves the story to an excellent degree. Angelina Russo as Elizabeth Proctor, creates a beautiful portrait as a struggling wife, lying to herself and trying to keep calm in this anxious, horrible time.
Ian Richards as Giles Corey quietly outshines the cast without uttering a single word. His physicality is unmatched. Kiara Sims as Tituba, is well-played, emotional and distraught, also providing moments of levity near the end of Act 2. Cameron Mullin as Rebecca Nurse gives a subtle, quiet, reserved performance, highlighting the tragedy of the events. Truly heartbreaking, nuanced work. Reverend John Hale (Harry Hartin) portrays a kind soul trapped in a world full of deceit and treachery.
Kady Morton�s lighting design is fantastic, especially with their moon, Gobo projector and the tense exchange between Abigail and John. The beautiful lighting, colorful and dangerous, makes the scene thrilling and exciting. Kennedy Watkins� costume design conveys the strife of the accused. The worn out, dirty clothes terrifies the audience, forcing them to imagine the horrors endured.
The hair and make-up, designed by Sydney Hernandez, Leo Piccinino and Clovi Camacho, creates an immersive world. The welts and gashes and burns and cuts, make the world lived in and rough. The props done by Jillian Baker and Jaydyn Wilson are subtle and do not draw attention to themselves, creating a realism and grittiness, from the period accurate tools to the real dough kneaded on stage. The set design by Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello is simple, effective and beautifully utilized. The drabness and barren house sets up a miserable time for these characters.
Overall, Huntington Beach�s production of The Crucible is tense, thrilling, heartbreaking and perfectly encapsulates the tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials, highlighting how timely this show still is.
by Evan Pagan of Los Alamitos
Incredibly indulging Huntington Beach High School�s production of �The Crucible�
The Crucible is a play about the Salem witch trials, the dangers of mass hysteria, and paranoia. Huntington Beach�s ability to collaborate with technicians and actors puts on a beautiful performance of �The Crucible�.
Set in Salem Massachusetts in the year 1692 scenic designer Marci Gigliello captures Salem with hand-painted wood floors that add a personal touch to the set as well as furniture that perfectly replicates the period. Following the set comes lighting which is designed by Kady Morton, she does an excellent job of creating the moods that differentiate day and night throughout the play, for example, she has dark tones with a projection of a moon shining down on the floor to represent night.
Costume designer Kennedy Watkins and assistant designer Zoya Sanati, dress the actors in 1600s apparel with bonnets, aprons, and dresses. Watkins even distresses some of the articles of clothing for some of the characters as they progress through the play to show what they have been through. Makeup designers Sydney Hernandez and Leo Piccinino wonderfully execute their jobs by giving the actors facial hair and makeup to make some of the actors who play older characters look older.
Serenity Britton, who plays Betty Parris, adds fear and curiosity to her performance as she fully adapts to her character, through her physicality to display how she is being �possessed� by the devil.
Strong, condescending, and stable is Ben Marshall's performance of John Proctor. Marshall makes an impact on the stage as he steps onto the stage. Playing his wife Elizabeth Proctor is Angelina Russo, she is a confident woman who embodies every emotion as she progresses through the story. The pair's chemistry on stage shows their relationship beautifully on stage and to the audience.
Fierce and powerful is Keri James� performance of Abigail Williams. At the beginning of the story, as the girls are calming down Betty, James asserts her dominance from the get-go by projecting her voice and using her body language to make sure the girls only say that they are dancing in the forest and nothing else.
Huntington Beach High School�s production of �The Crucible� brings the intensity of the Salem Witch Trials to the stage!
by Isabella Ruiz of Los Alamitos
Order in the Court for Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible
Have you ever wondered what your neighbors do behind backs and closed doors? In Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible, set in the year 1692, a Massachusetts farmer named John Proctor, played by Ben Marshall, struggles to paint the truth of the lies of witchcraft spread by a young girl of the name Abigail Williams, portrayed by actress Keri James.
James, a senior at Huntington Beach High School, dominates the stage with her vitality. Her performance as Abigail demands attention from everyone in seats, distinguishing herself from anyone who otherwise may be on stage. James exposes her true character without flaw, depicting her just as who she truly is- a young girl filling up her Massachusetts town with lies of witchcraft who will do anything to manipulate her people and the court.
Mary Warren, played by senior Talia Holloway, is one of the many who are desperately torn between the lies of Abigail and the truth of that which John is fighting to reveal. Holloway narrates a graphic performance of the struggles Mary faces, pulled to pieces over whether to cry that the claims are true or that they, like John knows, are lies. Holloway provokes the audience to hear Mary in her performance as she exposes her- and others- to them.
James was not alone when it came to tormenting Holloway to go along with her weeps of witchery. The Accused Girls- portrayed by Serenity Britton, Ellison Renton, and Shae Miller- maintained a level of truth to James� tall tales, identifying themselves among those who have seen the Devil and have been affected by his wrongdoings. The Accusing Girls, while at times off on their timing, use it to their advantage to further the point that John is trying to make- that they simply lie together to accuse the innocents, whether some believe it or not.
The costumes involved in this performance of The Crucible truly immersed the audience into 1692 Massachusetts just by sitting in their seats. Costume designer Kennedy Watkins skillfully weathers, withers, and dirties the clothes of the cast, repairing and dismembering wherever needed to ensure the characters are looking their best- or worst- throughout the play.
Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible is sure to without a doubt leave audiences on the edge of their seats hoping for more.
by Maxx Fish of Los Alamitos
Everyone In Salem Is Talking About Huntington Beach's The Crucible
Set in a thrust theater, Huntington Beach High School provides an immersive and intimate setting to communicate the story of the town of Salem and their descent into hysteria when they suspect witchcraft is about.
Ben Marshall's portrayal of John Proctor is a captivating performance with appropriate physicality and impressive voice control to illustrate the intense emotions of his character. Especially in the second scene with Elizabeth Proctor (Angelina Russo), Marshall provides a well-timed and realistic build up of tension while working off of Russo. The two play off of each other very well and together give a very emotional performance.
Talia Holloway as Mary Warren provides a convincing performance as a conflicted girl during times of distress. Holloway particularly stood out not only when she is in the spotlight but also with her consistent acting even in the background. When she is dragged to court by John Proctor, Holloway is in the background whining, shaking, fidgeting to communicate how scared she is and her focus in the scene never falters.
The technical aspects in this show go above and beyond. While many are simplistic in design, they are still impressive. The sound design contributes very well to the intensity of some scenes and moments in the play. As people start to become accused of witchcraft, a small damning noise plays when their name is mentioned and it elevates the severe nature. Additionally, an ambient noise plays throughout the show that helps to convince the audience they really are present in the woods or a courtroom.
The run time of The Crucible might be long, but it is most definitely not boring and with well-executed technical aspects and captivating performances by the well-trained students at Huntington Beach High School.
by Olivia Graser of Los Alamitos
Huntington Beach Presents a Powerful Performance of �The Crucible�
Huntington Beach amazes with their moving production of the classic play �The Crucible.� An allegory to the Communism scare, �The Crucible� tells the haunting story of the 1690s Salem Witch Trials, as the men and women of the Massachusetts Bay Colony question the morals of themselves and others during a time of fear and confusion.
John Proctor (Ben Marshall) enthralls with his intense performance, demonstrating his immense love for his wife and his anger toward her accusers. Physically shaking with rage, he stands to face the audience as he fiercely vows to protect his virtuous wife, Elizabeth Proctor (Angelina Russo). Russo shows incredible range, demonstrating her anger with her commanding scream, sadness through gut-wrenching voice breaks, and love through her tender interactions with her husband.
The morality of the Proctors is juxtaposed with the antagonizing Abigail Williams (Keri James). James stuns with her demonstrations of anger, biting her nails as her hands tremble with rage. Betty Paris (Serenity Britton) amazes as she emphasizes her character�s semi-conscious, possessed state. She jolts and convulses while uttering heartbreaking cries. Mary Warren (Talia Holloway) astonishes with her fearful performance, falling to the floor as she emits gut-wrenching sobs, toying with the notion of her own righteousness.
Despite some issues with enunciation, the cast of �The Crucible� consistently stays in character, ensuring that there is never a dull moment onstage. Even when not delivering lines, they pace across the stage or react to the dialogue of the other characters, always contributing to the plot. The many powerful moments of pure silence onstage create an intense and moody tone, demonstrating the complexity of the show and its plot.
The incredible cast is supported by the beautifully designed technical elements. The crew conveys the show�s time period accurately and creates a cohesive production. Notably, the costumes (Kennedy Watkins) give each woman an apron and bonnet over her dress and the men knee-length breeches and buckled leather shoes. The hair and makeup (Sydney Hernandez and Leo Piccinino) dons actors with excellently styled wigs and wrinkles for old age. Both the costumes and hair and makeup are designed to reflect the changes each convicted character experiences, as they reenter stage wearing tattered and torn clothing and covered with dirt and bruising.
With emotional acting choices and cohesively designed technical elements, Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible� is a moving must-see for all.
by Sarah Roudabush of Los Alamitos
The Crucible, by Huntington Beach High School, ignites the stage with an incendiary performance that burns with both historical relevance and timeless resonance. The play explores the devastating consequences of mass hysteria and the abuse of power. Set during the Salem witch trials, it tells the story of a small community torn apart by accusations of witchcraft. As fear and paranoia grip the town, personal vendettas and hidden agendas lead to the tragic downfall of innocent individuals.
The intense John Proctor, played by Ben Marshall, captures the character's inner turmoil and moral conflict with a compelling authenticity. With an authoritative magnetism, he conveys Proctor's struggles while highlighting the complex layers of his character. As John stands on trial to be hanged as he refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit. He mounts himself on top of a chair and delivers his thunderous spitting testimony. The way that Ben delivers this intense conviction lets him hold the audience's engagement with his commanding stage presence and authoritative voice that bring attention to his powerful and striking emotions.
Betty Paris, played by Serenity Britton, is hauntingly convincing, capturing the character's fragile and disturbed state with a sense of vulnerability. With a compelling performance, she conveys Betty's descent into hysteria and her pivotal role in the events of the trials. Betty's initial vulnerability can be depicted with trembling gestures and a haunted expression. As the play unfolds, Serenity conveys Betty's transition from a frightened child to a puppet in the town's web of deceit, gradually revealing her desperation for attention and her impactful role in the unfolding tragedy. Serenity Britton's performance offers valuable insight into the broader themes of manipulation and fears in "The Crucible�.
The set, designed by Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello, helps to add to the character's performance and although simple it adds flexibility to the movement of the show. Their creativity in painting the floor of their performance space to appear as though the characters are walking on wooden slabs adds to the atmosphere and enables the audience to feel as though they are included in the action.
In its searing portrayal of some of the darkest corners of human nature, 'The Crucible', by Huntington Beach High School, sets the stage on fire with an unrelenting reminder that the echoes of history continue to resonate, leaving an unforgettable mark on every audience member.
by Shilah Shurki of Los Alamitos
Huntington Beach High School�s �The Crucible� Unveils the Intense Drama
�The Crucible� at Huntington Beach skillfully retells the timeless tale of witchcraft and mass hysteria grasping control of public opinion. Set in Salem during the witch trials, John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth Proctor, Strive to overcome the allegations of witchcraft, where any and all secrets will be unveiled.
Elizabeth Proctor (Angelina Russo), holds herself with a poised demeanor, only faltering when agitated. Russo maintains this formal disposition exemplifying the Christian ideals of the time period, keeping her hands held together in front of her, and often looking down when faced with difficulties. Russo even engages in the scene when not speaking, expressing worry through furrowed brows and the fidgeting of her hands.
John Proctor (Ben Marshall), establishes himself as he speaks with a booming voice, commanding others' respect. He furthers this when he reaches a breaking point steps up above the other actors and professes his guilt. With hands outstretched and chest pumped outward Marshall commands the courtroom, sealing his fate as a madman.
Giles Corey (Ian Richards) limps into each scene, quickening his pace when upset. Additionally, Richards maintains a slight hunch in posture and shaky hands, indicating the stress the old man is under. Corey reaches a climax when he becomes enraged to the point he is shaking and charges another man, losing his cane and slowly retreating back to it.
The Hair and Makeup designers (Sydney Hernandez, Clovi Camacho, and Leo Piccinino) indicate the passage of time through bruises or cuts put onto actors in holding cells. When John Proctor is arrested, he goes in looking fairly clean and exits with ruffled hair, red marks on his wrists, and cuts on his forearms and face. Additionally, they portrayed age through gray wigs and beards, with Giles Corey they also gave wrinkles, setting him apart from the other performers.
The set designers (Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello) put together a clean, fitting set for the space given. It consists of the bones of a house for easy entrance and exits, and muted, neutral tones for the floor. The designers stayed true to the time period of the performance while giving it a twist to act as woods, a courthouse, a home, and a jail.
Through passionate performances and intricate design, Huntington Beach High School�s performance of �The Crucible� reminds of the relevant and crucial themes that persist, even today.
by Lily Rezvani of Mission Viejo
�The Crucible�, a play by Arthur Miller, was about rumors being spread around that people were using witchcraft in the town. Many people throughout the play are being accused of using witchcraft like John Proctor. Benjamin Marshall's portrayal of John Proctor was truly captivating. His ability to embody the character was exceptional, and it was evident that the role of John Proctor was a perfect fit for him. Throughout the performance, he maintained the intensity of the show, immersing the audience in the story from start to finish. Kiara Sims, who played Tituba, showcased her talent as an actress. Although her role wasn't comedic, her well-timed moments of humor provided much-needed relief from the play's somber theme.
Keri James took on the challenging role of Abigail Williams and delivered a highly realistic and convincing performance. By the end of the play, she had successfully made the audience despise her character. Her portrayal effectively brought out the complexity of Abigail, adding depth to the overall narrative. Angelina Russo's portrayal of Elizabeth Proctor was equally compelling, evoking a deep sense of sorrow during moments of grief and drawing the audience into her character's emotional journey.
While the cast's commitment to maintaining the intensity of the performance was evident, there were occasional issues with some actors speaking too quickly, which made it challenging to follow their dialogue. However, the cast's ability to convey their characters' thoughts and emotions, even in silent moments, highlighted their skill and dedication to their roles.
One remarkable aspect of the production was the absence of microphones. Despite this, the actors' voices remained consistently clear and audible, enhancing the authenticity of the experience and allowing the audience to become fully immersed in the performance.
Regarding the technical and backstage elements, the set design effectively captured the essence of various locations within a simple framework. This allowed for seamless transitions between scenes, contributing to the overall cohesion of the production. The costumes and makeup were praiseworthy for their portrayal of the passage of time and the characters' physical evolution. The lighting design, especially in the initial court scene, was visually striking. The clever use of light created a dynamic atmosphere as characters moved from one part of the room to another, enhancing the storytelling.
In conclusion, the production of "The Crucible" successfully brought together a talented cast, effective technical elements, and an immersive portrayal of the story. Despite minor issues with dialogue clarity, the performance was engaging and memorable, providing the audience with a captivating theater experience.
by Corey Navarro of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Hosts Histrionic History
Humanity is known for accusations. No matter what the occasion, greed and anger cause vicious billingsgate to be slung, and because art reflects life, occasionally it is necessary to display this fact in theater. Huntington Beach High School�s rendition of The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, explores this in full. Set in 1690�s Salem, The Crucible explores the consequences of mass hysteria and mob rule through the Salem Witch trials, a lesson not to be taken lightly in the modern digital age.
The accuser, Abigail Williams, is played by Keri James, and her impressively dynamic acting range does it well. Williams is the perfect leader of the accusing girls, ruling through fear and personal threats one moment, and enticing both John Proctor and the court with chaste statements the next. Proctor himself is played by Ben Marshall, whose fiery passions shines throughout the production as he roars to the world the injustice he sees in the court, before softy delivering the famous name monologue, one of the few moments in the production where a character breaks and really displays humanity.
James and Marshall are assisted in the story by Giles Corey and Reverend Parris, played by Ian Richards and Bennett Perry respectively. Corey plays a double role, representing both the stalwart mentor to John Proctor, and one of the few sources of comedy in the few, lightening the tension as he launches into a story in the middle of court. Reverend Parris is the enabling antagonist of the piece, exhibiting the dangers of nepotism and pride through his defense of the girls, and acting the paradox of a corrupt minister, displaying the forces that inspired the Protestant Reformation shortly before the play is set.
The tech elements of the show are impressively unobtrusive, with a painted floor and hanging beams providing a constant backdrop, while different rooms and positions are denoted by moving chairs and desks, creating clear settings while remaining low profile and allowing the acting to shine. The dim lighting contributes to the environment, directing focus to actors while reminiscent of a shadowy forest, or the closet one hoped was empty as a child. The audio design was truly skillful, inspiring emotion while remaining mostly unnoticeable unless looked for, creating a fully immersive experience that draws the audience in as much as it worries them. Altogether, Huntginton�s achieved a remarkably chilling and moralistic show.
by Espen Ross of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach�s The Crucible
In this exhilarating performance of The Crucible, The Huntington Beach�s APA cast and crew worked together to run this show seemingly and skillfully. Along with the addition of a beautiful set, efficient use of props, admirable marketing and excellent costumes.
The story of the Crucible follows a young man by the name of John Proctor, played by Benjamin Marshall, and his wife Elizabeth Proctor, played by Angelina Russo and their urgent matters in dealing with the widespread accusations of witchcraft amongst the townspeople. Coincidently one of these so called witches, Abigail Williams, played by Keri James, charges Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft after jealousy of the proctors marriage bond overcomes her. After those are put on trial, John Proctor cry�s out of his interconnection with Abigail Williams which makes him liable for breaking the law. He is then charged to be hung in place of his wife and he takes the offer, sent to be hung when the sun rises.
Benjamin Marshall, with it only being his first year in the APA, utilized his commanding voice to compel the audience during his high intensity scenes. Marshall's portrayal of hostility and outrage was notably executed throughout the performance. Angelina Russo captivated the audience with her stoic facial expressions which carefully aided the intensity of her scenes. Russo seemingly allowed audiences to dive into her mind set and emotions. Small gestures and facial physicality enhanced the performance as a whole. Keri James entranced audiences with her brassy attitude and her displays of true deception and wickedness. James utilized a strong voice and incredible physicality to enhance her performance which only grew stronger as her character's intentions started to unfold.
For the ensemble every character role provided meaning and complexity of the mass impact of the Salem witch trials. Blocking and stage use was admirably done considering their limitations of a thrust stage. Proper volume and articulation was put in place conveying their lacking need for any face microphones.
The majority student led crew did an exponential job at making the lighting, set changes, costumes, makeup and hair cohesive with the time period this production was set in. Lighting was articulated beautifully to fit each setting, especially in settings such as the woods and the court room, and the haunting sound production which set the tone for the show as a whole. This show was a sensation through tech, cast and crew. Bravo!
by Faith Novak of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach kills the competition with The Crucible
Drowning in emotion, Huntington Beach�s production of The Crucible takes place in 1692 during the Salem witch trials and is about an evil group of girls led by Abigail Williams, who wishes to blame others for possessing them with Satin just so the accused get hung. John Proctor, a local farmer, must clear his wife�s name from the accused list and hopefully shine a light on the lies of the girls who only wish to kill.
Ben Marshall portrays John with an overwhelming amount of emotion and dedication. Marshall�s ability to fluctuate his tone of voice and volume allow scenes, such as the one in the courtroom, to put people on the edge of their seats. The moment in the courtroom scene where Marshall stands on the chair and gives in to the devil truly shows his use of emotion to keep the show at peak emotion.
Another standout performance was from Keri James as Abigail Williams. Abigail provides a great sense of tension and mystery with her facial expressions and dialogue in the opening scene. The moment where Abigail threatens the other girls to side with her really sets up the courtroom scene and James� character choice to influence the other girls to be possessed as a distraction from the case.
The whole cast gave a high amount of realism and energy to their performances, though sometimes struggling to understand some annunciation, the show really was engaging and electric.
One tech crew student worth mentioning was the stage manager Lynh Tran for doing an outstanding job with light and sound cues. The lighting itself really added to the tone and emotion of the scenes while the sound really backed up scary moments like when Betty is first possessed. Though simple, the set allowed focus to be more on the acting but also allowed a good realistic vision of what some places would look like fitting the time period.
The costumes were very believable and fitting for the time period especially since they became more dirtied and torn after the time jump. The makeup was also very great delivering a great view of injuries such as the chain marks on John.
With an amazing cast, great technical elements, and a beautiful performance, Huntington Beach gives an emotional masterpiece of talent and suspense.
by Kyle Monson of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach�s The Crucible is eerily spooktacular
Betrayal, Heartbreak, and Manipulation is in the air at Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible.
Set in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, the Salem Witch Trials are about to begin, as many members of the community are accused of dealings with the devil. Will the accused be found guilty, or will they be set free? All is revealed at Huntington Beach�s The Crucible.
Keri James hauntingly graces the stage as the eerily naive, yet manipulative, Abigail Williams. James fully encapsulates William's naive and meek persona, while also always having a small, yet noticeable menacing grin after getting her way. Alongside James, is Benjamin Marshall as John Proctor. Marshall distinctively displays Proctor�s strong physicality, and his overbearing, yet also caring persona. His strong stage presence is complemented by his bold acting choices and physicality, such as when he stands shouting �Because it�s my name,� when asked to sign his name to prove his guilt.
Angelina Russo shines as Elizabeth Proctor, the wife of the well-known John Proctor. Russo wonderfully embodies the role of a 17th century housewife, while also being brave and standing up to her adulterous husband. Russo�s refined but also strong physicality adds to her sensible character, and adds to the overall characterization of Elizabeth Proctor. Angelina Russo and Benjamin Marshall have a strong sense of chemistry as husband and wife, especially during the ending scene when the two have a tearful moment saying goodbye to each other.
Additionally, the five main accusing teenage girls, played by Keri James (Abigail Williams), Serenity Britton (Betty Parris), Ellison Renton (Susanna Walcott), Shae Miller (Mercy Lewis), and Talia Holloway (Mary Warren) do an excellent job as an ensemble, fully acting as though they are possessed and being witched by the women they are accusing. The synced movements and loud screams, add to the eerie tone of the play and help add to the overall suspense.
The tech elements seamlessly work together to help create the world and immerse people in the story. The hair and makeup work well to create older more sophisticated characters, through the usage of facial hair and aged makeup. In addition to this the costumes also work great to showcase the differences in the characters overtime.
Huntington Beach�s The Crucible reminds us not to get caught up in mass hysteria, but instead look for the truth.
by Lindsay O'Leary of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible took the audience on the dramatic journey that is Arthur Miller's play. Based on real events, this play is set in 1692 Salem Massachusetts follows the story of John Proctor as he and many other townspeople are accused of witchcraft. Led by Abigail Williams, a group of young girls run rampant in court, making accusations left and right. In an effort to clear his wife�s name, John gets caught up in it and is eventually hung.
Ben Marshall, who portrays John Proctor, showed off an intense range of acting. From his conflicts with his wife, played by Angelina Russo, to his passion displayed in the court, Marshall truly filled out the character to its extent. Russo also displayed great emotion in her last scene. The audience was drawn in by the way you could see the conflict in her eyes as she watched Marshall condemn himself to death. Keri James, as Abigail Williams, created a very drastic and dramatic character on stage. Whether she was screaming while being possessed, or having a more intimate scene with John Proctor, she made for a manipulative little girl in all the best ways. Throughout the play, there was a lot of yelling and although at times it could cause lines to not be understood, the yelling created a very urgent and dramatic tone. Tituba, played by Kiara Sims, is an interesting character. Sims did an excellent job in portraying the scared, but also carefree slave. Her final scene in the
jailhouse helped to bring some much needed comedy to an otherwise heavy show. Another stand out member of the cast is Ian Richards, as Giles Corey. He had very good mannerisms when it came to his leg, and the way he traveled across the stage. Overall, the cast used the closeness of the black box in order to draw in the audience to make it a very intimate setting.
The sound design for the show was fantastic. With growing suspense and providing dark undertones to dramatic scenes, the sound made for a very engaging part of the performance.
by Paxton Lavigne of Orange Lutheran
Hunnigton Beach High School present the Crucible that will leave you shocked so u know more about the historical tragedy.
The Crucible is a story about the Salem Witch trials and its accused and accusers. This story specifically highlights the importance of being truthful and the negativity of rumors and lies. The crucibles main protagonist is John Proctor (Ben Marshall) and antagonist Abigail Williams (Keri James), John Proctor's wife and many other women become accused of being a witch and it�s up to John Procter to save these women and his beloved wife.
John Proctor's mannerisms and emotion, played by Ben Marshall, is captivating and loud. His stage presence makes the crowd go silent. He shows the complex emotions Proctor has of being truthful or living a life of peace through his strong emotional monologues and speeches. More than just stage presence his face communicates the pain Proctor feels.
Keri James plays young Abigail Williams in The Crucible. Her portrayal of Williams brings a chilling and intense feeling in the theater. Through her nuance expressions and commanding stage presence, Keri brings Williams to a new depth. Her use of the stage around her leads to the audience feeling close and intimate with the actors.
Mary Warren, played by Talia Holloway, is easily manipulated and easily intimidated. Her doing that results in the death of many men, woman, and children in their town. Holloway reveals this by showing the cycle of mental stress. Her madness in the beginning to her healing in the middle of the show to the then madness. Holloway uses weeping to symbolize her pain and uses her bloodcurdling screaming to signify a deep rooted anxiousness.
Hair, Makeup, and costume done by Kylie Aviles, Clovi Camacho and Rachel Carlton is simple but detailed in a way which is unique through each actor. Makeup is used to enhance age and hair is to enhance, this is seen through Briton�s messy hair when she is sick and in bed or Marshall�s chained marks.
Even though sometimes the cast was hard to hear do to loud voices the cast in general was able to captivate the audience with their words.
In all, The Crucible by Huntington High School is thoughtful and intimate, that will leave you with more of an understanding on our past and the future.
by Presley Lu of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible� is on trial for being breathtaking!
Huntington Beach High School�s performance of the play �The Crucible� takes place in the New England town of Salem, during the �Salem Witch Trials.� This dramatic piece deeply alludes to the uproar of McCarthyism in the post-WW2 era, a time period where hypocrisy was present in the government which is deeply alluded to by the judges in the piece. It becomes relevant that there is a conspicuous amount of strange events thought to be from the doing of witches and the devil, due to the accusations from Betty Paris, an uncanny girl who is going through a phase of the unknown. The play has multiple creative elements added to it from the high school�s make-up/costume crew, tech crew, and actors.
The cast does an intensive job of creating an environment of both eye-catching moments and disturbing scenes, yet the audience does not look away once. A character that stands out to the audience is Abigail Williams, played by Keri James. She comes into the story in the first scene strong and with her intentions crystal clear, until evidently the character's thoughts change in a complex manner and become phased by the events that come from Betty Parris. Another honorable mention is Ian Richards as Giles. His stage presence was not dropped a single time as he portrays a fierce old man with powerful and passionate thoughts he�d like to share. In one instance, he makes a clear character choice as he drops his cane to attack an individual he took offence to, demonstrating the strong acknowledgement of Giles' goals. The audience does not expect it to come which makes it twice as appealing.
Hair, makeup, and costume teams made the audience feel immersed in the year 1693, showing swell knowledge of the time period. An eye-catching example of this is the makeup for the wounds from chains worn by the imprisoned. When the chains were taken off, it was evident that these were thick and heavy chains from the era the show is set in due to the stage makeup being precise in the size of the blushing red marks.
The sound crew of this show knew exactly when to take the wheel of this dramatic show. The precise and strong entries of ambience added to the unsure mood of what was to come from the events. Though there were not many sound cues, it was made clear by the crew that it was for the better due to the power of silence being strong in many intense scenes.
Huntington Beach High School exhibits intensity throughout the show and ensures gasps from the audience.
by Remington Walker of Orange Lutheran
�The Crucible" at Huntington Beach High School was an incredible display of zealous and dedicated performers. The cast and crew interpreted this foreboding script of supernaturalism and communal panic with remarkable nuance.
John Proctor played by Ben Marshall stood out with an exceptionally passionate delivery of aggravation and wrath throughout. The journey of his character through a hysterical and prejudicial world was portrayed breathtakingly well. His characterization of the climax in the court scene when he stood on the chair was phenomenal. The court scene as a whole was particularly suspenseful with the entire cast showing underlying feelings and opinions on the accusations of witchcraft and dishonesty occurring. The accusing girls' portrayal of the supernatural possession was amazingly disturbing and terrifying. Ian Richards and Keri James especially manifested their roles and expressed their thoughts on others, even without speaking. There were some moments in the show where enunciation could have been improved for the audience to have a better understanding. Deputy- Governor Danforth had an exceptional role as an antagonist in the play. He characterized the role with incredible express
ion and volume. The entire cast of performers kept the intensity increasing throughout with fantastic amounts of energy. Reverend Samuel Parris hooked the audience with an incredible and impactful start to the show, setting the stage for the rest of the story to unfold.
All tech elements were implemented seamlessly and crafted an intriguing atmosphere. The lights depicted the tone of the story extremely well throughout, uniquely in the woods scene between John and Abigail. The sound design added to the unease and anticipation in every scene, making for a much more immersive experience for the audience. The costumes depicted the time period well and fit each character. The use of facial hair made certain characters look older and more believable. The makeup added to the feelings of distress and showed certain characters struggle. For example, John Proctor�s bruises from being chained were effective in showing the pain he was going through. The setting of colonial America was depicted excellently through the set and props.
Overall, every actor and actress were passionate in their portrayals of their characters, and the tech, costume, and makeup crew created an amazing environment for the story to take place. The whole cast and crew created a memorable and impactful performance!
by William DePorto of Orange Lutheran
Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible Is Guilty of Being Outstanding
In Arthur Miller�s The Crucible a farmer by the name of John Proctor stands up for his wife during the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. He must overcome great adversity and make sacrifices in order to protect his family from the evils of this time.
Ben Marshall commands the stage in the leading role of John Proctor. Knowing when to hold back and when to let loose, Marshall delivers a balanced and layered performance. At the times throughout the play that call for extreme emotion from Proctor, Marshall delivers, standing firmly with eyes of red, speaking through his teeth, he portrays the unrelenting power of this character with an impressive maturity. Through his full commitment to the role, Marshall bears a stage presence that captivates the audience whenever he is present.
Another highlight of this show is Keri James as Abigail WIlliams. With her twisted smile and fraudulent innocence, James is able to create a deeply despicable character. Even when the focus lies not on her, she can be seen secretly plotting and conspiring. This attention detail added depth to the character, enhancing her performance even further.
Collin Higgins as Deputy-Governor Danforth is also able to encapsulate evil in his performance. With a menacing pace and a look of villainous disgust upon his face, Higgins is able to be a truly terrifying force on stage.
The technicians of this production excelled at expressing the grimness of the show through their designs. Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello�s scenic design is minimal yet effective. With just a large wooden house frame and the necessary furnishing, this simplistic design succeeds at being both stylized and functional. It also works harmoniously with Kady Morton�s lighting design which has dim lights shining down on the stage from above like light peeking through cracks in wood. These elements together capture the darkness and melancholy of The Crucible�s themes.
With exceptional work from both the cast and crew, Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible is a spectacular emotional journey.
by Chris Preusse of Tesoro
Huntington Beach High�s �The Crucible� Conjures A Bewitching Experience!
The Old Boy has clenched his grip over the small town of Salem in Massachusetts during the late 1600s, where witchcraft has become feared as powers shift through different classes, giving everyone the power of accusing even the powerful and respected, leaving everyone vulnerable to God�s icy wind. An experience to bewitch you, Huntington�s actors and tech exceptionally bring together a one of a kind, jaw-dropping performance of Arthur Miller�s �The Crucible�.
Abigail Williams, a mischievous Salem girl with a history to the married John Proctor, constantly expresses her liveliness and nervousness through her constant jittering, even when out of focus. Extraordinary acting with actors onstage rarely ever broke character throughout scenes start to finish, whether being the focus or not, maintaining the fourth wall between the audience and the actors. Abigail Williams, performed by Keri James, clearly conveys her nervousness through her constant jittery fingers and biting nails. Booming voices and genuine shrieks induce goosebumps, a standout being John Proctor (Benjamin Marshall)�s bellowing roars in the courtroom, exceptionally escaping the stage and thrusting the experience towards the audience.
Effective color adjustment became an intuitive tool to control mood, as lighting (designed by Kady Morton) in many scenes throughout the play highlight actors� emotion, with mood and tone being set through the gloomy midnight blues, the dark and hazy grays, and the unforgettable menacing yellow-reds, supported by timely audio cues that only further captured specific moments done by stage manager Lynh Tran, intuitively enhancing suspension and emotion. A memorable segment being Proctor�s confrontation with his maid, Mary Warren (executed by Talia Holloway), which shook the stage as the intimidating yellow and red hues perfectly expressed Proctor�s power over Mary.
Introduced with an adorning yet simplistic set of what would be a traditional home in the town of Salem, set designers Zoe Carser and Marci Gigliello employ wood veiling the floors of the abodes of the civilians and the courtroom. Despite the long scenes, fading transitions from an immaculate running crew functioning in the dark tie each segment together, almost flawlessly rotating each set without notice.
Who can be trusted? We know a witch is amongst us, so come see the judge�s final verdict as Huntington Beach High School�s �The Crucible� revives a ten-out-of-ten performance of the great hit play by Arthur Miller.
by Adam Roxy of University
The case of a lifetime ensues at Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible.�
Set in the Salem Witch Trials of the late 1600�s, Huntington Beach excellently delves into the madness of this time period through accusation and gut-wrenching terror.
Varying from a powerful boom to a gentle hum, audio was utilized excellently throughout this performance to develop a mood for the show. Sound was critical, as the performers lacked body microphones meaning any noise required extra care to still allow the performers to be heard. A delicate trill restrained from an uncomfortable silence, although seldom noticeable, when present established an atmosphere, as if there was something beyond the solemn stage. In contrast, vivid blasts throughout the courtroom scenes constructed a frightening sensation of dread, connecting the audience with emotion to a specific character through sound and vibration.
Distressed fabrics impeccably complemented dirt and bruises. Together, many aspects of the character designs such as hair, makeup, and costuming were able to unite the cast under a common visual, representing not only the time period but also suggesting wealth or social class. Clothing varied throughout the show, with fringe and coffee stains used to portray grime and deterioration, whereas their clean counterparts reflect a healthier character, whilst still able to unify the cast amidst similar hues and designs.
John Proctor (Ben Marshall) filled the stage completely with a powerful yet commanding voice. Although Marshall lacked a microphone, he was able to project speech and movements in a way that saturated the atmosphere with emotion, heightening feelings of tension and terror present in each scene. Marshall�s depiction was not only emphatic but also appeared genuine, shaky breaths and trembling fingers portrayed an authentic reenactment.
Abigail Williams (Keri James) ingeniously embodied her character even in scenes where she wasn't the spotlight. James displayed subtle actions such as biting her nails or toying with her hair in the shadows, never breaking character even when her presence was slight. Her range throughout the performance led to multiple interpretations of her character, her classic villainous greed to the embodiment of a victim was able to change the mood of a scene, in ways a lacking performance could not. James brilliantly shifted from villain to victim so freely, adding to the potency of her portrayal and raising the quality of the production.
From powerful voices to soft murmurs, Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible� was the witch hunt of a lifetime.
by Arya Sodhi of University
Witchcraft, Lies, and Hysteria In Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible�
When reading books and selling pigs means the noose, and the only way out is to confess to false sins, Huntington Beach High School�s �The Crucible� unravels a gripping tale of lies, power, and the fight for the truth.
Striding in with her chin raised high is Abigail Williams (Keri James), who carries a tangible air of lecherous confidence. As she wrenches hair and throws girls to the ground, snarls and gritting teeth twisting her features, James conveys the character�s vengeful and manipulative nature with unparalleled authenticity. Sickly sweetness radiates from her as she runs her fingers over Proctor�s clenched fist, and when her advances are rejected, her glare grows bitter in a display reminiscent of a petulant, resentful child�s tantrum.
With conviction in every step, John Proctor (Ben Marshall) commands the stage. From his furious declaration of God�s death, to the desperate yells for his name, emotion bursts through his rough and powerful vocals. In contrast, Elizabeth Proctor (Angelina Russo) wields power in her silence, with Russo�s reserved body language and gentle tone gradually giving way to a rebellious display of defiant looks and tight-lipped grimaces. Together, the two create a captivatingly tragic dynamic.
As painted wooden floorboards spill into the audience, set (Zoe Carser, Marci Gigiello) utilizes the intimate nature of the thrust stage, and immerses with close placements of rustic tables, chairs, and benches. The minimalistic design also allows for flexibility between scenes, with the wooden beams looming over the stage being the one consistent motif in their towering presence.
Props (Jadyn Wilson, Isabelle Bolton, Daylen Ellis) are layered in amongst the set pieces� Quills resting on tables, rifles hung by walls � and further the immersion with their realism. This especially shines in the usage of real dough, which Elizabeth kneads as the Proctor house descends into dead silence.
Lighting (Kady Morton) only adds to the tense atmosphere of the show. The usage of colour and intensity is masterful�In a scene of interrogation, yellow angled downlight casts jarring shadows over the actor�s features, creating an ominous, yet godly essence on stage. Tension ripples with the accompaniment of sound (Audrey Cone), whether that be through a lingering buzzing ambience of crickets, or the foreboding deep thumps before climatic moments.
With a superb cast and tech, Huntington Beach High School�s �The Crucible� is a riveting showcase of overwhelming talent.
by Cherry Xue of University
Which Witch to Trust at Huntington Beach�s The Crucible
A classic story of the consequences of mass hysteria, The Crucible follows the events of Salem, Massachusetts in the year 1692 as its citizens descend into a paranoid witch hunt. Fingers are pointed, backs are stabbed, and trust is broken as the townspeople are presented with a life-or-death choice: convict or be convicted.
Ian Richards brings an incredibly convincing portrayal of the elderly Giles Corey to the stage. With every motion, he is accompanied by a hobbled walk and an invisible burden that never seems to leave his shoulders. Richards� precise physicality wonderfully illustrates the character�s weariness and age, especially as he becomes more desperate and tired later in the show.
Talia Holloway achieves the feat of simultaneously evoking sympathy and resentment as John Proctor�s deceitful maid, Mary Warren. With reluctant glances and downcast eyes, she creates an air of both connivance and shame. As her gaze stays glued to the floor, her distressed facial expressions do an excellent job of externally displaying the internal moral struggle she faces.
Thrashing and wildly contorting in her bed, Serenity Britton as Betty Paris howls blood-curdling screams, her crazed eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets�only just as quickly to exit her hysteric state and fall back unconscious. The stark contrast of Britton�s maniacal shrieks to her meek sleep successfully illustrate the double-sidedness that resides beneath her shy exterior.
Costumes by Zoya Sanati, Kennedy Watkins, Laney Laughlin, and Rachel Carlton are splendors of seventeenth-century Puritan attire. Each actor is clad in realistic Puritan outfits, some sporting buckle hats and others sporting clean, white bonnets. The authenticity of the character�s clothing immerses the audience even more into the story, providing for a more convincing presentation. When Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Proctor, and James Proctor are released from their cells, their crisp clothing is dirtied and tattered. The deterioration of the clothing effectively demonstrates the passage of time and the harsh conditions of the incarcerated.
Props by Jadyn Wilson and Jillian Baker were an excellent addition to the production, whether it be a lantern casting eerie light or a real batch of dough that Elizabeth kneads whilst conversing with her husband, they always effectively incorporated intricacy and depth to the scene.
Huntington Beach�s production of The Crucible is an impressive combination of dramatic and technical theater that is sure to leave audiences spellbound!
by Grayce Burke of University
�The Crucible� At HBHS Sets Fire to Trust and Truth
In the unforgiving Puritan world of Salem, Massachusetts, young girls are plagued by visions, old women are hanged, and a perpetual witch hunt has erupted. In this relentless town, there is only one way to salvation: a complete and utter admission of guilt. Huntington Beach High School�s riveting rendition of �The Crucible� exposes the inherent hypocrisy sewn into human nature and the haunting conflict between choosing survival or choosing the truth.
Ben Marshall is a force as John Proctor, with his emotive physicality and vocal inflection. Marshall captivates the stage as he inhales with shaking breaths and reached to the sky with grasping hands, body drawn taut and abdomen trembling in desperation. As he stands atop a chair, proclaiming the deceit of the people who surrounded him, Marshall�s arms extends upwards and eyes pierce the darkness, looking but not seeing, communicating his sonorous anguish and profound frustration towards the city of Salem.
Keri James stuns as Abigail Williams, with her consistent body language and expressive voice. James�s physicality is constant, down to the interstitial moments�always brooding and rubbing her hands together in apprehensive habit, even when her character faded into the background. As James leads her friends in a destructive tangent towards Talia Holloway�s meek Marry Warren, James throws her body around in a ragdoll-like stint of possession, arms crazed and twitching in the air and abdomen thrashing back and forth, acting in false agony and accusing the cowering Holloway of demonic witchcraft. The juxtaposition of James�s wicked grins and Holloway�s skittish nature created a dynamic that demonstrated a yearning for acceptance, regardless of consequence: an uncomfortably familiar theme in a terrifyingly human production.
Sound by Audrey Cone is executed impeccably. The show opened in a cacophony, ringing out like nails on a chalkboard, creating a bewildering and enigmatic tone that persisted throughout the remainder of the production. When combined with the stage management team, the two elements worked together to complete all sound cues in a clean and timely manner.
Lighting by Kady Morton is masterful. The lighting design waned in and out in deep blues and soft yellows, setting the mood for each scene effectively. Each lighting choice was appropriate and added to the emotions of the characters.
In a petrifying exposure of the human tendency for self-salvation, Huntington Beach prompted unequivocal hysteria in their gripping production of �The Crucible�.
by Halle Ewing of University
False Accusation Ruined Life in Huntington Beach�s �The Crucible�
When a girl suddenly falls unconscious in Salem, the whole town falls into mass hysteria. Wrong becomes right, evil becomes good, and neighbors turn on each other in a game where survival is their only goal.
Upon entering the thrust configuration theater, a minimalistic set, designed by Zoe Carser and Marci Gigiello, stands proudly against a forest backdrop. Wooden structural frame makes up the entirety of the background and a triangular rooftop finishes the set. A wooden bed is arranged center stage, and beside it, a desk is decorated with feather pens, papers, and books. This simple yet effective design portrays the interior of a house and allows different furniture to demonstrate various locations throughout the show.
In the bed, Betty Paris (Serenity Britton) shot up mid-speech with a wild and vacant glance, her eyes glossing over as people around tried to shake her awake. A miserable and agonizing screen escapes her lips as her body lurchs forward. The strong physicality of Britton conveys procession. Through sharp and controlled movement, each twist of the arm feels as if a devil has surpassed the girl.
The collaboration of lighting (Kady Morton) and sound (Audrey Cone) brings together an ominous feeling when Betty and Abigail begin calling out names, proclaiming those women to be associated with witchcraft. Loud booming thumps fill the room through carefully placed speakers to allow the sound to fill every corner of the space. Dim, pale yellow lighting, as well as a small amount of scarlet, lit the stage; providing support to the characters� sense of fear and foreshadowing the impending doom Betty and Abigail have brought upon the town. The association of red with power and yellow with confidence signifies the two girls� belief that they have become puissant individuals.
When Elizabeth Proctor (Angelina Russo) appears, her concern for John Proctor (Ben Marshall) and the familiarity she shows doing mundane tasks, like hanging up his coat, establishes their relationship as husband and wife. Russo and Marshall play off each other�s energy splendidly and through intentional pauses, they are able to make a silence feel awkward, as though there is a thick layer of tension in the air.
Through expressive acting and deliberate design choices, Huntington Beach High School�s �The Crucible� tests loyalties and demonstrates the lengths people are willing to go to preserve their reputation.
by Kimberly Tsai of University
Huntington Beach�s The Crucible Creates a Chilling Chronicle
Betty Parris (Serenity Britton) lays in bed. Suddenly, Britton grasps her hands towards the ceiling and releases a hoarse scream from her chest. The characters surrounding her pull her back, beginning to speak in rushed, horrified voices. A question shifts through their conversations: what has affected Betty Parris, or rather, who?
Huntington Beach High School�s The Crucible retells the unforgettable backstory of the famed town of Salem, Massachusetts. Accusations of witchcraft spread like wildfire among Salem�s townspeople, but what begins as a frightening tale results in an equally riveting plot revealing the unseen layers of a society�s true nature and its result on individual lives.
Acting by John Proctor (Ben Marshall) is hauntingly memorable. Marshall bellows his voice into the space before him with angry intensity, spreading his arms apart while standing atop a chair. His words are shocking, filling the theater with an air of tension.
Collin Higgins as Deputy-Governor Danforth commands the stage in Act 2 with stubborn intensity. Higgins cranes his neck and twists his head to scowl with a scrunched nose and tight corners of the mouth. Scoffing before angrily and disdainfully enunciating his words, Higgins rolls his eyes and uses large, forceful hand gestures that all but push into the characters around him.
Trembling upstage from Danforth is Mary Warren (Talia Holloway), whose terrified nature is fully emulated. Holloway shrinks behind the arguments in front of her. Below her furrowed brows are worried eyes that squint and dart on the verge of tears. Holloway wrings her hands tightly, nervously wrapping one finger around another.
When John Proctor and Abigail Williams meet in the woods, lighting paints a glowing layer over their dialogue. Matching the woods setting, deep colors of light blanket the stage as splotches of brightness flicker over them, similar to how light drips through the rafts of trees. Lanterns, used by both characters, catch the eye and glimmer in the hands of actors.
Technical elements aid in creation of an invigorating opening moment. Betty Parris�s (Serenity Britton�s) white nightgown is grayed and ripped on its delicate hemmed edges, and her disheveled hair creates a frizzy mane around her face.
The Crucible at Huntington Beach High School uses engaging acting and impressive technical elements to create a captivating retelling delving into the ignored yet fascinating elements of life as we know it.
by Reinina Zhang of University
Tempers Hot as Liquid Steel at Huntington Beach�s The Crucible
�Betty? Betty!!� A girl shrieks as she watches her cousin writhe in bed, head snapping up to reveal crazed eyes as she calls out for her mama, leaping forward with frightening determination. �Witchcraft,� the townspeople speculate, their whispers soon spreading like wildfire as the town of Salem is overcome with hysteria. With dozens of women shackled for their dealings with the devil and the accusers showing no signs of letting up, anger and tragedy plague the community.
Ben Marshall as John Proctor leads the show with immense strength and range. He holds Elizabeth (Angelina Russo) softly in moments of tenderness, concern written across his face with furrowed eyebrows and gentle eyes, but later he boils with the fiery rage of a wrongly accused man doomed to hang, stepping onto a chair to roar his final words, his voice laden with anger, guilt, and sorrow.
Talia Holloway as Mary Warren depicts intense emotions and inner conflict with a captivating authenticity. Her quiet sobs envelop the stage in sorrow, as she is betrayed by her friends and hated by John Proctor. Her face is masked with fear as she sits crumpled in the back of the courtroom, and a trembling in her hands and quivering in her lips embodies her youth and her terror as she is torn between so many definitions of right and wrong.
The lighting (Kady Morton) is integral to establishing mood. Golden light spills onto one area of the stage like God Rays as the court first assembles, presenting an almost holy image, before dissolving into the rest of the space as the court abruptly scatters, breaking the sense of reverence and setting the scene for the conflict to come.
The set (Zoe Carser, Marci Gigiello) and props (Jadyn Wilson) work well together to weave the world of Salem. A simple yet versatile set of a suspended wooden house frame, plain table, chairs, and benches, and floor painted to look like hardwood is complemented by the historically realistic props, like real bread dough, a handsewn poppet, and a glowing lantern. The simplicity is representative of what a real Puritan settlement would have looked like, and while the set lays a foundation, the props dress it to individualize each location.
Huntington Beach takes on Arthur Miller�s chilling tale with prowess, and succeeds in imparting an essential warning against fanaticism.
by Rowan Olson of University