Brewing with constant violence and drama, The St. Michael’s College Troubadours production of The Crucible, directed by Jeffrey Kennes, was nothing short of the relevant tragedy that has been impacting hearts since 1953. Within this truthfully macabre play, The Crucible’s cast tell the unforgettable story of unmitigated loyalty, the effects of inhumanity, and the desire for justice, in one spellbinding night.
The Crucible—written by Arthur Miller—centres on the unsuspecting Village of Salem in Massachusetts, 1692, where the sinister work of the Devil, in the form of witchcraft, is performed amongst five children. Philosophically complex in nature, the village becomes uprooted as everyday, more and more loyal Christian citizens are accused of being accomplices of the Devil. While the judgement of God and the law appear overwhelmingly unavoidable, the terrified remaining citizens must ask themselves; just which system of truth will prevail?
Throughout the entire production, the minimalist lighting and props done by Madeline Dawson were effective. Although there were moments of blind blocking, they were easily dismissed by the historically authentic costumes created by Gianni Sallese.
Without a doubt, the most impressive creative components of the production were to experience the real-time, ghostly chorus, and the cast effectively manipulating the stage, incorporating the audience into an intimate theatre-in-the-round.
Gianni Sallese implemented his role of the fervidus moral enforcer, Reverend Parris, professionally and displayed character development through commanding facial expression.
Accurately adapted, Lauren Van Klaveren as Mary Warren actualized her strong-willed, and violated character to the maximum. Van Klaveren successfully personified Mary Warren’s traumatized mannerisms through convincing body language.
Both, dominant within their baroque roles; Mégane Degousée, as the inflexible Judge Danforth, and Emma Burns, as the intricate Reverend John Hale, completed each other dynamically—providing much needed balance to the corrupt courtroom.
Of course, The Crucible would be nothing without the semi-sadistic Abigail Williams played by Joanna Decc, who expertly embodied the unstable child. Scrupulously manifesting all menacing angles of her role, Decc delivered a truly compelling performance.
Max Levy, as the impulsive John Proctor, shook the house with his dominant stage presence and initial honesty in court, speaking as a husband who believes that judgement is more menacing than the noose. Though at times overemphasized, Levy successfully executed the complex, emotional fury of John Proctor with powerfully driven fortissimo.
Overall, The St. Michael’s College Troubadours production of The Crucible was an emotionally complex and symbolic play, which demanded the audience to question the justness of bureaucratic systems and the duties of humanity.