Almost everyone knows of the Salem Witch Trials. In the 1690s, several women and some men were accused of performing witchcraft for the causes of illnesses and deaths. They have been the inspiration for several fairy tales and stories for centuries now. And thus, is how the script for The Crucible came about. The Crucible is a dramatized play written by the playwright Arthur Miller which centers around the beginning of the infamous witch trials. The story follows through the events of Preacher Parris and his daughters, one of which who had fallen ill; Tituba, the slave, being the one to blame for witchcraft.
“Historically, it’s a major piece of American theatre,” theatre teacher Reid Conrad said. “I think it still is relevant today because we’re so divisive in our feelings and our beliefs and this play really points that out. One group empowered and overrun another group that be might be minority or have less power.”
Starting January 22, the Titan Theatre performed the play throughout the week for students and parents. They were excited for the audience to see the hard work and dedication they put into the production. Yet, there was a lot more to the play than meets the eye.
“It is his [Mr.Conrad’s] last performance and we’re really excited about it,” junior Lucas Laguer, who played the role of Marshal Willard, said. “It’s a lot of the seniors last play because they’re going to go on to direct some of the one acts later on. They’re really excited. It’s kinda sad because it’s ending now.”
With a career of teaching theatre for the past 27 years, this school year is Conrad’s last year of teaching. This made this blackbox performance all the more special.
“[I’ve been teaching here] since the school first opened,”Conrad said. “It’s my ninth year.”
Conrad has been a stupendous teacher for a variety of reasons; teaching students new things every day, being there for them, and just helping them when he can. Several of his students, especially those that have had him for years, are treasuring these next few months with him.
“I’m going to miss Conrad the most,” senior Ashley DaSilva, who played Mary Warren, said. “I’ve spent my four years of high school with him and we’ve grown so close. When I was nine, my dad passed away. Conrad has always been a father figure to me. He’s always teaching his classes new and exciting things that I’ll always need to use…With theatre the learning never stops.”
The play has been hard work for the cast both on stage and backstage to prepare for. But when the time came for the performance, they were ready.
“It’s been a really tough performance,” Laguer said. “We deserve credit not just to the actors, but to the people behind set. I know, I’ve been also the set boss. I’ve been working with my other set boss and some of the people behind doing lights and stuff and costumes. We put a lot of work into it and I hope everyone’s proud of what they’ve done.”
Emotions were on display for the audience to observe throughout the performance. The cast showcased their diligent acting skills.
“I’d say that it’s such a really powerful, emotional play, and the way the set is in between the stands, it’s really impressive because you see every facial expression that the actors have. Every action they take is clearly visible which is really amazing,” senior Dexter Gilmore, who played the role of Ezekiel Cheever, said
With The Crucible being the last blackbox performance for Conrad and the seniors, it is safe to say that it was memorable. Not only will it go down in Titan theatre history, but in the hearts of everyone involved.
“I’m just amazed at what the cast has done,” Conrad said. “Every scene for me is fun to watch, to see what they’ve accomplished. There are moments when the stage explodes with emotion and action, it’s very cool…I love them [seniors], and I appreciate everything they’ve done for Titan Theatre.”