Walden Theatres The Crucible
Mixed Media Program 605 includes a preview of a fall 2003 production of Arthur Millers The Crucible by Louisvilles Walden Theatre (November 6-15 at the Kentucky Centers MeX Theater). It stars Hallie Kirk as Elizabeth Proctor and Marat Yerusskiy as John Proctor.
Hallie is in her sixth year at Walden Theatre and is a senior at Manual High School. Her Walden credits include The Ghost Sonata, The Rimers of Eldritch, Quilters, The Lottery, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Hobbit, Medea, and Pericles. She is also a former member of the Louisville Youth Orchestra.
Marat is in his seventh year at Walden, where his credits include The Ghost Sonata; The Rimers of Eldritch; Hamlet; The Lark; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Winters Tale; Loves Labours Lost; You Cant Take It with You; and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. He is a senior at Atherton High School.
Though this American classic was produced by Walden Theatre just seven years ago, Artistic Director Charlie Sexton feels that staging The Crucible again so soon is warranted because it is an unusually important work for young actors to perform.
There is a lot of high emotion that has to be sustained throughout the two-plus-hour play, and pacing is the key, he explains. In such an emotionally intense work, young actors have the tendency to yell and scream and emote to show that they understand what they are doing and that they are good actors. But they have to learn how to pace themselves, because an audience cant listen to screaming for two and a half hours. Doing this work gives them a lot of experience learning to drop the volume while maintaining intensity.
Set during the era of the Salem witch trials, The Crucible is famous for the issues it raises: the power of accusation, guilt by association, mob rule, intolerance, pressure to conform. But these issues and the political parallels with the McCarthy era are for the audience to digest. The actors cant push a political or philosophical agenda, Sexton says. They have enough to do navigating the play and achieving their objectives.
The cast of 10 men and 10 women includes six of Walden Theatres most experienced seniors. Using a clean and simple design, costume designer Laura Patterson created a look that strives for historical accuracy and a feel for the era to enable the actors to understand the aesthetic of the period and convey the passion of their characters.