Witchcraft meets stagecraft

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 07:32
‘The Crucible’ opens at ERHS
Eagle River High students Joe Lewis, right, and Krisse Steinmann perform a scene from “The Crucible” during a recent rehearsal at the school. The show will be presented Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at ERHS.

The witch hunt is on at Eagle River High.

On stage that is.

The school is presenting Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4 at 7 p.m.

The drama follows the Salem witch trials that were held in the late 1600s in Massachusetts.

Every other year director Andrea Lang said she stages a serious play to give her actors variety.

The play’s colonial English language challenged her students, Lang said. But it’s one they overcame, she said, and the entire cast was off book a week before the play opened.

“They’re really prepared,” Lang said.

The show’s large cast — about 20 students are in the play — was one aspect that attracted Lang to “The Crucible.”

“I wanted to involved a lot of kids,” she said.

Working with a large cast is a rare treat, said Krisse Steinmann.

“The amount of people is nice,” she said. “You usually don’t get to do plays with a lot of people.”

Steinmann plays Mary Warren, a housemaid for John Proctor, the lead character. Proctor, who has an affair with his farmhand, Abigail, attempts to save his wife after she is one of the townspeople put on trial for witchcraft.

“It’s very high drama,” Steinmann said.

Playing a character that accuses others of witchcraft is enjoyable, Steinmann said, because she can scream at them on stage.

“You just get to let loose and yell at people,” she said. “It’s really easy to get lost in your character.”

The way the script was written is what appeals to Joe Lewis, who plays John Proctor. Depending on how the lines are delivered, he said, the show could be presented as a comedy instead of a dark drama.

“This could easily become a comedy if given the right tone,” Lewis said.

The plot should captivate the audience, Lewis said.

“It’s an interesting play,” he said.

“The Crucible” takes the stage Friday and Saturday, May 3-4 at 7 p.m. in the ERHS cafeteria. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students, seniors and military.

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