CCM opens its 2013-14 Mainstage Series with an intensely physical retelling of the American classic The Crucible. This epic drama of morality and justice runs Oct. 3 through 6 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater, with a preview performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
Under the direction of Richard Hess, Professor and Chair of CCM’s Department of Drama, this production of The Crucible “is a post-modern expression” of the world we live in, says Hess. “There’s no fanciness; it doesn’t need to be tampered with. The Crucible was powerful when it was presented in a time and place where it resonated beyond the Salem witch trials.”
Audience members will be surprised by the amount of physicality on stage. “This Crucible will not be stuffy people standing and talking and arguing. They’re going to be running, tearing at each other, moving. It’s pretty down and dirty,” explains Hess. The physicality of the characters embodies the conflicts and moral dilemmas that they face. “It’s not a pretty costume drama.” Even the recognizable setting of Salem may feel different. The scenic design by Dana Hall, second-year scenic design graduate student, will be stark and very clean with a three-story motorized wall that moves throughout the performance.
Joe Markesbery, senior, plays the role of John Proctor, while Abigail Williams is brought to life by sophomore Laura McCarthy. Anna Stapleton plays Elizabeth Proctor. “What I love so much about Richard’s direction of this show is that one really gets a sense of the hysteria, betrayal and selfish ambition that John Proctor fights so hard against,” says Markesbery of his portrayal of John Proctor. “Proctor is a man who, because of his affair with Abigail, truly isn’t sure if he is good or evil. Ultimately, every action he commits in the play is to defend the truth and bring evil to the light, but still he thinks himself a fraud. From peace and simplicity to betrayal and the destruction of a man and his good name: there’s the tragedy for me.”
View the official trailer for CCM’s Mainstage Series production of The Crucible here.