NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The TheatreWorks players at New Rochelle High School are preparing to bring audiences back to the Salem witch trials of the 1690s next weekend with performances of “The Crucible.”
Conjuring up the Puritan New England era depicted in Arthur Miller’s powerful classic takes focus.
“It’s its own world, and we just jump into it at that moment in time,” said Isabella Vianna, a senior who portrays Elizabeth Proctor in the show, the TheatreWorks annual non-musical play.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, 16 and 17 in the Linda E. Kelly Theater at New Rochelle High School, near the Braemar Avenue entrance of North Avenue. Tickets are available at the door: $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors.
Written in 1953 and reflecting an era from more than three centuries ago, the play always seems to have relevance. Senior Chloe Werner, who plays Judge Hathorne, sees parallels between the virulent, unchecked accusations of witchcraft in the play and the way false information can spread on social media in our time.
“It can be spread like wildfire without any fact checking,” she said.
Actors said theater teacher Daniel Browne, the director, has been nudging them out of their comfort zones for the show. Werner, who often plays comedic roles, portrays the unyielding prosecutor. Anthony Johnson has taken on the challenge of the lead role, John Proctor.
“He’s a very commanding type of character,” Johnson said. “He’s very passionate. It’s really helping me explore my range. It’s about letting go of ‘Anthony’ and delving into ‘John Proctor.'”
Vianna is taking on her first major speaking role on stage with her portrayal of a lead character, John Proctor’s wife. She’s committed to meeting the challenge.
“I want to really give this role everything I’ve got,” she said.