‘Crucible’ makes a mark in Pardoe Theater


    By Elizabeth McIff

    The witches are on trial again as “The Crucible” makes its way onstage at the Pardoe Theater, playing through Dec. 7.

    David Morgan directs “The Crucible,” written by Arthur Miller, with BYU acting students and faculty portraying the characters from this timeless classic.

    “I was interested in doing ”The Crucible” because there is a lot to say about this religious society in which we live,” Morgan said. “I was hoping the play might be something people can learn from.”

    “The Crucible” teaches principles of hypocrisy and judgment through its storyline and parallelisms to the 1950”s Red Scare, Morgan said.

    “It really is a powerful piece with a lot to say about humanity,” Morgan said.

    Nathan Mitchell, 27, a senior from Springfield, Ore., majoring in theater, is playing the part of protagonist John Proctor for his required senior project.

    “I read the play a long time ago and I always thought I wanted to take part in it some day,” Mitchell said. “John Proctor is a role people dream about playing and when I heard BYU was going to do ”The Crucible,” I couldn”t resist.”

    Mitchell said he agrees with Morgan”s thought that the play sends a strong message to BYU.

    “There is a gospel message about being able to stand up for what you believe, even if it is against everything you can imagine,” Mitchell said. “To find goodness is so important while still being right in your relationship with God.”

    John Proctor learns this lesson in the play and it costs him his love, his life, his family, and his everything, Mitchell said.

    A student seeing the play for a class left impressed with the way the story was portrayed.

    “I have seen ”The Crucible” before, and both versions were very different,” said freshman Xarissa Holdaway, 18, a freshman who has not declared a major, from Yorktown, Va. “However, the play itself is incredible and the way they put it on was excellent.”

    Through the use of imagery, the audience receives a deeper understanding of the underlying issues the Puritan people of Salem had, Mitchell said.

    “In their society, everything outside the village is unknown and it leads to their ignorance and then their downfall,” he said. “As with us, it is the things we are ignorant of that can lead us to a tragic ending.”

    With such prominent religious and political issues written into the story line, Kelty Lewis, 19, a freshman from Provo, said she was surprised how well every part of the story was depicted.

    “I always thought BYU would cut back parts of the play because it is a religious school,” Lewis said. “But they really portrayed the story well on every level.”

    Tickets for “The Crucible” are $12 for the public and $9 for students through the Fine Arts ticket office.

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