by Rozie Beverly
The night of November 9th, 2013, I decided to take an evening off from studying to attend Falcon’s Eye Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at the Harris Center for the Arts.
I hate to admit it, but I’m not a tremendous fan of horror stories or movies, so attending this play definitely had me standing outside of my comfort zone. To my surprise, it wasn’t so terrifying after all. To get your imagination flowing, I’ll give you a glimpse inside the dark storyline. The production starts in Salem, Massachusetts, with a group of girls dancing in the forest with a black slave named Tituba. While dancing and laughing together, the local minister, Reverend Parris, catches them. All of the girls scream and run in a frenzy, except for one girl. Upon Parris’s arrival, his daughter Betty, immediately falls into a coma-like state. Rumors of witchcraft fill the town, and Parris is upset and outraged. This was the beginning to a long and enjoyable performance.
Furthermore, I knew a few of the cast members and stage crew from the previous production of Ken Ludwig’s Treasure Island. Fortunately, having previous contact with these people made slipping behind the scenes an easy task, and thankfully, they were kind enough to grant me a backstage ticket! I walked in the back entrance and was met by the stage manager Jared Halsell. I had the rare opportunity to meet all of the actors and actresses and had the chance to view the stage before anyone was in the house. The stage was absolutely creepy but well designed. The creativity and intelligence that was put into the stage design was remarkable, to say the least.
I had the lovely opportunity to interview Chelsea Ciechanowski who played Mercy Lewis. I focused the interview questions around what the experience was like being a student and an actress at the same time.
As a student, what is it like being a part of a performance while keeping up with your studies?
It’s a challenge to balance school and a show. There are times when you have to decide whether your class assignment or a rehearsal is going to take the front seat. Of course, it helps to have such understanding professors, as I do. Keeping them informed of your conflicts and working with them to find ways to make up or supplement assignments is helpful.
Has the balance between social life, extracurriculars, and studies been difficult for you?
There really is no balance between theatre, school, work, and a social life for me. School is my first priority, but theatre is a close second and sometimes forces its way into the first priority position (not that I mind when it does.) I’m lucky that I have a very flexible job, but as for a social life, most of my friends are also actors. My social life primarily consists of making plans with people--even if we don’t have any intention of keeping them. That’s just the way it is. I’m scheduled from 5am to 11pm every day.
What are your favorite things about the cast and the most memorable moment you had during this production?
My favorite thing I’m taking away from this show is, without a doubt, the amazing people I got to meet and work with--from the cast to the director, to the stage and technical crew. My favorite things from the show itself would have to be the set and lighting, both concepts were concocted and executed flawlessly.
What will you take away from this production and apply towards your future goals/interests?
Every day during the production and performance period was a learning experience for me. I learned that I could be comfortable enough with myself to dance on stage practically naked. I learned how to work and collaborate with actors and technical crewmembers ranging from experienced professionals to students who are eager to learn. I think that the deep importance of developing a close relationship with one’s fellow cast members will stick with me the most in all of my future endeavors. To me, the best way to create any kind of relationship on stage, is to have a strong relationship off stage.
If you ever have a chance, I highly recommend seeing a production that the Falcon’s Eye Theatre puts on. Their productions are filled with phenomenal acting and the stage design will leave you astonished. Grab your loved one and head out to Falcon Eye’s Theatre to watch wonderful live performances!
- See more at: http://www.folsomlaketalon.com/falcons-eye-theater-the-crucible.html#sthash.1KKxXpXz.dpuf
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