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This Year's secondary School Production: The Crucible

Ms. Powter and Mr. Lenderking have been seen staggering around the corridors in awe of the talent on display; no one envies their task of winnowing down that crowd to a cast of 30.

The auditions comprised of some group exercises and older students read various scenes – playing different characters each time.

The play is based on the true story of Salem Village and the witch trials that nearly destroyed it in 1692. Arthur Miller called it, “one of the strangest and most awful chapters in history”. That said, it has long been a favourite of schools and universities. The play was written during the 1950’s, in what is known as the McCarthy Era – when Senator Joseph McCarthy began a witch hunt of his own, hunting down supposed leftists and Communists among artists and intellectuals in the United States. However, the play’s themes of how conspiracies of dishonesty can swirl up in a community are universal, as are the stories of those people who stand up against them, often at great cost.

The cast list will be posted on Monday morning and rehearsals will begin the following day with a full cast meeting and read through. Rehearsals will be three times a week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and will run from 3.45 until 6pm. Most actors will not be needed for every rehearsal (though there is a busy week at the end). The play will run in March, with exact dates as yet to be confirmed.

 

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