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The Curtains Close On The Crucible

24 March 2014

The drama department’s week long run of Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' last week left audiences in awe of our student actors. Some of the students in the audience tell us a bit about the play they enjoyed so much!

  • The Crucible at British International School Sanghai Puxi
  • A scene from The Crucible at the British International School Shanghai Puxi
  • Taking a bow after The Crucible

Benita Loeffler, Year 9
The secondary drama department’s performance of ‘The Crucible’ was magnificent, momentous and moving. It was also extremely thought-provoking and terrifying throughout the play.

The play was first written by Arthur Miller in 1952 and was inspired by the Salem witch trials in 1691. Arthur Miller wrote it because he was being forced to accuse his friends and other people of being communists, and many people were accusing each other for the smallest reasons, but the punishment for being a communist was very high (sometimes even death), this reminded him of something similar; the Salem witch trials. ‘The Crucible’ was based on true events occurring in Salem and Massachusetts in the spring of 1691. Up to 200 people were imprisoned on charges of witchcraft, accused by their neighbours: 20 were executed before the hysteria faded.

Chelsea Ngan, Year 9
The play was composed of exquisite acting, which was the result of the hard-work the students put into engaging themselves into the puritan society of Arthur Miller’s play, and the amazingly painted sets and realistic costumes also aided in bringing out the world of the Village of Salem in the 1691 when the Salem witch trials occurred.

Hysteria spreads like a disease in Salem as gradually, the teenage girls' fear of witchcraft takes over and traps the town in fear of the Devil. The beginning of all the chaos is simply caused by the revenge of Abigail Williams against the man who rejected her, John Proctor and also his wife, Elizabeth Proctor. 

Lara Crockart’s Abigail Williams brought a shiver of coldness to each member of the audience and Freya Mackenzie’s Mary Warren really urged your emotions to the peak of tension

Brooklyn Han, Year 9
I liked the lawyers in court, but particularly liked Governor Danforth, because he was quite a serious man. His appearance made everyone think everything is going to be solved, therefore showing his strong presence on stage. Along with the other lawyers, he dominates the scene, showing complete control, questioning the accused. Although everything ‘will turn out fine’, the atmosphere stays tense and uncomfortable because of his uncommon calmness.

Laura Kelly, Year 10
Overall, finding a highlight in this play is too difficult as everything was so impressive. Though serious and intellectual, the play is also emotionally intense, twisted and moving; definitely something you should wish you saw.

Serena Migliorati Year 10
The actors definitely took this year’s play to another level. The play builds up over the duration of the performance, creating a breath-taking atmosphere of tension and hysteria. It touched the hearts of the audience, by conveying innocence and the gradual succumbing to madness of the characters. The realistic quailing, tears of distress and the lamenting cries of the ones affected by these lies came across most powerfully, leaving the audience feeling emotionally drained at the end of the play.

Justin Lenderking, Head of Drama
The audience response has been fantastic. People are always saying that theatre is on its "last legs – a dying art form". They've been saying that for a few thousand years now, and we're still here. I see the evidence of how important live performance is as word of mouth has spread around the school and our reservations have increased for every night.

On opening night itself we had the usual nerves and excitement, but also a fairly ill John Proctor, which lent him a kind of manic intensity. The best part of all that was the way the cast rallied around and helped each other achieve a great performance, I've never seen that kind of support and trust in a group of students. We have a few tricks up our sleeves as well and the audience response to that has been great – someone told me she had left marks on her palms from squeezing her hands so tightly. It's an intense play, dark and dangerous and I think our students have more than done it justice.

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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

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