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The Secondary School Drama Department Present… The Crucible

07 March 2014

The BISS Puxi Department of Drama enthusiastically invites you to our Spring production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Head of Drama, Mr Lenderking, tells us about the production and the work of the students.

Ms Seldon and students from her ECA hard at work painting the set

The play will run from March 17 – 21 inclusively. Performances will begin at 7 pm (with refreshments served from 6.30 and during intermission) and will run for about 2 hours. Due to the subject matter of the play and its depiction, we do not recommend it as suitable for children under the age of 10.

Set in the Puritan colonies of 17th century America, the play chronicles the famous Salem Witch Trials, which saw 19 people hanged for imaginary offenses in the early spring of 1691. Miller's play dives into the historical and court records, bringing to life the cauldron of oppressive theocracy, restrictive society and the fetid swamp of petty greed and grievances that resulted in one of America's most shameful interludes.

Over the last months our students have struggled themselves – fought to understand and recreate the conditions, fear and desperation of a society cannibalizing itself. Through their efforts they have come to see a period of history in greater detail and empathy, as well as understand new perspectives on the world they will take over from our generation in the not too distant future.

The students have been rehearsing into the evenings three nights a week for a few months. They have worked through the play page by page, often fine tuning and repeating scenes until they become almost second nature. In the final run up to the show they will be coming in on weekends as well.

A few students less inclined to be in the limelight have chosen to operate the limelight, such as it is. Tijn Crevecouer and Sebastian Patient have volunteered to run all the sound and light cues; Tijn has actually designed all the programming for our light board, rewired and repositioned lighting instruments and helped with the colour mixing so necessary for our "special effects".

The costumes have been made by a local tailor who has designed them based on drawings and sketches of the actual trials. The set, built by a local artisan, but painted by Ms Selden, Ms Dixon and a host of enthusiastic and talented art students, captures both the historical accuracy of the setting, but also the abstractions and distortions inherent in a story about a society so twisted upon itself.

Ms Selden's ECA group has also helped out with various miscellaneous props and costume pieces - the whole process and result is a collaboration of epic proportions and truly represents the cooperative spirit of the students and staff.

Tickets go on sale from next Wednesday from primary and secondary reception. The Crucible is open to the whole community, so please do invite along friends and neighbours. We hope to see you in the audience!

Mr Lenderking, Head of Drama