Vengeance Takes Center Stage in The Crucible

Chris Mininniti (left), Arion Peralta (center), and Emily Rose (right) in Schaumburg High School’s performance of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.

Vengeance ran rampant on February 9-11 in Schaumburg High School’s rendition of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Taught in Junior English, the play peels back the layers of Salem’s secrecy, deceit, and mass hysteria.

Originally published in 1953, The Crucible tells an adapted story of the Salem Witch Trials, a dark mark in American history. The play explores what can happen when fear is used as a weapon.  As neighbor is pitted against neighbor, the play asks: Is redemption possible?

Before winter break, many auditions took place where 22 actors were selected for roles. Making this work come to life required some wording adjustments, a lot of work, and much help from over 30 student tech participants. Theatre involves a lot of teamwork, skill, and a strive to always be better. 

While many new actors joined this production, many seniors who have previously taken part in theater, participated.  Their steadying presence, coupled with the infusion of new talented voices, made for an interesting combination.

All of the expressive performances by the many characters were very impressive. Leads Chris Mininni (John Proctor), Emily Rose (Elizabeth Proctor), Jordyn Diaz (Abigail Williams), Boris Maltchev (Danforth), and Arion Peralta (Hale) navigated the play’s dynamic conflicts.

“I think that the crucible was so successful for a few reasons. The first reason is that I believe that everyone that worked on the show knew how serious it was and how mature the show is. The second reason that the show was so successful was thanks to all of the amazing directors we had work on the show. The third reason that the show was so successful is because of how close the cast was,” stated Chris Mininni, a senior who played John Proctor..

Although the dramatic plot and characters can be enough to hold an audience’s attention, it’s always important to remember that there is much more operating on and off-stage.  The story and action must fuse with the labor of dedicated individuals who execute lighting and sound cues seamlessly.  Not to be outdone, stagehands completed compelling setpieces and backgrounds which help with the visual storytelling.

Compared to the playful and lighthearted productions that SHS Drama had previously staged this year, The Crucible allows the cast and crew to explore a darker side of life.  The play even sounded different from other recent productions. Lots of screams and sudden outbursts surprised the audiences, contrasting against simple expectations as the actors work to address the absurdities of certain scenes while also highlighting the sadness of the story. 

“The Crucible required students to reach deep within themselves and tackle emotions and events that most of them have not yet dealt with in their lifetimes,” stated director Mrs. Micheletto.  “The students’ willingness to put themselves into the shoes of these characters and empathize with them made them believable on stage.”

Schaumburg theater will be undergoing a major change, as Mrs. Micheletto is stepping away from directing after 21 years. 

“The reason for any good theater is its ability to allow us to connect – to our world and each other,” says Mrs. Micheletto. “Theater creates empathy. Theatre creates community. It reminds us of our collective humanity and that, no matter what, we are not alone.  In this theater, we laugh together, cry together, struggle together, and succeed together – never alone.  It is always about the people – and they are what I will miss the most.” 

Direction of the plays now falls to Assistant Director and EL teacher Amber Rysavy. She has already distinguished herself and will no doubt lead SHS through other fantastic productions.  

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