20 April 2008

Kanawha Players: The Crucible

The Kanawha Players' production of The Crucible at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre last night was easily one of the best performances I've seen in Charleston, WV.

As the last production of the current season before the grand opening of KP's new theatre on Beauregard Street, The Crucible featured many veteran community performers along with elementary, high school, and college students.

I had never read the entire Arthur Miller play, but had seen enough interpretations of the basic story outline in TV shows and movies to understand the crux of the story: a group of young girls condemn adult women with whom they find disfavour as witches during the Salem Witch Trials of the 15th Century. The dramatized version on a live stage proved to be unsettling and unnerving--the author's and director's intent.

Artistic Director Deborah Haught and Technical Director Greg Morris (with whom I was privileged to have shared a stage before) did wonders with what proved to be a phenomenal cast of actors and technical crew. The set was very well designed, complete with a fireplace descending from the rafters, rising and setting environmental sunlight in the backdrop, and quick on-and-off stage props.

I was mesmerized and locked into the story, acting, and production of this play from Kevin Pauley's emotional beginning (a No Pants Player) to the nail-biting end.

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