The Court Youth Company Take on THE CRUCIBLE
A talented ensemble of young actors in The Court Youth Company are taking on Arthur Miller's powerful drama The Crucible.
In the small town of Salem, a group of young women are caught dancing in the woods. Events quickly spiral out of control in a storm of hysteria, paranoia and persecution. Miller's award-winning drama was inspired by the real-life events of the 1692 Salem witch trials and written during the rise of McCarthyism in the 1940s and 50s.
"It's a demanding piece," says Ross Gumbley, Artistic Director of The Court Theatre. "This is a real challenge for any theatre company, but the attack, verve and energy they bring to this is inspiring to see; it allows them to charge head-on into a classic text."
Director Lizzie Tollemache originally campaigned for The Court Youth Company to perform The Crucible. "As soon as I heard they'd chosen it I went straight to The Court and said 'Let me do it!'". After winning them over with her vision, Tollemache was put in charge of the 21-strong ensemble and is supported by Gumbley's mentorship for her directorial debut at The Court.
As one of the most powerful dramas of the 20th Century, the play is a classic, but the themes are still relevant in the present day. "Repression, paranoia, mob mentality, the power sex can have - these are all things that are going on with young people. Everything you do now is documented online - everyone can see and talk about the things you're doing; much like the small village community that exists within The Crucible," says Tollemache.
As well as being an exciting opportunity to perform at The Court, this is also an opportunity to learn and stretch creative young minds. Education Manager Rachel Sears says, "I'm excited by the ensemble approach Lizzie has taken. She has focused on storytelling and creating dynamic atmospheres using acapella sounds, music and effects - almost like a live film score. This utilises the strong company dynamic we've been building this year."
Tollemache is thrilled with how the cast have tackled the demands of the play. "We can shy away from putting challenging scripts in front of young actors, but when you give them the opportunity, they attack it with enthusiasm and vigour," says Tollemache.
The Crucible will be staged in The Court Theatre's Pub Charity Studio at 7pm on 29 & 30 June and 1 July.
Cast (in order of appearance):
Parris Sam Mclean
Betty Grace Newton
Tituba Paris Thornley
Abigail Williams Ola Ratka
SusAnna Walcott Abbi Hope Thomas
Mrs Putnam Alex Wright
Mr Putnam / Hopkins Daniel Mathers
Mercy Alice Taylor
Mary Rosie Gilmore
Rebecca Isabelle Kennedy
Giles Corey William Burns
Hale Sam Mackay
Elizabeth Proctor Alice Cheersmith
Francis Nurse Harrison Searancke
Cheever Samuel Bowler
Marshal Herrick Craig Pope
Hathorne Jacob Banks
Danforth PatRick James
Sarah Good Kathryn Ford
Martha Corey Elizabeth Thomson
Ensemble The Court Youth Company
Director Lizzie Tollemache
Assistant Director Miriam Qualls
Stage Manager/Operator (Youth Crew) Eden Cotter-Longworth
Stage Manager/Operator (Mentor) Jo Bunce
Set Ioan Bramhall
Costume Deborah Moor
Education Manager Rachel Sears
Production Manager Flore Charbonnier
Ticket Prices: Adults $15, Students $10
Show Times: All shows 7pm
Bookings: Phone 03 963 0870 or visit www.courttheatre.org.nz