2019Thecrucible Qand Ahero

Arts

Announcing the Winter Play Production of “The Crucible”

This year, The Northwest School Theatre Department is proud to present the production of Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible, in February 2020. We sat down for a brief conversation with co-directors (and theatre teachers) Ellen Graham and Solomon Davis about the upcoming production and what they hope the students can learn from the play.

There are so many plays to choose from for a production. How did you settle on The Crucible?

EG: The Crucible is a “me too” story. It is a story about our current government and politics. We live in a country right now where people don’t trust each other anymore, and that is how mob rule can happen easily. It is great to expose our students to this play. Northwest has staged a wide variety of productions in the 11 years I've been here. To do an American dramatist who is brilliant is exciting. I love this script.

What are some of the themes from the play you hope the students will absorb and grapple with?

EG: Justice, empathy, and fairness.

SD: It is hard to point to a hero in this play, but The Crucible does focus on what a lot of John Proctor is going through. He is a character who has made a mistake, but he is trying to do the right thing. He is encouraging others around him to do the right thing, despite their lives being on the line. He believes that doing the right thing will prevail.

EG: Throughout history, you see people who are in that situation. They could just stay alive if they recanted their statement to whatever authority or power figure is in front of them, if they just said, “I’ll just put on a uniform and do what you want me to do.” People follow the moral imperative, and I want students to take away a sense of what that imperative is.


Why do you find it important to offer theatre at Northwest?

EG: Every job in the world uses the skills you learn in theatre. You are required to learn how to be a lateral thinker and pick up on non-verbal cues. You must be comfortable speaking in front of a group, and you must know how to be a part of a team.

SD: Every production has a lot of creative problem-solving, cooperation, and creativity. All those challenges are applicable across all facets of life.

What are the skills students learn from theatre they can apply now in their learning?

SD: Being involved in a production is the best introduction to workload management. We have a huge project and the due date is months away. To get there we must work together, keep track of our progress, and solve problems that come up along the way.

EG: I agree. All of that helps students in their classes. Teamwork, problem-solving, all these skills don’t just stop when they leave our classroom.

SD: Theatre is also this great place in which you work hard, but you get to play hard at the same time. I feel a sense of play is incredibly valuable in the workplace. It doesn’t get talked about much, but people just work better in a fun atmosphere. Theatre is a great blend of hard work and fun.