KSU’s “The Crucible” explores themes of power, salvation

Katie Fickle

“The Crucible”

Performances are in Wright-Curtis Theatre

Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 8 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 16 at 2 p.m.

Ticket information is available online at The School of Theatre and Dance website.

The School of Theatre chose to kick off its play season Friday with “The Crucible.”

Mark Monday, assistant theatre professor and director of the play, said “The Crucible” focuses on multiple themes.

“It explores power, the seductive nature of power — is basically what ‘The Crucible’ explores — but, it also explores the theme of salvation,” Monday said. “Salvation is a very important theme in the play and the theme I chose to illuminate the most.”

The play is based on the Salem Witch Trials, which took place in 1692. The trials were held in Salem, Mass. where 19 men and women and two dogs were hung for witch craft.

In “The Crucible,” about 20 people make up the cast, with six major roles.

The major roles are played by three undergraduate students studying musical theater, two Master of Fine Arts graduate students and one professional who graduated from Kent State.

Putting this production together takes several weeks of preparation for the scene design crew, Monday said.

“The scene designer had the scene design ready and the technical drawing ready for the people to build the scenery for the first day of classes because it takes weeks and weeks to construct what we need to construct,” Monday said.

Monday said the actors also practice their roles for weeks ahead of time.

“You just don’t pick up a script and do it,” Monday said. “It takes a tremendous amount of preparation for the actors. They have to get the staging, which takes a couple of weeks, and then the actors have to live their roles.”

Zach Hartley, a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts, has a major role in the play.

Hartley said he researched his character and uses his imagination to play the role, the Rev. John Hale.

“I can’t become John Hale, but what I can do is create a new John Hale that no other actor could,” Hartley said. “The question to ask is how can I enhance that on stage to make it theatrical and interesting to watch.”

Hartley said it’s exciting for him to be a part of the play because it’s based on real people as opposed to fictional characters, and Hartley said although the play is a “bit of a downer,” it has some humor and is worth seeing.

“Theater lives in a particular space and time, and once that space and time is gone you can never have it back,” Hartley said. “So when you go to the theater you get a truly unique experience every single time.”

Contact Katie Fickle at [email protected].