Something’s Loose on the Hilltop: A Review of The Crucible

This winter, Worcester Academy’s performing arts program put on some of its best work to date: The Crucible was a show to remember. The Crucible is a classic 20th-century drama centered on the tumult that ran rampant throughout Salem during the Witch Trials. A widely performed play, The Crucible is a play that can be done… wrong. Luckily for us Hilltoppers, Worcester Academy Theatre did it right!

A characteristic of this play that I especially enjoyed was the fact it was in the round. In the round is the term for when an audience surrounds the players at every wall of the theater. Watching the events unfold at the center of an audience works just so perfectly in the context of The Crucible. From every angle, characters within the show were on display to every viewer. Nothing went unseen, nothing went unnoticed, much like the events in the play. A clever and perfect setup that made the play all the better. 

I also appreciated the ambiguity of the wardrobe in which the characters were dressed. These outfits were not necessarily distinctly attached to a time period, which I find to be a testament to how the events of The Crucible could unfold in other forms no matter the era. 

Throughout the play, what I found myself impressed with was the skill and nuance with which the players performed such an iconic play. 

I was especially impressed by Eleanor Reynolds’ performance as Abigail Williams. Ellie played Abigail with such skill and passion that I left the theater so distraught with Abigail Williams that I attached a bit of that anger to Ellie. I eventually managed to remind myself that she was just playing a character, but she  played that character so well! 

Similarly, Samara Masiki’s performance as Mary Warren left me simultaneously frustrated with the character and impressed with the actress. Samara played Mary with all the emotion and energy to emphasize Mary’s importance in the series of events that led to John Proctor’s demise. The torment that Mary experiences as events unfold  is beyond clear in Samara’s performance.

Matthew Cook’s portrayal of John Proctor left me shaken. His ability to express the emotion and pain of Proctor, a man faced with not only the absurd but also plagued by his own guilt was a powerful thing. Much like his performance in The Sound of Music, Matthew Cook was, simply put, amazing. I am time and time again left in awe of his talent. 

Finally, Riley Driscoll’s skillful performance of Elizabeth Proctor stood out to me throughout the play. Riley was able to display the goodness Elizabeth represents in The Crucible and portrayed one of the play’s few virtuous and morally upstanding individuals in such a way that made it clear to me: Elizabeth is the victim.

While I go into detail about these four individuals as part of the play, I find it important to note that I found myself impressed with every single player throughout. The Crucible has easily been one of the best-acted plays I’ve watched in my four years at WA. 

Overall, WA Theatre’s production of The Crucible this winter was one of my favorites. I am graduating soon and, as a senior, must admit that part of me wonders how often I will find myself coming back to WA for certain events. It is productions like this that make me sure that, even in college and beyond, I will continue to find my way back to the Hilltop to see WA Theater’s productions. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *