The Crucible production process

Back to Article
Back to Article

The Crucible production process

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This story was originally published in the first edition of The Lion’s Tale (October 28, 2019).

The drama program is an integral part of Oviedo High School. Each year, they put on two shows in the fall and spring to dazzle and amaze the Oviedo community. But, a show isn’t made overnight: there are many steps in preparing the perfect performance.

Choosing a Show

The first step in preparation for a show in production at OHS is selecting a play that the students can successfully perform. Drama teacher Tim Carter starts by selecting a show he feels his students will perform well in. This year, he decided on “The Crucible.”

“It was hard to make a decision because it’s a really hard piece, but I know the kids can do it because we’ve done hard shows in the past,” Carter said. “I figured that we can tackle this one as well.”

“The Crucible” is a play written by Arthur Miller in 1953. The age of the play made learning and understanding the show difficult for some students.

“It has been hard at times. The kids who haven’t read it have a hard time understanding what it’s actually saying,” said Carter. “I’ve read it over and over myself. I’ve seen it done, so I knew I could explain to them whatever they needed to learn.”

Once the play is selected, Carter’s next step was to gain rights to the play. Carter began the process last year, and paid for the rights in preparation for this year’s production.

After gaining rights to the play, Carter said his next step was holding auditions to choose just the right actors for each part.

Auditions

The audition process varies from student to student. For some students who take a theater class, like senior Michael Figueroa, auditions were held in class.

“We read a scene, that was in the back of the book that is normally cut from the play because it’s a little bit of discontinuity,” Figueroa explained. “Two people would go up at a time, male and female, [and] read out the roles.”

With auditions comes the uncertainty of landing a desired role. For junior Katherine Cline, who plays one of the “The Crucible” main characters Elizabeth, her experience in theater influenced her doubts.

“Last year was my first year in the play, so I didn’t think I was going to get a big part in this,” Cline said. “But then I actually did.”

However, for students with more experience in the theater program, auditions are less stressful and more routine. Junior Tyler Wampole has been taking theater at OHS for a few years and will play Reverend Parris in “The Crucible.”

“I’ve been taking Mr. Carter’s class for a couple of years now and I’ve done some of the plays here in the past, so that’s why I decided to try out just because I’ve had experience,” Wampole said.

Experience in theater classes is a major influencer in landing a part. Carter said he often feels more comfortable casting students he’s worked with in the past.

“I have to say that usually I do it by people I met and that I know, but I do cast new people,” Carter explained. “But this time, we have several new people in the cast because it’s a new show.”

Rehearsals 

Rehearsals play a crucial part in preparation for a play. Actors in “The Crucible” rehearse after school every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; along with the occasional Saturday dress rehearsal.

“Essentially we read through the plays. We have Carter on the sidelines doing our blocking, making sure we know where we need to be doing, making sure we convey the proper emotion,” Figueroa said. “It allows us to get more into character and really understand the emotions that we’re supposed to be feeling.”

Rehearsals are held in Carter’s room and in the auditorium. Students practice lines and blocking with Carter while others practice scenes on the stage in the auditorium.

“With the blocking, we know where to go on the stage and it helps us memorize our lines better,” Cline said.

While rehearsals help with memorizing, most actors practice lines outside of school as well. Each student has a different method, from rereading the book to recording lines and saying them back. For sophomore Cameron Carter, who plays Reverend Hale, using his cell phone to record his lines helps him memorize.

“I go over my lines. I use my phone. I basically record the lines before mine and then say mine,” said Carter. “I think it helps the most to memorize your lines, especially if you have a lot of them.

“The Crucible” will open on Nov. 15 with a performance at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. There will be two additional performances on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the OHS drama department or at the door of each performance.