Hard Work Backstage at “The Crucible”

S*T*A*G*E crew member Maria Mills (right) braids actress Eliana Hubackers (left) hair during rehearsal.

Photo by Lily Smith

S*T*A*G*E crew member Maria Mills (right) braids actress Eliana Hubacker’s (left) hair during rehearsal.

Lily Smith, Staff Writer

The latest show to be performed at WJ, “The Crucible”, written by Arthur Miller, is about the Salem witch trials.

This year will be the third year WJ S*T*A*G*E has performed this play- the first performance was in 1997 and the second was in 2006. The plays at WJ tend to be well-liked, but what the audience does not know is that there are many important parts of the play that have to come together to put on a show.

The production features the hard work of actors and actresses, stage crew, directors, producers and technicians. Each group has specific jobs that they are responsible for. Colleen McAdory, drama teacher and “The Crucible” director, oversees that each person does his or her job, organizes and judges auditions.

“I direct everything. We have the cast, all the directors, the production staff, the designers, the adults, the technical directors and the producers,” said McAdory.

McAdory has been directing the school plays for 22 years. She helped the school’s drama department choose to perform “The Crucible” as the winter play this year.

Before the play is decided, there is a long process that the drama department goes through.

“When we are picking shows, we usually look at the people we have and the people we have had in the past and we make sure we have shows that will include everyone,” said McAdory.

Plays cost a lot of money to produce, and the money needed in order to perform the winter play was not given the drama department.

“We earn all of our own money,” said McAdory. “No one gives us money. [We earn our money from] ticket sales.”

Freshman Paige Chase, a stage crew member, has worked long hours helping create “The Crucible”.

“Currently, [rehearsals have] been every day, including weekends, and during tech week, [the week before the opening night], it is every day until very late at night,” said Chase.

There are different jobs for each specific crew member, as there is both a costume crew and a stage crew. Many crew members work in both groups.

“I am on costumes crew, so we have sewed a lot of pants for gentlemen. I also made a lot of the set, I did a lot of painting and construction,” said Chase.

Most of the people working for “The Crucible” said that they have thoroughly loved working for the play.

“I enjoy working on the Crucible team because we are all a huge family. It is a big time commitment, but it’s worth it,” said Chase.

Another major part of the Crucible team is the cast, who has worked very long hours as well.

“The cast works every day,” said McAdory. The cast and crew usually rehearse for a couple hours after school 2 days each week. During hell week, or the week before opening night, however, they rehearse for up to 8 hours each day.

Senior Bradley Stein, who is playing John Proctor, one of the leads in the show, said he likes a lot of the elements of working with “The Crucible” lineup.

“So many other people have worked on this show besides myself. This could not be as good as it is without the hard work and dedication of the other cast, crew and production staff members,” said Stein.

“The Crucible” team is very close-knit.

“I love spending time with my fellow cast and crew members. All of S*T*A*G*E is one big family, and we remain close to one another,” said Stein.

For the cast, there were lots of practices and auditions completed in order to produce an impressive play.

“I have spent a lot of time working on my character and his relationships with his wife, ex-mistress, friends and enemies,” said Stein.

Some may think that the cast is the most important group in producing “The Crucible”, but McAdory makes sure to let everyone know there is no most important group.

“There is no group that is most important. We are all equal and I think that that’s important to note,” said McAdory.