Story and photos by Erin Helms
Bluffton’s fall play, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, is less than a week away, and the cast and crew are in the process of putting the nitty gritty details together. As with any process, the details have to get picked apart and begin to look messy before they get better. The play is now entering the stage where the puzzle pieces are starting to come together officially.
The play will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Ramseyer Auditorium. Tickets are available online, at the box office or at the Marbeck Information Desk. Cost is free for students and $6 for Bluffton faculty and staff, senior citizens and non-Bluffton students. Tickets for all other adults are $8.
Melissa Friesen, theatre director, said coming back from fall break was a challenging week for all members of the play because it was the first time off-book. This means all actors and actresses were supposed to have their lines memorized.
“This is always a challenging week, as memorization is not easy, and what seemed solid when working on one’s own is a different story when up on stage interacting with scene partners,” said Friesen.
Last week, rehearsals were focused on fusing meaning and intention within the actor’s lines. Friesen said it is difficult to move on to the next step without lines being solid because without the foundation of lines, it is a challenge to really listen to your scene partners.
The important task at hand is to focus on memorizing lines in order to add the more entertaining aspects of acting, said Erika Byler, stage manager.
“This [final] week will be very exciting, as we see character development take a giant leap forward and shape the scenes for pacing, emotion, and energy,” Friesen said.
Another factor in the evolution of creating the final product is the construction. The set plays a major role in creating the desired mood and effects, Friesen said. The last big set construction took place last weekend.
Byler said they are using wooden elements for raw materials and they have used a painting technique to make the wood look more stained and weathered. The lumber will help the setting by creating the world of the play visually.
Many hands have been involved in creating the setting. Miriam Fike, graphic design major, has taken on the job of designing a background for the play.
Construction of the set and the memorization of the lines are allowing the performers to fit together the final pieces to enhance the finished product that will be shown in less than a week.
“I’m very pleased with how it is coming together,” Friesen said.