“The Crucible,” a popular novel assigned for many of us to read in high school for English classes has recently been brought to the stage in an adaptation produced by Center Stage, directed by Peter Spearman. Center Stage is a student led theater group and club that produces works directed by students. The story follows the Salem Witch Trials and is told from the perspective of the central character John Proctor.
The play had showings that ran for two weekends. The first weekend, Oct. 31 to Nov 1, was ideal for those who stayed over CofC’s Fall Break. The following weekend, starting Nov. 6 to Nov. 8 shows ran in the Calhoun Annex. During the second weekend nearly each day was sold out as students poured in before it started promptly at 7:30 p.m.
Peter Spearman who directed the College’s adaptation of the play is a senior English and Theater Performance double major, originally from Charleston. You may have seen him acting in several plays with Main Stage and Center Stage that include: “School of Scandal,” “My First Time” (Spoleto Festival) and “Euripides” just to name a few. This has been his first work that he has directed and values the experience for the people that he had a chance to work with. Spearman states that “the most rewarding part of directing this play was hearing the cast talk about the show. I purposely cast over thirteen actors and half of them were new. It was great seeing them come together for the show’s performance.”
Spearman discovered his passion for theater his senior year of high school. He was forced to do theater and decided his freshman year of college to give it another try by auditioning for Main Stage’s “School of Scandal.” “That play taught me that I loved acting and I felt at home with it,” Peter reminisces.
While Peter enjoyed his time directing his first work, “The Crucible,” he has plans to get back onstage acting again. “Directing is totally different from acting. You’re letting go and giving it to the actors. However I would do it again as long as I have the right people. I really had the right people this time,” Peter explains.
After graduation in May, Peter plans to move to Berlin and continue his career in acting. With his success on and off the stage, it is safe to say this Charleston native is well on his way to becoming a success.
Meanwhile,“The Crucible” has no happy ending. With each scene and performance, audience members were entertained and nearly brought to tears with every scene of the story the actors performed. In case you missed out, here are our top four favorite moments from the show:
- The opening scene when the girls are dancing in the forest and Betty the daughter of the minister Rev. Parrish faints is noteworthy. She is responsive for the majority of the following scene but her performance when she awakens is stellar.
- Abigail Williams, the leader of the girls is that character that makes you so hate her so well, that you can’t help but love her. She threatens the rest of the girls throughout the play to make them do her bidding, going as far as to threaten them with her “witchcraft.”
- John Proctor, the handsome protagonist and his wife Elizabeth are having a hearty discussion late one night. She begs him to confess that Abigail is lying and when he initially refuses we learn that he and Abigail once had an affair.
- The last scene was the most heart wrenching. Proctor refuses to give a public confession and tell that his friends are working with the devil and dealing with sorcery. In the end he sacrifices his life for those that he cares for, and we were definitely tearing up.For more information on future plays done with Center Stage, you can like them on Facebook or just on your Student Activities emails. These plays are free for students with a valid CofC cougar card and $8 for anyone else who wants to enjoy the show.