The Crucible

While many students readied themselves for the bright neon lights and boisterous music of Uproar, the Lake Braddock Theatre was preparing under bright lights of a different kind,  ending its 44th season with Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible.

Taking place in 17th Century Salem, the story centers around John Proctor and his wife Elizabeth, and the ensuing storm of witchcraft accusations which  threaten to tear apart their community. First produced in 1955, the play was written as an allegory to the American Red Scare over communism during the late 40s and 50s.

What is oftentimes written off as another boring piece of school literature was given new life on stage in Lake Braddock’s production. The leading cast included seniors Dylan Gottlieb as Proctor, Erin Rose-Coughlan as Elizabeth, Kim Salac as Abigail Williams and junior Carlin Decker as Deputy Governor Danforth, the play’s primary villain .

For Decker, this was a unique position, as it was his first time playing a lead in an LBT production

“It has been much more of a challenge in terms of remembering what to say and where to move, and with the old English syntax of the Crucible, it was much harder to memorize everything,” Decker said. “I do feel more involved with the show as I am on stage more. Compared to what I’ve done in the past, it’s a much more forward, intellectual, and powerful role.”

Aside from Proctor, The Crucible’s most iconic character has become Abigail Williams- the 17 year-old former housemaid of the Proctors. Interpreting the fervor that Abigail had for Proctor after a brief affair was a challenge that Salac took head-on

“I really like insane, mad characters,” Salac said. There needs to be a breaking point somewhere or a character arc that drives them to be insane, and it’s really exciting to draw that line,”

As with all of LBT’s show, technical components and designs were entirely directed and run by students.  Its level of self-sufficiency is somewhat rare amongst other high school organizations.

“In theater, it’s not so much how you do something that’s important to our director, it’s what you do,” said sophomore Brian Wolf. “So as long as you give him (Mr. Mirabal) a solution that fits the bill, he doesn’t really mind if you did it the way it he said he did it, which always makes shows unique.”

The impressive designs and acting was well noticed by the Cappies: a D.C. metropolitan area program in which theatre and journalism students attend shows from other schools and submit reviews for potential publication in local newspapers. They then come together and nominate shows for recognition in a manner much like the Tony Awards, but on a smaller scale. The Crucible received five nominations. In addition to Gottlieb and Decker being nominated for best lead Actor and best supporting actor respectively, freshman Nalani Mason and senior Tim Ellis both received nominations for featured actress and actor respectively.  On the technical end, the production received a nomination for its  make-up designed by sophomore Nori Carreiro. For those nominated, there’s a level of prestige that comes with a Cappie nomination for not only the student, but the school.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to represent our theatre,” Gottlieb said. “I’m pretty proud of the production, and I’m really glad that it’s getting the recognition it deserves.”

The Cappies gala won’t come until June 11th, but until then, the graduating seniors have a final showcase on May 26th, and an open monologue night on June 2nd. The end to what was a momentous year for the Lake Braddock Theatre.