Curtain rises on The Crucible in Parkrose High Theater

Here’s why you should plan now to come see this powerful story presented by the Parkrose High School Thespians, starting February 26 …

The Parkrose High School actors practice a scene from their new play. A slave girl who did a little more than just dabble in the occult, Tituba (Kylie Simmons), professes her faith in God – and accuses other village women of witchcraft – to Reverend John Hale (Jason Newman), an expert in occultist phenomena.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For their winter season production, Parkrose High School Thespian Troupe 1783 is taking on the challenge of presenting The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

This dramatic classic is based on historical events that led to the Salem Witch Trials. Playwright Miller wrote it during the early 1950s as a response to US Government “blacklisting” people like himself, who were accused of being (or associating with) communists by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities, in 1956.

The Crucible is a timeless play,” Ms. Zena, theater instructor and director, said as we watched the cast work on their parts this week. “Miller’s demons were wrapped up in the McCarthy era. This story still resonates today; we still face prejudices based on a lack of knowledge – and sometimes on selfish actions based on a desire to make ourselves feel better or safer.”

The show features a cast of 30 students, as well as a production crew of 20 more. From what we saw, this should be a great evening of theater. However, due to the adult themes (but not the content), it might be uncomfortable for very small children.

Giles Corey (Sterling Arkills) looks on as Betty Parris (Shannon Webb), daughter of a not-well-respected reverend, lies lifeless. Reverend Hale and the greedy Thomas Putnam (Derek Rathke) wonder if witchcraft had anything to do with the girl’s condition.

Show opens February 26
Opening night for this dramatic presentation of The Crucible is February 26. It also plays on the evenings of February 27 and 28 – then again on March 6 and 7. Curtain time is 7 pm for all shows.

Tickets are available at the door, and are only $8 for adults, $5 for students 18 and under, and $5 for honored citizens 65+. Come early to assure yourself a good seat.

The shows are on the stage of the Parkrose High School Theatre, 12003 NE Shaver Street, just west of NE 122nd Avenue.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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