A joint cast from Melbourne High School and Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School were recently involved in a production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. The cast, led by Gilbert Stalinsfield as John Proctor and Greta Nash as Elizabeth Proctor, was able to captivate the audience for an the entirety of the performer. Director Anne-Marie Brownhill’s interpretation of the play, while short, allowed for each actor to contribute his or her own ideas to the story without removing the overlying theme of the empowerment provided through lies and playing on people’s fears. Each actor showed a deep understanding of the plot and was able to convey the message about McCarthyism and the symbolism of the witch hunts for the way people were suspected and persecuted in the 50s when McCarthy was most influential. Miller’s work successfully illustrates the parallels between the series of events that occurred in the late 1600s known as the Salem Witch Trials and the events that had been occurring during the time that The Crucible was written in the 1950s. The combined cast from Melbourne High School and Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School were incredibly impressive in their demonstration of these issues and the effects that these situations can have.
Leading the female cast was Year 11 Alexandria Liistro. A shock choice for the role, Liistro understood her character and was able to portray the vindictive Abigail Williams to perfection. The seduction of John Proctor and lying to the judges appeared to come naturally in this wonderful performance, which employed the technique of realism to enable the character to be understood by the audience. It was hard to find a member of the audience who, after seeing the play, didn’t feel a sense of disgust towards the way Williams had acted throughout the plot. Liistro seemed to play on this disdain shown towards her and her character by not only the audience but also the actors on stage. She truly showed the manipulative nature of...
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