11th May 2019
Two of the actors in this year’s Senior School Play, Arthur Miller’s American classic The Crucible, Livia Year 9 and Thomas Year 8, have written about their experiences.
Their accounts are followed by video clips from the production.
Livia (Year 8)
Acting in the most recent New School Senior Play, 'The Crucible', has been a great experience overall. As someone who has joined The New School this year, I can definitely say that the months spent preparing for the play were well worth it for the end product. Out of all the plays that I have acted in 'The Crucible' has been one of the most enjoyable.
Nobody was left doing nothing: if I wasn’t rehearsing I was organizing props and costumes with a few other cast members. I also didn’t have trouble playing my role, as along with rehearsal and costume design, we researched our characters in order to better understand how to play the roles.
The first day we rehearsed in the theatre, the cast was very excited. Things were a bit shaky, as we had spent most of the year rehearsing in the English classroom, which was very different from acting on a stage.
The dress rehearsal on Wednesday went smoothly, the lights and sound were ready, not to forget the makeup, which also helped in making the performance convincing. I think I speak for many cast members when I say that trying on the costumes and rehearsing with the props made it seem more official in a way. I think this motivated a lot of the cast members, making Wednesday one of the most productive days.
Personally, I think Thursday was the day where I really embodied my second role as Sarah Good an old, unstable, homeless woman who, imprisoned with Tituba, a maid from Barbados, mistakes a cow’s mooing for the devil!
The actual performance went very well, with only a few small slip ups! The lights dimmed and the sound effects played at the right time, and the makeup and costumes were perfect. Everyone really brought their role to life, and told the story of what happened in Salem in 1692, for the men and women who didn’t have a voice.
Thomas (Year 8)
The Senior School Play has long been a tradition at The New School. Every year, a group of students and a teacher meet on Wednesdays to attempt to stitch together a play. And for me personally, this is an extremely daunting but rewarding experience (if only because of the celebratory pizza lunch).
This year’s choice of play, Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible', was very ambitious, but worth it many times over. Set in the dusky year of 1692, in Massachusetts, this play tells the real story of the grisly Salem Witch Trials, trials in which Salem townspeople were accused of and even hanged for witchcraft; all with a group of girls pulling the strings - or, as John Proctor puts it, “jangling the keys to the kingdom”.
Having joined “the company” a few years ago, for me each year the journey, as well as the product, has been worthwhile. It is great to be surrounded by a small group of actors all wanting to make the performance as memorable as possible.
However, there were some hitches between the initial idea and the show itself. For one, the size of the cast. Compared to previous plays, the cast was large, but not large enough - sixteen actors for twenty characters meant that it was necessary not only to merge two characters but also for some actors to play two roles.
Another hiccup was the postponement, caused by an injury to the director, which was a blessing in disguise for all of us who didn’t have our scripts memorised!
From the auditions at the beginning of the year, to the drama exercises, through the months of rehearsing and the script-induced panic, all the way to the actual performance of the play, everyone gave their all. There were always lines to learn, scenes to perfect, movements to coordinate - but on the day we just needed to go for it. And we did!
I am sure we all are looking forward to next year’s play!