REVIEW: Convincing performances become highlight of ‘The Crucible’

A price to pay—John Proctor, played by Jimmy Solis, can end the trials by admitting his affair with his former lover, the accuser Abigail Williams, played by Miriam Menendez, but it would mean sullying his own reputation in the process. CN/ Vicky Nguyen

By Gustavo Buenrostro

The Theater Arts Department delivers a great interpretation of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” with fantastic performances by East Los Angeles College students.

The story is about a small town believing that some residents are being influenced by the devil and performing witchcraft. 

However, all of these accusations of people conspiring with the devil are made by a group of girls who say they were possessed by the devil  but saw the light of God.

The story is full of hypocrisy and lies that is committed by most of the characters in the play. 

In terms of story, nothing much is really changed for the play. However, for the play, there is a minimal set with a few chairs, benches and wooden beams. 

The actors set up the scene telling the audience where they are and if any time has passed from the last scene. It’s enough to let the audience know what’s going on.

The background changes color to tell when a scene has changed to a different location. 

The actors’ performances are the highlight of the play. 

The actors did an amazing job at conveying emotions, whether it was fear or anger. 

The main characters that carry the story forward are Abigail Williams, played by Miriam Menendez, and John Proctor, played by Jimmy Solis. 

Both Menendez and Solis are great in their roles. The anger Solis had in certain scenes could be felt, and the concern he showed for his wife, played by Gabriela Mendoza, was very convincing. 

Menendez perhaps has a harder role because she had to play a character that puts up an act. 

She plays the sweet, innocent girl in one scene and then plays a lying, manipulative one in the next. 

All the actors do a great job. It is very easy to become immersed in the play. 

There are moments during the May 18 performance where mistakers were made. Whether it’s slip up of words or something falls off of the chair, the actors do a good job at playing it off that it can be seen as intentional. 

The pamphlet audiences receive when they enter the Black Box Theater says a lot of the decisions made on stage are done by the actors. 

The small choices they make is what makes every performance of the play different.

The play, however, is not a contemporary interpretation of “The Crucible” like Kelley Hogan said it would be in “‘The Crucible’ to be timeless at ELAC theater.”  

It is still set in the time period the book takes place in with no change in dialogue or wardrobe. 

Some people may have expected it to be a more modern interpretation. If that’s the case, they may be somewhat disappointed. 

“The Crucible” is another great play put on by the ELAC Theater Arts Department, and a lot of that has to do with the actors, the crew and the director of the play,  Hogan. 

The play will run on Friday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. 

The admission fee is $10 if the ticket is bought beforehand. It’s $12 if bought at the door. 

If one has never been to a play before, “The Crucible” is definitely a good one to start off with. 

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