The Antaeus Company, L.A.’s multiple award-winning classical theater company, presents an untraditional staging of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” Armin Shimerman and Geoffrey Wade co-direct the fully partner-cast production through July 7, 2013.
Set in 1692 and written in reaction to the McCarthyism that gripped America in the 1950s, Miller’s parable of mass hysteria offers a frightening depiction of what can happen when fear clouds fact and reason is replaced by blame. The Antaeus production aims to highlight the play’s universal and timeless themes, so it is not being performed in period dress or on a naturalistic set. The concept originated in a ClassicsFest reading last summer.
“When we presented ‘The Crucible’ for ClassicsFest, the actors were facing forward with their scripts, connecting through the audience, as it were, rather than looking at each other,” explains Wade. “Audience members told us they felt they heard the story much more clearly, and their reaction was so strong and so positive that we decided to do a full production of the play that would incorporate elements of that presentational style. The idea is that this is a company of actors who have come together to tell the story. Our approach lets the story emerge without anchoring it in a specific time period.”
“We’re deconstructing it, tackling it from a more theatrical point of view,” says Shimerman. “The ‘life force’ of Antaeus is a group of actors getting together to investigate a play. The thrust of this production is that it’s not just ‘The Crucible’ – it’s the Antaeus Company doing ‘The Crucible’”
Members of ensemble include Bo Foxworth and Christopher Guilmet sharing the role of John Proctor; Kimiko Gelman and Devon Sorvari as Elizabeth Proctor; Ann Noble and John Prosky doubling as Reverend Hale; John Allee and Joe Delafield as Reverend Parris; Eva Beebe and Ranya Jaber as Betty Parris; Marcia Battise and Saundra McClain as Tituba and Judge Hathorne; Rhonda Aldrich and Lily Knight as Ann Putnam; Stephen Mendel and Stoney Westmoreland as Thomas Putnam; Fran Bennett and Dawn Didawick as Rebecca Nurse; William C. Mitchell and Joseph Ruskin as Francis Nurse; Steve Hofvendahl and Philip Proctor as Giles Corey; James Sutorius and Reba Waters Thomas as Deputy Governor Danforth; Nicole Erb and Kate Maher as Abigail Williams; Shannon Lee Clair and Alexandra Goodman as Mary Warren; Morgan Marcell and Rachel Berney Needleman as Mercy Lewis; Jim Kane and R. Scott Thompson as Ezekiel Cheever; and Daniel Dorr and Aaron Lyons as Marshall Herrick.
“The Crucible” performs 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through July 7. Tickets are $30 on Thursday and Friday and $34 on Saturday and Sunday. Call 818-506-1983 or go to www.antaeus.org.
The Antaeus Company is located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. Parking is available for $7 in the lot at 5125 Lankershim Blvd. (west side of the street), just south of Magnolia. The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.
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