By Kelle Barr/weloveannarbor.com
The Salem Witch Trials took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the late 1600s – and more than 300 years later, the messages in Arthur Miller’s 1953 play, “The Crucible,” remain pertinent in today’s world, says Director Alex Leydenfrost.
Leydenfrost, and his terrific Pioneer HS Theatre Guild cast, are bringing a four-day production of “The Crucible” to the stage this week. The play runs this Thursday through Sunday at Pioneer’s Little Theater.
“The play couldn’t be more relevant at this moment, as our country is so divided and societal fears and anxieties seem overwhelming to so many,” Leydenfrost says. “The cast is diverse, passionate, and fearless.”
Isa Grofsorean (below) is a junior who tries to relate to her character, Abigail Williams, and she can, from a certain perspective.
“I’m determined to do it,” she says. “The protagonist is 17 and I’m 16. And even though she’s intelligent, she is still young and making very bad decisions [in order] to get what she wants. I’m trying to connect with her and why she would do the things she does. Even though I would never use intelligence to get my way. And to get people hanged.
“It’s kind of insane, but at the same time I really enjoy her.”
Leydenfrost says Isa is a “talented performer” who has performed in many dance and musical theatre productions.
“She is doing an incredible job with this serious acting role,” he said.
“The Crucible” marks a return to performing straight plays for the Pioneer Theatre Guild, which has focused almost exclusively on musical theatre for the past several years.
Leydenfrost, a full-time AAPS District teacher, is also a resident artist at the award-winning Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea. It was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native, actor Jeff Daniels.
Isa says calls Leydenfrost an encouraging force and inspiration for his young thespians.
“Over and over, Alex tells us that we are bringing this play to a new level and at every rehearsal he tells us that we inspire him,” she says. “And that means a lot.”
And The Theatre Guild is excited to share this production with audiences.
“The Crucible is a relentless, runaway train of a play,” Leydenfrost says.
The Pioneer Theatre Guild presents: “The Crucible”
Directed by Alex Leydenfrost
WHEN: Feb. 8, 9, 10, 11
WHERE: Pioneer’s Little Theater
TIME: 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, 9 & 10; 2 p.m. on Feb. 11
ADMISSION: $10 adults, $8 students/staff/seniors. Tickets can be pre-ordered at www.showtix4u.com
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