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The Crucible : an exploration of the classical mixing with the contemporary Nelson, Jessica Anne 2018

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 THE CRUCIBLE  AN EXPLORATION OF THE CLASSICAL MIXING WITH THE CONTEMPORARY  by  Jessica Anne Nelson  B.A., The University of British Columbia, 2010  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF FINE ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Theatre)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Vancouver  August 2018  © Jessica Anne Nelson, 2018   ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, a thesis/dissertation entitled:  The Crucible: An Exploration of the Classical mixing with the Contemporary  submitted by Jessica Anne Nelson  in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Directing  Examining Committee: Stephen Heatley Supervisor  John Cooper Supervisory Committee Member  Cathy Burnett Supervisory Committee Member   iii Abstract  This is the written component of my thesis production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. This document chronicles my experience directing The Crucible on the Frederic Wood Theatre at the University of British Columbia for the Theatre at UBC’s 17/18 season; from pre-rehearsal planning, advising meetings, design meetings and planning, script analysis, rehearsal journals, rehearsal process, to finally post show reflections, and my growth as a director throughout this whole process.  The first section outlines my script analysis and thinking of how to unlock, understand, and best direct The Crucible in a 2018 world with a feminist perspective in mind. The second section entails my thoughts about the play from auditions, design meetings, and rehearsals with the actors until opening night on March 15th, 2018. This portion reveals my thoughts about the play as I am making new discoveries and unlocking questions or puzzles around the play in real time during the entire pre-production and rehearsal process.  The third section includes my analysis and personal reflections on the final product of The Crucible and myself as a director.     iv Lay Summary  The key goals of this thesis were to explore the world of The Crucible by Arthur Miller through a contemporary, female, and feminist perspective in light of the #metoo movement and a global change in our society where women will no longer be silent about their experiences of sexual violence, harassment, and assault. The production also sought to explore and experiment with how a director can take a classical play from the North American canon that also is set in a particular period in history and stage it in a more contemporary fashion, being inspired by the modern world.   v Preface  This thesis is an original, unpublished and original work by Jessica Anne Nelson, MFA Directing candidate in the Theatre Department at the University of British Columbia. The research contained within this thesis concerns the process a director undertakes to direct an already well-known written play in particular connection to Jessica Anne Nelson directing Arthur Miller’s puritan classic The Crucible. This includes the process of script analysis, pre-production planning with designers and a production company, rehearsals with a company of actors and stage management team, finally to the three week run from March 15th – 31st of The Crucible on the Frederic Wood Theatre during the Theatre at UBC’s 2017-18 season, in the final slot of the season.    vi Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii	Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iv	Preface .............................................................................................................................................v	Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................... vi	List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... xi	List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................. xiv	Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... xv	Dedication ................................................................................................................................... xvi	Chapter 1: Play Analysis Prior to Rehearsals .............................................................................1	1.1	 Part 1: Initial Response to the Play .................................................................................... 1	1.1.1	 What interested me about the Play? ............................................................................ 2	1.1.2	 What are the Play’s strongest features? ...................................................................... 7	1.1.3	 What is the overall impression left in me after the first reading? ............................... 7	1.2	 Part 2: Play Genre or Type ................................................................................................. 8	1.2.1	 What does this identification lead me to in my production planning? ....................... 8	1.2.2	 What does the Genre awaken in me? .......................................................................... 8	1.3	 Part 3: Play Style ................................................................................................................ 8	1.3.1	 What does this identification lead me to in my production planning? ....................... 9	1.4	 Part 4: Theatre Space ....................................................................................................... 10	1.4.1	 What is the Scale of the Theatre Space? ................................................................... 10	1.4.2	 What does this tell me about how I will rehearse the play? ...................................... 11	1.4.3	 What does the Theatre Space tell me about the Acting Style? ................................. 11	  vii 1.4.4	 How will I use my time in rehearsals to work with this Theatre Space? .................. 12	1.4.5	 What other preparation will I need to do to work with this Theatre Space? ............ 12	1.4.6	 What will I do with the Theatre Space in how I present The Crucible? How will I set up the Rehearsal Hall? .......................................................................................................... 13	1.5	 Part 5: Audience ............................................................................................................... 14	1.5.1	 Who is my anticipated audience? ............................................................................. 14	1.5.2	 Will this have any affect on my interpretation, framing of the play, house program preparation, charge to the Actors, or presentation of this play? ........................................... 14	1.6	 Part 6: Given Circumstances of Production ..................................................................... 15	1.7	 Part 7: Period of the Play ................................................................................................. 16	1.7.1	 How is The Crucible indicative (or not) of its period? ............................................. 16	1.7.2	 What were the values of the Period? ......................................................................... 16	1.7.3	 What Period will I set The Crucible in? Why? ......................................................... 17	1.7.4	 Is the Period pertinent for this play? ......................................................................... 18	1.7.5	 What does the current day Period hold for us? ......................................................... 19	1.8	 Part 8: Emphatic Element of the Play .............................................................................. 19	1.8.1	 Knowing this, how much time during rehearsal will be spent around the table? ..... 19	1.8.2	 How soon to block the play? ..................................................................................... 19	1.8.3	 What kind of “drilling” (i.e.: conducting it) I may or may not need to do? ............. 20	1.9	 Part 9: Theme or Idea of the Play .................................................................................... 21	1.10	 Part 10: Action of the Play ............................................................................................. 21	1.10.1	 How do the characters and the situation of this play change over the course of it? 21	1.10.2	 What are the turning points in the action? .............................................................. 22	  viii 1.10.3	 What is it like at the Beginning, and at the End? .................................................... 23	1.11	 Part 11: Dramatic Metaphor ........................................................................................... 24	1.11.1	 How will the metaphor be helpful to actors/designers in understanding how to proceed? ................................................................................................................................ 24	1.11.2	 What the Change means? And what is happening in the Change? ......................... 24	1.12	 Part 12: Mood of the Play .............................................................................................. 25	1.12.1	 What experience do I want to set up the audience for? .......................................... 26	1.12.2	 Choices for Design based on Mood ........................................................................ 26	1.12.3	 Does the feeling of the play shift? .......................................................................... 26	1.13	 Part 13: Characters of the Play ....................................................................................... 27	1.13.1	 General Thoughts on Characters ............................................................................. 40	1.14	 Part 14: Structural Elements of the Play ........................................................................ 40	1.14.1	 Does the structure of the play give me a clue as to how to rehearse? ..................... 41	1.14.2	 How is the play broken up; pages and length, scenes and acts? ............................. 41	1.14.3	 How structure creates meaning in audience? .......................................................... 42	1.15	 Part 15: Directorial Approach ........................................................................................ 43	1.15.1	 What are the elements of emphasis? ....................................................................... 44	1.16	 Part 16: Design Words for the Play ............................................................................... 44	1.16.1	 What’s Negotiable and what isn’t? ......................................................................... 46	1.17	 Part 17: Audience Orientation ....................................................................................... 46	1.17.1	 How will the audience/actor relationship affect how I will rehearse? .................... 47	1.18	 Part 18: The World of the Play ...................................................................................... 47	1.18.1	 What are the “rules” of the world that this play sets up? ........................................ 47	  ix 1.19	 Part 19: Special Problems within the Play ..................................................................... 47	1.19.1	 Racism within the Script ......................................................................................... 47	1.19.2	 Fight Choreography Required ................................................................................. 48	1.19.3	 Singing .................................................................................................................... 48	1.19.4	 Special Physical Considerations ............................................................................. 49	1.20	 Part 20: Significance of the Title of the Play ................................................................. 49	Chapter 2: Journal Reflections ...................................................................................................50	2.1	 August 2017 – Preparation for School to Start ................................................................ 50	2.2	 September 2017 – Auditions and Callbacks .................................................................... 52	2.3	 October 2017 – Preparation for Design Meetings and Finalization of Casting ............... 57	2.4	 November 2017 – Design Meetings Begin ...................................................................... 62	2.5	 December 2017 – Finalizing Design before Winter Break .............................................. 72	2.6	 January 2018 – Final Preparations for Rehearsals & Pre-Rehearsal Chats with Actors . 81	2.7	 February 2018 – Rehearsals Begin .................................................................................. 92	2.8	 March 2018 – Final Rehearsals and Performances ........................................................ 137	Chapter 3: Conclusion – Reflection / Director as Team Leader or Cheer Leader ..............165	3.1	 How is this final product – The Crucible production – what I intended? ...................... 165	3.2	 How is it NOT what I intended? .................................................................................... 166	3.3	 How I understand Directing now? Truths I know about Directing and Theatre? .......... 167	3.4	 What I am going to Employ in the Future? .................................................................... 168	3.5	 This process has revealed what I will do next time? ..................................................... 171	3.6	 How I see myself as a Director now vs. when I started this whole process? ................. 172	Bibliography ...............................................................................................................................175	  x Appendices ..................................................................................................................................179	Appendix A ............................................................................................................................. 179	Appendix B ............................................................................................................................. 181	Appendix C ............................................................................................................................. 185		  xi List of Figures Figure 1.1 Group Moment in Act III when Abigail and the girls see spirits (L to R and Top to Bottom: Heidi Damayo, Louis Lin, Matthew Rhodes, Frank Zotter, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, DrewAnn Carlson, Daelyn Lester-Sarafini. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ............................................................................................................................................. 1	Figure 1.2 Act II, John Proctor with Francis Nurse and Giles Corey – played by a female actor (L to R and Top to Bottom: Tomás Balli, Daria Rusu-Banu, Aidan Wright. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ........ 5	Figure 1.3 Act III to IV, dark and ominous stage (L to R: Sophia Paskaladis, Cassandra Bourchier. Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)....................................................................................................................................................... 25	Figure 1.4 Act II, John Proctor attacking his servant Mary Warren (L to R: Aidan Wright, Olivia Lang. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) .......................................................................................................... 48	Figure 1.5 Act III, Deputy Governor Danforth kneeling with Mary Warren to asses the truthfulness of her deposition (L to R: Olivia Lang, Frank Zotter. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ............. 52	Figure 1.6 Promotional Photo for The Crucible of Reverend Parris and Abigial Willians (L to R: Louis Lin, Heidi Damayo. Costume Designer: Cora Wu. Photo Credit: Emily Cooper) ............. 82	Figure 1.7 Act I, Abigail claims to go back to Jesus (L to R and Top to Bottom: Jed Weiss, Louis Lin, Cassandra Bourchier, Heidi Damayo, Sophia Paskaladis. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ....... 89	  xii Figure 1.8 The girls, led by Abigail, begin to have a fit as they feel spirits upon them (L to R, Top to Bottom: Olivia Lang, Tomás Balli, Daria Rusu-Banu, Heidi Damayo, Tebo Nzeku, Louis Lin, Frank Zotter, Matthew Rhodes, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, Daelyn Lester-Serafini, DrewAnn Carlson. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sortes) .................... 102	Figure 1.9 Abigail reminding John of their love in Act I (L to R: Heidi Damayo, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Ligting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ............................................................................. 114	Figure 1.10 In the jail cell of Act IV, John sits with Elizabeth (L to R: Aidan Wright, Shona Struthers. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ......................................................................................... 121	Figure 1.11 Transition between Act III and Act IV (Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) .................... 126	Figure 1.12 John tasting Elizabeth’s stew, start of Act II (Aidan Wright. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)..................................................................................................................................................... 133	Figure 1.13 Act III, John attacks Abigail and Herrick pulls him off of her (L to R, Top to Bottom: Daria Rusu-Banu, Jed Weiss, Elizabeth Youth, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, Daelyn Lester-Serafini, DrewAnn Carlson, Louis Lin, Tebo Nzeku, Matthew Rhodes, Frank Zotter, Olivia Lang, Heidi Damayo. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ...................................................... 149	  xiii Figure 1.14 End of Act IV, Hale pleading with Elizabeth to save John (L to R, Top to Bottom: Shona Struthers, Jed Weiss. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ............................................................ 160	Figure 1.15 Act III, Mary Warren turns against John Proctor (L to R, Top to Bottom: Aidan Wright, Matthew Rhodes, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Louis Lin, Olivia Lang, Cassandra Bourchier, Heidi Damayo, DrewAnn Carlson, Daelyn Lester-Serafini. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)..................................................................................................................................................... 165	  xiv List of Abbreviations ASM – Assistant Stage Manager ASMs – Assistant Stage Managers BFA – Bachelor of Fine Arts DSC – Downstage Centre DSL – Downstage Left DSR – Downstage Right MFA – Master of Fine Arts USC – Upstage Centre USL – Upstage Left USR – Upstage Right     xv Acknowledgements Special thanks are owed to my parents and family who have supported me throughout my years of education, I couldn’t have made it this far without your support, dedication, love, and encouragement to pursue a life in the arts.  Thank you to the Directing Faculty at UBC for welcoming me into this program; Stephen Malloy, Tom Scholte, and my additional teachers John Cooper, and Lois Anderson - for fostering my growth and knowledge as a director, and asking the deep questions of me. Especially to my Thesis Advisor Stephen Heatley who offered directing lessons at every opportunity, and listened to all of my ideas for this production. Your thought-provoking questions taught me to always question my responses and impulses more deeply. Thank you to the Faculty, Theatre Production Staff, and Support from: • Cathy Burnett, Gayle Murphy, Robert Gardiner, Brad Powers, Patrick Rizzotti, Andrea Rabinovitch, Jim Fergusson, Borja Brown, Keith Smith, Jodi Jacyk, Carey Dodge, Sheila Langston, Mike Kovac, Ryan McNeil Bolton • The Design and Production Team: Sony Tsai, Emily Spencer, Ashley Kim, Cora Wu, Ryan Yee, Kimira Bhikum, and Erika Champion.  • John Brockington Award • Sydney J. Risk Foundation  And finally, I want to thank and acknowledge that this production and degree was completed on the unceded and ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.    xvi Dedication        To the brave artists I worked with on The Crucible. For trusting in me to lead you through this production with open and fearless hearts and minds. Thank you.  And most importantly to Mike, for the constant love, support and being my cheerleader so I could be that for others. I couldn’t have done this without you.  1 Chapter 1: Play Analysis Prior to Rehearsals This is the beginning, not the end of the thinking! What does all of this script analysis and understanding mean in how I’m going to direct Arthur Miller’s The Crucible? 1.1 Part 1: Initial Response to the Play  Figure 1.1 Group Moment in Act III when Abigail and the girls see spirits (L to R and Top to Bottom: Heidi Damayo, Louis Lin, Matthew Rhodes, Frank Zotter, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, DrewAnn Carlson, Daelyn Lester-Sarafini. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) After reading The Crucible for the first time, I recorded my reactions to the play. This allowed me to remember later in the process what the audience may experience in viewing the play for the first time, while I was mired in the details of rehearsals.   2 Thoughts from Journal: Miller calls Act I of the play an ‘Overture’. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an overture is an initiative toward agreement or action, something introductory; or the orchestral introduction to a musical dramatic work, an orchestral concert piece written especially as a single movement in sonata form. And the Cambridge dictionary defines it as a piece of music that is an introduction to a longer piece, especially an opera; or a communication made to someone in order to offer something. With these definitions in mind, I asked what is Miller creating in his audience and their experience of the dramatic action during Act I? Is it about our experience of the passage of time? Where the audience has the sense that we’re being dropped right in the middle of the action? Or that there’s no way to know exactly where this paranoia began. That when the play begins in Act I, the dramatic action of this story has actually been simmering and building in pressure long before the audience has come to witness it.  An overture also alluded to the sense that The Crucible has a distinct form, structure, rhythm and musicality to it; and that a Director cannot ignore this fact. In Miller’s description of the set for Act I, the imagery created within the reader is one of a home that is more skeletal and restrictive in nature. That the spaces the characters live within are strong, but bare, lifeless and reveal the inner-workings of this society and time in history. These are places where people try to hide behind the bars and not let the rest of the society know what they are really up to.  That there isn’t anything real to fill these structures and characters, like love or passion.  It is Skeleton frameworks where we can see the actions beyond closed doors.  1.1.1 What interested me about the Play? What interests me about The Crucible is its portrayal of gender and how if these characters and this story was brought 325 years into the future, I don’t think the persecution and   3 hysteria around some girls singing, dancing, and having fun in the woods at night would have been the horrific/debilitating event that it was for the town of Salem. The actions of these young women (the fits, accusing people in town of witchcraft) that became a beacon for truth, goodness, and what is holy seem preposterous to us now. But The Crucible brings to light how when an entire group of women are forced into strict and unyielding gender rules and codes of behaviour, and then are consistently misused or abused by their male counterparts or even other females in their community, how these mistreatments over time will lead a person to seek a way out of those powerless roles; even if that means persecuting others now so that they might have power and control for themselves.  What intrigues me is how gender and the codes of conduct that our society deems appropriate are different for men vs. women. While of course we have made great strides towards equality since 1692, we are still trapped in these western traditional ideals. And those ideal or stereotypical behaviours are still holding our society back from meaningful progress forward. This all plays into the fact that there is more and more research on how gender is simply a performance that we all choose to engage and interact with and perform daily in our lives and in society. These ideas are seen in Feminist Theatre theorists like Allegranti and Butler, and so it strikes me how we are now considering that gender is something we choose to perform through our actions, and the young female characters in the play are choosing their actions very carefully in order to break through what is expected of them in ‘normal’ behaviour to show the ‘evil doings’ that are happening in the world. It is very exciting and is something I will look at closely through my casting.  If gender is constructed through actions, then those can be uniquely explored in the theatre, as an actor’s actions on stage are a large part of what a Director is concerned with. And   4 if, as Allegranti proposes, gender is created through performance, and, by extension, can be similarly re-made or re-done, then we can actively see how a character’s gender is constructed through the actors' actions (19). Butler similarly states “the acts by which gender is constituted bear similarities to performative acts within theatrical contexts” (521). The Crucible will show what Butler means when she suggests, “gender is constructed through specific corporeal acts”, and what she envisioned when she considered “what possibilities exist for the cultural transformation of gender through such acts” (521). I hope to show how just those actions, in concert with the script and production design, shape how audiences interpret gender, its meaning and the possibility for discrimination that goes along with it.  Seeing the young females act a certain way – does a modern audience view it as wrong or right? During casting I decided that I wanted to maintain that the women actors play all of the female roles because it links strongly back to an original impulse that the young women having fits and seeing the devil highlights how women were oppressed during 1692 and thus how they sought to find power and autonomy within their communities. The females (in history and our story) lash out with hysterical fits and damning the people in town as a means of exerting control over their lives. I felt that if I cast some of the female roles with men and changed those roles to be young men enacting the calling out of the devil and witchcraft that it would take away from those initial impulses around gender creation and behaviours. The same could be said, then, for the three female actors in male roles in the play. In order to maintain that gender and power dynamic that Miller has already created, the struggle that I’m most interested in exploring is how these female characters are actually taking power for themselves. I decided to maintain the characters being their intended gender as Miller had written them.   5 This poses a new problem though – there are three female actors playing male characters. We do not want those actors to stand out in any way, or become highlighted in the performance so much that all an audience can notice is the fact that we’ve got these three cross-cast roles. This will require some specific work with the three women to see how they can lose some of their more female qualities in their movements and gestures, and gain a few more ‘masculine’ qualities. In this way, I hope those three characters will be perceived as male, or at least contain a gender-neutral quality where we see them simply as that character or position of power within the community.   Figure 1.2 Act II, John Proctor with Francis Nurse and Giles Corey – played by a female actor (L to R and Top to Bottom: Tomás Balli, Daria Rusu-Banu, Aidan Wright. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)   6 Looking at gender roles and how the characters behave in this part of history highlights for me the injustice of the Abigail, John, and Elizabeth situation. In my research and understanding of the history and culture that surrounds the play, that John Proctor, to many, is the hero of the story. In my interpretation and understanding of the script, John is a lonely, and unhappy husband, that begins to have an affair with his housemaid; a young and impressionable 17 year old that is in a position of servitude to John who, by definition, holds power and control over her. Only when his wife catches him does he put a stop to the affair. Even afterwards, he goes to Abigail’s house to look at her, ogle her, and long for her, while trying to rewrite history and make it like this transgression never happened. So, even though John owns up to his ‘sins’ near the end of the play, I hope it sparks an audience to ask themselves, ‘is that all it takes for us to forgive him; to admit that he’s done something wrong?’ He worked his way into the heart and mind of a young and impressionable youth and then is angry when she has fallen in love with him and doesn’t want to let go. That John is a tragic hero places too much blame on Abigail without any of the power and not enough of the responsibility on John’s wrong doings.  Also, while Abigail may be seen more like a child in modern times, in 1692 she is an adult, and should be settling down with a husband and having children.  That fact also changes the relationship dynamic between her and John. Abigail doesn’t have any parents and the family that she does have is an uncle that begrudges her the care and space he provides her in his house. As such, she has no one that loves or cares for her unconditionally, so when John shows her some of the love and affection that she’s missing and craving, it stands to reason that she would want to keep that in her life no matter what.  Furthermore, Abigail sees how unhappy John is in his marriage and thinks this is her chance to have the wonderful life with a loving husband and family that she’s wanted. I was   7 struck by how universal the themes of Persecution, Scapegoating, Othering, Fear of the Unknown, the Search for Power and Control are today. And that even with us being 325 years more ‘advanced’ than the community of early American settlers in Salem, we are still facing many of the same problems that they were then. The fact that these same problems were ones that America faced again in the 1950’s during McCarthyism and the search for Communists in America proves that these aspects of humanity are a never-ending struggle. It seems like we truly are doomed to continue to repeat history. We see this in how humanity tends to fear the ‘other’ in general, and vilify them in communities today (e.g. Donald Trump’s platform against Mexicans, Muslims, and other minorities in America) and how actions based on prejudice and fear are played out in the hopes at securing one’s own future, place in society, and general self-worth. 1.1.2 What are the Play’s strongest features?  The plays strongest feature is the world that we are transported into – the fear and injustice that is created through the dramatic action. The language transports us to another place where the rules run different to our own, but how similar the problems and issues they’re facing then to our own is shocking and striking.  The dramatic action starts at a run from the moment the play begins. There has already been so much occurring in the story before the lights even come up. We’re seeing the story unfold while it is already in action. 1.1.3 What is the overall impression left in me after the first reading?  We are doomed to keep repeating the past if we insist on controlling one group of people in order to hold ourselves above them. Sometimes the only help a person can get is the help they make for themselves no matter what the consequences of others getting in their path, saying no to the way they’ve been treated, oppressed, and pushed aside.   8 1.2 Part 2: Play Genre or Type Melodrama. There is a sliver of hope in the final moment of the play when Elizabeth claims to Hale ‘He has his goodness now.’ Through Elizabeth we see this one moment of hope; how by remaining true to himself John, even though he is heading to his death, can do so with a good heart ‘free from sin’. He’s trying to right the wrongs he’s done in his life.  1.2.1 What does this identification lead me to in my production planning? I must identify in the script where the moments of conflict and tension occur in each French scene and Act, because we will want to ensure that we’re enhancing the natural rhythm built into the play; building and falling where it needs to in order to accentuate these moments of conflict.  1.2.2 What does the Genre awaken in me? The material is explosive and there are conflicts and tensions running throughout the play. So how do we work with those tensions to best create meaning for an audience without overwhelming them to the point where they shut off?  Finding ways to connect the characters and the journey with the audience will be very important, because if we don’t care about what happens to them, then how can we feel for them and learn from them? Therefore, it is about highlighting the humanity within the story.  This line feels very important: ‘Until an hour before the Devil fell, God thought him beautiful in Heaven.’  I think meaning that we cannot judge the traditionally ‘evil’ characters too harshly (Abigail, and the convulsing girls) because before these moments they were seen as good, so what is the turning point for them that causes us to see them differently? 1.3 Part 3: Play Style The play’s style is that of melodrama in the sense that it is a highly dramatic plot, which is typically sensational and designed to appeal strongly to the emotions. While it does appeal   9 strongly to the emotions, it also engages everyone intellectually as we try to figure out what we would do in these situations, and how we might be thinking and behaving in the world today.  Melodramas have been defined at times on Wikipedia to mean that these strong emotions take precedence over detailed characterization, with characters that are simply drawn, and may appear as stereotypes. However, all of these characters are very particularly created, and while they do express strong emotions, it is because they are living through some life and death circumstances and so their reactions to things are large at times. It will be important for the actors to react and respond realistically to these larger-than-life circumstances. And, according to Wikipedia, melodramas are Victorian dramas in which orchestral music or song was used to accompany the action. And since Miller calls Act I an overture (a musical term), this leads me to think that this style is appropriate for my understanding of the play. 1.3.1 What does this identification lead me to in my production planning? Firstly, because the language is very structured, formal, and at times poetic, I will a lot extra time at the start of rehearsals to understand and grasp the language of the play so that the actors understand the style. This may even be something we are able to achieve during pre-rehearsal meetings.  I want the actors to understand how their characters use language specifically to help them get what they want. Thus, when the audience is watching the play they are witnessing complex and nuanced characters reacting as best they can in these horrible circumstances. This will help to pull us into the story in order to go through the journey with the characters. Secondly, there are some terrific possibilities for exploring physicality with this script. The physical stage space is not a realistic imagining of the four acts, but is symbolic. Essentially it is the context for which we’re seeing this action unfold. It is a claustrophobic space.  The   10 characters are small and being squished, pushed together, like the outside world is pressing in on them. And the outside world is large, expansive, unknown, and dangerous.   Thirdly, when the girls are having their fits, the screams and the convulsions are moments that pull us into the story with their beauty; that the physical actions the girls do are graceful and a contrast to the harsh reality of the circumstances. 1.4 Part 4: Theatre Space The theatre space will be a proscenium theatre where the dimensions of the stage create a very specific pie shape for our playing space. There was a discussion of bringing the actors beyond the proscenium frame during the staging however the only interesting thing I could envision happening by bringing the action beyond that frame of the world, i.e. to break free from it, is when they are hanged (thus leaving this earthly existence), or they manage to escape from Salem. I want the Audience to be sucked into the experience on stage, and to feel closer to the action. This will be accomplished through our sound design for the production. Visually we will keep the characters within the proscenium arch, but aurally the world on stage will come out to the audience, enveloping them, helping to pull them into the claustrophobia, fear, and catastrophes. 1.4.1 What is the Scale of the Theatre Space? It is a large theatre. This scale of theatre space will serve the story well as the narrative does not take place in a small world. It is the juxtaposition of the size and scale of the world of the play compared with the isolated feeling of being alone at the centre of a larger world. The outside world feels large and is bearing down on the characters, which makes the characters feel small and isolated. Because of that pressure, what comes out of the characters are larger than life tensions/conflicts/problems/emotions because they are trying to break free from this entrapment,   11 they are facing life-or-death problems. When people come to town from outside of Salem, they seem like invaders, forces of authority that have come to squash uprisings or behaviours that they deem inappropriate. 1.4.2 What does this tell me about how I will rehearse the play? I will have to ensure I am planning for how the audience will receive what’s happening on stage when I can’t rely on an intimate theatre space to bring the action and journey of the characters directly to an audience in order to make them care for them. We also have not created an intimate space with the audience in our stage design, but rather an intimate space for the characters’ playing space. By seeing the characters that intimately on stage together, it will draw the audience into their problems and relationships. This play will require a very strong, and dynamic blocking or picturization of the narrative as it unfolds. In a sense, I must create a very strong visual sense of how these power struggles play out across the stage. I want it to feel like the characters are tangled in a mess of lies, deceit, and betrayal on stage, and that the Audience is let in on those secrets of the world. Finally it tells me that when rehearsing this play, I must already have a clear idea of what the visual design of the world will be, with a groundplan in advance so that I can map out scenes in advance with possible blocking options (especially when working with potentially sixteen actors on stage at any given point).  It may be a very good idea to have some extra tech time in the theatre, as some of the design effects we are trying to create may need more time to see if we have made the right decisions. 1.4.3 What does the Theatre Space tell me about the Acting Style? The acting is large, and immediate, it should feel in your face to the audience and shocking, like everything is right under the surface for these characters and about to explode forth because   12 tensions are so high in this community. Actors must play the real interactions of this heightened world. There is a melodramatic acting style in the moments when the girls first accuse people in town of witchcraft, and when Mr. Putnam and Parris feel like they are being attacked. Specifically for the girls, what is charming and appealing about their outcries is that at the same time as being melodramatic, they appear beautiful, lovely and perhaps even graceful, so that other characters can believe that God is working through them.  1.4.4 How will I use my time in rehearsals to work with this Theatre Space? The start of rehearsals will be for table work, breaking down each act into French scenes. When the actors aren’t in the rehearsal room with me directly, I will schedule time for them to be in another room reviewing lines with scene partners, or one of the ASMs.  I will use my time for the following things: • Language/text analysis  • Character Motivations • Physical Actions/Movements on Stage (like the Fits and the 1692 time) • Rhythm and Pace of the Play as a whole • Dramatic Action and Journey of the Play (looking at how each Beat of the play builds off of each other to propel us along the narrative. The story points within the play.) • Blocking and visualizing the Dramatic Action/Conflict/Journey, including picturization of moments.  1.4.5 What other preparation will I need to do to work with this Theatre Space?  I will preblock the play.  I will beat out the play, deciding where it serves us best to break the act up into workable chunks, and title those beats to help me keep track of the story and dramatic action.   13 I will pre-verb the script so that I have offerings if something is not working for the actors. I will know where I foresee lighting and sound cues. I will set a small chunk of time at the start of rehearsals for ensemble building and some period physicalization work. I will speak with Cathy Burnett (movement coach) to come up with a plan.  I will remember to ask myself: What is coming off the stage at me? vs., How I interpret the play in this moment? I.e.: where is the focus? What do I have to do to create this focus? 1.4.6 What will I do with the Theatre Space in how I present The Crucible? How will I set up the Rehearsal Hall?  I want as much of the rehearsal props and set in the rehearsal room as possible from the onset of rehearsals. I think the sooner actors are getting used to movements and actions with particular set pieces, props, or costume pieces the better for them in understanding this world. This is especially true for the act changes and knowing that actors will do the set changes. Therefore, I will need the actors to know how the set will move into each new act. The characters carrying out those changes will transform one thing on stage into another, beautifully and eloquently. By specifically choosing which characters will do the act transitions it will further develop that character’s journey. Act I to II changed by Abigail, Betty, Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, and Susanna Walcott. Act II to III changed by Abigail, Betty, Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Walcott, Cheever, Herrick, Hale: this is also at intermission. Act III to IV changed by Abigail, Mercy Lewis, Betty, Susanna Walcott, Danforth, Hathorne, Parris, Mary Warren, Cheever, Herrick, Hopkins. In these stage transformations, how are things different at the beginning to the end? If the set is transforming, then what is it saying as it transforms: • Full to Empty  • Order to Chaos   14 • Realistic to Symbolic, then we see how these awful acts play out until the end when we can more symbolically express the theme, outcome, and purpose of the play.  When in the rehearsal room, I will position myself as far from the action happening ‘on stage’ as possible.  As the rehearsal room is only so large, I will need to keep reminding myself of what am I going to see onstage in the Frederic Wood. Perhaps moving around to watch from a new vantage point in rehearsal, to keep a level of separation between the action and myself by staying behind a table when working in rehearsal. 1.5 Part 5: Audience 1.5.1 Who is my anticipated audience? Generally students, 18-25 years old, with a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, as well as theatrical expectations and sophistication. People that live on or close to campus, that expect a high quality of work, that is intellectually stimulating, but that may conform more to the expectations we have for western theatre. There will be a mix of English and Theatre students seeing the show for a class, my friends and family, and the Vancouver Theatre community.  They will know that this is my thesis show. It will also be other professors, grad students, or undergrad students who have an interest in American History, the Supernatural or Witchcraft.  1.5.2 Will this have any affect on my interpretation, framing of the play, house program preparation, charge to the Actors, or presentation of this play?  I want to ensure that this viewing of The Crucible is not what an audience would immediately expect, to go against the “Crucible culture” that already exists in academics, theatre buffs, etc.  I will work to keep in mind that we are giving this story to a modern audience. What does this kind of fear, prejudice, physical attacks, and oppression do to society? We want to bring all of those different kinds of audience members on this journey together, to tell a really exceptional   15 story and have an impact on the world because of it. That the audience leaves the show and remembers it, and remembers the lessons they have felt and learned from it. For the house programme, I believe we will need some historical context given for this production, so that the audience has a greater knowledge of the history that goes with this play, as well as its’ place in western society’s history and consciousness.  1.6 Part 6: Given Circumstances of Production • 6 Men, approximately 12 Women, and Crew, all are BFA students. • 1 male MFA Acting student. • Budget: Limited as we are using school funds. But plenty of labour power. We have the most amount of money set aside for Set and Costumes, with Props next, and a modest amount for paint, lighting and sound materials, and SM expenses.  • Rehearsal space can never actually give you the feeling of being an audience member in the Frederic Wood Theatre as that theatre space is much larger than the rehearsal space.  • UBC theatre has a following of dedicated patrons that expect a certain kind of experience when they attend performances at UBC.  • Rehearsal period – first reading is on Saturday, February 3 (4 hours).  Regular rehearsals begin on Monday, February 5.  A regular rehearsal week is Monday to Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 and Saturday from 10 to 6 (with one hour for lunch) (23 hours a week).  I will also work 10 to 6 on Family Day, February 12 (an extra 3 hours). I will have full-time rehearsals during Reading Week – 10 to 6 Monday to Saturday (42 hours). Rehearsal time before tech (which takes us to March 3) is 119 hours. This is the longest concentrated time for rehearsal I have ever had, but it is for a four act play. I may have just enough time to accomplish everything.    16 • The Run of the production is 3 weeks (four performances a week) and the actors will have classes during the days.  • The Crucible is a challenge and it’s achievable! • Plan for something that’s within the school’s Production Budget, and achieves what I’m creatively looking for with this show. • Everyone thinks they know this play already. It has its own reputation, as do the Salem Witch Trials. 1.7 Part 7: Period of the Play The play is set in 1692 1.7.1 How is The Crucible indicative (or not) of its period?  It’s very indicative of its period in the way the language is written, and in it’s interrogation and exploration of the historical events of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. However, we are also seeing how many of these actions, themes, and questions move beyond a specific time period.  Our society seems to come back around to these issues on a consistent cycle.  I hope the piece will feel like a fusion of different time periods, and that this play could be in 1692 or 2018.   1.7.2 What were the values of the Period?  As stated on the Michigan State University research site about the Salem Witch Trials, Richard Sibbes, a Puritan Minister, says, ‘The whole life of a Christian should be nothing but praises and thanks to God; we should neither eat nor sleep, but eat to God and sleep to God and work to God and talk to God, do all to His glory and praise.’ Puritan laws were extremely rigid. Anything that went against the moral code was considered a sin and deserved to be punished. The Puritans also believed in the wrath of God and did everything they could to prevent receiving it. They believed   17 that the Devil was as real as God and that those who were weakest at upholding Puritan values and morals, specifically women and children, would be selected to carry out his work. As opposed to having actual evidence, these women were condemned to hanging based solely on the testimonies of others. No other group of people was more vulnerable to the witchcraft hysteria than women.  Gender roles were deeply ingrained in society. The ideals of women in early modern Europe traveled across the Atlantic Ocean with the Puritans. Women were seen as inferior beings that needed to be dominated by a male figure. Those who broke the mold were viewed as dangerous.   The basis for the Puritan’s beliefs was an emphasis on the righteousness and sovereignty of God.  This differed from the Catholic point of view that priests were holier than the rest of the congregation.  The Puritans also were more partial to the teachings of the Old Testament. (A more wrathful and strict God; fire and brimstone. The kind of God that would ask you to sacrifice your own child in his name.) Meaning they had to live strictly to the divine law in every aspect of their lives, or the threat of God’s wrath and vengeance would be realized.  1.7.3 What Period will I set The Crucible in? Why?  It is a story between worlds. Between life and death, between safety and danger, between the past, present and what is to come, so I will work at connecting the 1692 time period to our present day. This could be done by updating 1692 costumes with more modern lines and silhouettes and through a more contemporary sound scape and a set design that is more symbolic and transformative. This will help to place us in a world that can connect more to the present, as the audience’s own imagination will come into play with this simple and transformational stage.    18 1.7.4 Is the Period pertinent for this play?  Yes. The late 1600s in early America was a tumultuous time as the English Settlers had come to the ‘new world’ to start a new life - one where they were promised independence, and prosperity. Upon arriving in America, the Puritans were isolated and cut off from the homeland, fighting a constant battle against the Indigenous people of the area (as they were angry that their land was being stolen from them - and rightly so). This battle left settlers feeling isolated and fearful of attacks every day. In the name of God, communities deemed themselves better than other humans, and persecuted thousands of innocent people. Afterwards they would say that those people have been saved by their (and thus the Church’s) holy and 'good' actions that were all in the name of the greater good.  So what does this have to do with the period? Well the people of Salem were faced with constant hardships and the one thing they could hold on to was their commitment to their religion, and this belief that if they continued to do God's work, then life would be kind to them and they would see their rewards in time. However, they were constantly being beaten down by the strict rules of the church, by the harshness and dangers of the land, and the Indigenous people. They were looking for that easy answer, someone they could blame all their problems on. This is why friends and neighbours turned on each other, and people that held grudges and felt like they had been wrongfully treated could use this as an opportunity to cleanse the community of those that stood in their way.  With this information, while extremely important to help us wrap our minds around how a community could end up doing what they did, it also helps us to see how these kinds of pressures, fears, and grudges have been played out time and time again and are playing out now   19 in North America with the Trump presidency and during the 1950's (when Miller wrote the play) so he could talk about the Communist witch hunts known as McCarthyism. 1.7.5 What does the current day Period hold for us?  North Americans are living in a time of fear and anxiety from the hate, destruction, and violence occurring around us. There is for some a real fear that a war with North Korea will start at any moment. And even more recently, the cultural shift in North America where women who have been silenced for many years are coming forward to put an end to misogynistic, toxic, and predatory sexually abusive behaviour. Women will have power and safety and should not have to fear men, specifically looking at the #metoo movement, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C K, Soulpepper Theatre Company, and many others.  1.8 Part 8: Emphatic Element of the Play The Emphatic Element of The Crucible is the Characters and their conflict (Narrative/Plot). 1.8.1 Knowing this, how much time during rehearsal will be spent around the table?  It will be key to take the time to sit around the table with specific characters and have the chance to discuss the particular scenes they're in, how this helps to show the progression of their character and the journey they're on in the narrative, as well as the relationship dynamic between particular characters. I want to ensure that the actors are never at any point judging their characters, instead that we explore the humanity in all of them. 1.8.2 How soon to block the play?  As my visual story telling is still one of the skills that needs as much practice as possible, I will definitely block the production. Once a groundplan is established, I will go through the play and preblock the play in its entirety - for certain scenes even going through and figuring out more than one scenario for the action on stage. This will allow me to go into rehearsals free from   20 worrying about what if we don't figure out what to do in our rehearsal time together? My hope is that by freeing my mind from the fear that I have to be inspired in the moment in rehearsals, and because I'll know that I will always have a back up plan, I'll be able to come up with strong suggestions in the rehearsal hall.  I will divide the rehearsals up into three main units: 1) Exploration 2) Development and 3) Focus, giving approximately a third of my rehearsal time to each, but weighing my time in Development more significantly than the other two sections. My hope would be that during unit 1: Exploration, we would do any of our table work, diving into the character dynamics and relationships. With some introductory explorations on our feet to feel how these characters physically move and inhabit space on stage, as well as trials of blocking the scenes. This is also where we’d build that ‘ensemble’ feeling. Then in unit 2: Development, we'll be blocking the play, as well as engaging with the pacing and rhythm of the play – beginning to really conduct the scenes and figure out what timing works best for certain moments (like the girls’ fits), entrances and exits, or key lines, so that all of this is building to the climax – as well as keeping our audience off balance. Finally in unit 3: Focus, is where drilling the play in run throughs to look for pacing, rhythm, tensions at play, as well as the visual storytelling. 1.8.3 What kind of “drilling” (i.e.: conducting it) I may or may not need to do?  As this story relies heavily upon the tensions and conflicts, there will be conducting for the overall rhythm, as well as the rhythm as to when information is revealed. I want the Audience to feel that they can’t escape from all the problems arising throughout the play, and for that to happen there has to be a building up feeling; an accumulation of everything. As such, some extra tech time will be necessary. This will be an asset for creating the mood and atmosphere.    21 1.9 Part 9: Theme or Idea of the Play What I want the audience to think about my production of The Crucible is as follows: I want there to be hope for a better future, but that the audience has to be the one to go out there and create that better future. This could include them leaving the theatre and thinking about 1) how they view the other in society at large and within their own communities. 2) The way our gender norms and behaviours are created.  3) To consider why might a person go to such extremes to gain power and control not only over their own life but also the lives of those around them.  I think Miller is warning us against the danger of letting fear control our lives. When we give power to fear, there’s no telling what kind of atrocities may happen. Those questions and feelings are within every act of the play. That’s why it may feel overwhelming at times. The conflicts and tensions are relentless. They keep rising and more problems keep building and we aren’t given a break from all of it. But knowing that, it will be useful in rehearsals as a guide to see how the play is progressing and that I am creating that tension for the audience. To keep asking myself those questions throughout rehearsal.  1.10 Part 10: Action of the Play 1.10.1 How do the characters and the situation of this play change over the course of it? One of the reasons for the four act structure of the play is that the audience may think the madness is going to come to an end. It doesn’t. There is also a balance to the four act structure, like there is a natural balance to life but the people in this town are behaving outside of what is balanced and natural. It is the tension between the very balanced nature of the script fighting with the very unbalanced or unhinged nature of the characters.   22 As mentioned earlier, if the first act is an overture that is supposed to be the action before the real start of the play, then it’s as if Act I has been preplanned or pre-destined, setting the stage for everything else that is to come in the following three acts. It feels like the characters, the narrative, and the conflict is on a course that can’t be changed and so we are heading straight towards our destruction. The characters go from sane and rational to being gripped by fear.  1.10.2 What are the turning points in the action? Stasis: Parris taking care of Betty, trying to help her get better and waiting for an answer from the Doctor. Abigail waiting in fear to find out what will happen to her and the rest of the girls.  Turning Point 1: When Susanna Walcott brings news from the Doctor that he can’t find anything medically wrong with Betty, and that Parris might need to consider the ‘unnatural’ forces that could be at work upon her.  Turning Point 2: In Act I, John denies Abigail’s claims of their past together and her advances upon him. He says to her, ‘Aye, but we did not.’ with finality this time, and this turns Abigail against John. She cannot allow what he is doing to her to continue. Thus she will do whatever she has to moving forward to get him back.  Turning Point 3: When Cheever and Herrick come for Elizabeth and they discover the poppet, but also the needle stuck into the poppet’s belly.  Turning Point 4: In Act III after Elizabeth lies to save John, Mary Warren then turns on John and claims “My name, he wants my name. ‘I’ll murder you,’ he says, ‘if my wife hangs! We must go and overthrow the court,’ he says!” Turning Point 5: In Act IV, John tears up his signed false confession.  New Stasis: Danforth and Hathorne continue to pass judgement on the people of Salem, but the townspeople begin to fight back. Elizabeth remains in jail, the Putnams steal and claim   23 ownership over new land to better themselves, and the group of ‘crying out girls’ slowly fades away as Abigail and Mercy escape from Salem. Parris fears for his life from the angry townspeople, and many of the people in town have been killed.  1.10.3 What is it like at the Beginning, and at the End?  Beginning: Before the Play begins, there is conflict that has taken place in the past 12 hours. Abigail Williams, along with Tituba, Betty Parris, Mary Warren, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Walcott, Ruth Putnam, and five other nameless girls in Salem, have congregated in the woods, and around a fire they made Tituba ‘call the spirits of the seven dead Putnam babies’, and Abigail drank blood to create a charm that will kill Goody Proctor. Mercy Lewis at some point stripped down naked while they were dancing and, at midnight, Parris finds them in the woods and jumps out to catch them. He surprises and shocks Betty so badly that she faints, and spends the rest of the night in a kind of catatonic state.  Dr. Griggs comes to check on her, then searches for medical reasons that could explain Betty’s state. Unable to find anything, he suggests that there could be a more sinister reason to Betty’s mysterious illness. Susanna brings this news early in the morning once the play has started.  When the curtain rises we see a desperate and tired Parris that has stayed up all night at Betty’s side waiting for her to stir out of this catatonic state, leaving the rest of the girls from the forest to fear and worry about what will happen to them.  End: We see how fear and the witch hunting hysteria seized control of Salem and how many people have been killed because of it. As the play comes to a close, the only way for these things to change is for people to stand up against them and refuse to be ruled by fear of the ‘unknown’ or anyone who ‘steps out of line’.    24 1.11 Part 11: Dramatic Metaphor The Crucible is a pot of water that is already at boiling when the play starts, which continues to boil on high thus spilling over the edges, boiling away the water until there’s nothing left but fire, leaving everything reduced to ash. It leaves the space cleared away, ready for something new. It also fits with the structure of the play.  1.11.1 How will the metaphor be helpful to actors/designers in understanding how to proceed? It will align us all in a common language and goal of what we want this world to feel like and what the audience’s experience of the play will be. It provides a mood, a feeling, and the metaphor itself has progression. It’s not static and so helps to carry us through not just the start of the play, but the entirety of it. Also by being a moving metaphor, one that progresses, we can actually chart where we are in the play compared to where we are in the metaphor. 1.11.2 What the Change means? And what is happening in the Change?  The world is at a breaking point when the play starts. Tensions are running so high for everyone that all it takes is one incident to push everyone past the point of just ‘boiling’. Now the world starts to boil over. And as the conflicts between characters occur and they lash out at each other, and their fear grows, so too does the pot continue to boil over, losing more and more water so that the pot itself is heating dangerously high. The pot then starts to burn, it catches fire and burns everything down with it.   25 1.12 Part 12: Mood of the Play  Figure 1.3 Act III to IV, dark and ominous stage (L to R: Sophia Paskaladis, Cassandra Bourchier. Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) It is of fear, and waiting for the other shoe to drop; that things can’t keep getting worse, but they do. And questioning how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again. The mood changes from fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, to an even deeper and darker sense of those feelings. But I think there is just the briefest sliver of hope that starts to settle across the community at the very end of Act IV when John refuses to sign away his name on his lying ‘confession’. To see that this witch-hunt hysteria and people making decisions out of fear can’t go on forever, and that the Church, people of power, and patriarchy can’t control everyone and everything.    26 1.12.1 What experience do I want to set up the audience for?  The audience should experience the injustice and hypocrisy of everything that is happening on stage. That to live our lives by fear of the unknown is dangerous. And that there can only be hope when we accept the differences between each other and stop trying to harmfully control those that we feel go against our current frame of power and how people should behave within their predetermined societal roles (i.e.: gender, race, sex, age, etc.).  1.12.2 Choices for Design based on Mood I want people to feel that fearful mood and presence upon them from the moment they enter the theatre. If society and the church hadn’t tried to control women for so long – and men too – a bunch of girls dancing in the woods together wouldn’t have been such an evil thing. The lighting colours should begin vibrant and full of life as the girls would be at the fire and dancing and having fun (and maybe even the crying out girls could stand out compared to the rest of the characters by their costumes), but those tones are quickly squashed by everyone and everything else in the play. The lighting can also help to isolate characters from each other or the outside world to show their fear of what could be out there in the dark, or to show some of their desires for love and safety.  The music could match the changing colours as well. So the pre-show music could be creating a mood of fun, frivolity, exploration, and then before the show starts, it changes, becomes dark and ominous, and then the play begins from there.  1.12.3 Does the feeling of the play shift?  The feeling of the play shifts as it continues, because it gets darker and scarier; it is insidious, with only the briefest moment of hope at the end of the play. The mood matches the action on stage for the most part, except perhaps for particular moments when I want to highlight around how the girls/women behave in the play, and what role they play in the unfolding action.    27 1.13 Part 13: Characters of the Play Here are all the thoughts I had before going into the Auditions and Callbacks for the Characters. Reverend Parris: Believes he has a band of enemies set against him, persecuted, he is not a kind man and is disliked, and he believes there’s a faction that has sworn to drive him from his work. Isolated, surrounded by darkness, cut off from the motherland, in a barbaric place, not appreciated. Trying to remain good and holy when the ‘savages’ surround them and hurt them. Confused, lost, doesn’t know what to do to help Betty, a former businessman. In the end he is going to do whatever he has to, to save his own skin - whether that's aligning with Abigail, Danforth, or at the very end trying to convince Danforth to postpone the hangings and show Rebecca Nurse and Proctor compassion. He is at the core a moral-less man that hides behind the laws of the church and uses them to his 'goodly' advantage. • Major Desire: Wants the community to respect and obey him so that he has power and authority over them. • Rhythmic or Musical Quality: Perhaps he’s cut off or disjointed at times rhythmically, and then comes forward in surges of flowing powerful rhythm. • Change: Goes from nervous, fearful, to secure and powerful, to nervous and fearful again – but even more so than at the start of the play. Betty Parris: Reverend Parris’ daughter, 10 years old, no mother, only father, perhaps views Tituba as a mother. Young, impressionable, saw her cousin, whom she loves dearly, do ‘strange’ things in the woods. She is lost and scared, is reaching out for someone to show her the way. This is why when Abigail starts to name people that have been with the Devil she joins in, following Abigail’s example. This is a small role, whoever plays this role could potentially double as Hopkins or Sarah Good in Act IV.   28 • Major Desire: Wants to feel safe, protected again and loved - Abigail and Tituba give that to her more than Parris.  • Rhythmic or Musical Quality: Because Betty spends much of the time catatonic/asleep, and then bursts forth like a canon, she’s surprising and comes out loud and strong when she does speak or move.  • Change: She uses the power of everyone’s fear of witchcraft to go from a fearful child to a strong and powerful one making decisions over whether people live or die.  Tituba: Reverend Parris’ slave, 40 years old, from Barbados. Feels an obligation to Parris, loves Betty, has fun with Betty by sharing her culture with Betty and Abigail. She was probably taken away from her family, everyone she loved and held dear in Barbados, and so in a way has become a surrogate mother for Betty, but also knows that trouble in this house eventually lands on her back because the two girls do not want to take the blame. Parris is a mean master to her, she is mistreated, and is probably forced to help Abigail when she asks for a charm to get rid of Elizabeth Proctor because Abigail would have been like Tituba's master as well.   • Major Desire: To love and be loved. She wants to return to the family she loves so she can feel safe and whole with them again, but as she can’t get back to them, she will love Betty like her own child.  • Rhythmic or Musical Quality: Her rhythm is different from everyone else’s due to her kind nature and cultural heritage. She has a much more sing-songy voice and lines of dialogue. She is knowledgeable and brave.  • Change: By the end Tituba, while she was abused by the system she was subject to (patriarchy, racism, and slavery), she deeply defies everyone by not cracking and ‘confessing her sins’ that she didn't commit. She reclaims 'the devil' for herself and her   29 own culture, saying that the devil is friendly in Barbados and that the folks in Salem rile him up to make him do evil things. This is quite interesting because as the website Countries and their Cultures states, the indigenous Barbados culture believed more like the Ancient Greeks - that there were many gods and that the deity that oversaw death was a natural part of the cosmos, unlike the Christian mythology that makes Lucifer an evil being to be feared. Many accounts that I've come across so far for Barbados/Bajan culture state that many of their beliefs stemmed from their African roots, where tales of evil spirits and magical beings are quite common. And, for Tituba, her culture embraces dancing as a way of life - most likely from the time she was a small child, all the way until adulthood - so she wouldn't think there was anything wrong with taking the girls out to the woods, to connect with the land, and lead them in dancing.  So the fact that Tituba holds on to all of her own culture, beliefs, and traditions despite everything that happens to her is remarkable!  Abigail Williams: Reverend Parris’ Niece, 17 years old, for 1692 is a grown woman, could be married and have her own family. She was orphaned and taken in by Reverend Parris when ‘Indians’ killed her parents. Strikingly beautiful, orphaned girl, cunning, clever, sexual, and has an endless capacity for dissembling. She always has an ulterior motive behind her actions and words. She knows that her uncle has enemies, she does not want to be someone else’s servant/slave and be told what to do her whole life, she wants freedom and to be in control. There are rumours around town that she has been soiled, been unfaithful and lustful with John Proctor while she was their servant. She calls herself  “a wild thing.” In the end, she uses her uncle's misplaced trust in her and takes his money.  Before the trials, Parris probably made it known to Abigail how much he disapproved of her 'wild' behaviour (i.e.: laughing in church and   30 dancing), but now he holds her up as a saint for lying and manipulating everyone. Parris does not truly care for Abigail, but rather sees how he can use her. Thus, she feels no guilt at taking his ill gotten and undeserved dollars. Miller mentions that it's rumoured that the real life Abigail left and became a prostitute, this tells us that Abigail would rather be off alone, using her sexuality to her advantage and control, than stay and be at the control of the men in the town.  • Major Desire:  Wants John Proctor and freedom to make her own decisions. He wanted her too, used her, and now has ended their relationship; she is like a jilted lover. Beyond that, when she was in the Proctor's house, he had power over her, as the master of the house, a man, and what society was like at the time. Was she a virgin before John? Did John make promises to Abigail that they would be together? Would John have told her he loved her in the heat of the moment? How else would a young woman react when her lover throws her away like trash, and now everyone is calling her a whore in the village. It is not right or fair, and it is no wonder that she does whatever she can to reclaim her good name or her lover back again. • Rhythmic Musical Quality: She is a slow strong thrumming that speeds up. Like a heartbeat or a quickening pulse when excited. • Change: She was already strong willed and determined at the beginning of the play, and those qualities grow stronger in her as the play goes on. By the end she is ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. She is a powerful woman. She starts the play attempting to step outside of societal boundaries, but as the play continues she becomes bolder and more aggressive to get what she wants. She also finally realizes that she and John won’t be together, and is heartbroken by that fact.    31 Susanna Walcott: A little younger than Abigail (perhaps 15 or 16 years old), nervous, hurried girl, she is always trying to find safety. Get in and get out as quickly as possible when facing danger. And curious, she wants to know what’s going on, and is also greatly concerned with saving her own skin.  She follows Abigail’s lead because she likes being in a position of power and control over everyone else for once, and thinks Abigail will keep her safe.  • Major Desire: To save her own skin. To help Betty.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Sweet, soft spoken, innocent, and earnest. • Change: She starts out behaving as young women should at the time (following Parris’ instructions, relays the Doctor’s words, is trying to help), but then follows what Abigail says and does because she too wants to be safe and have a bit of power for once.  Mrs. Ann Putnam: A twisted soul of forty-five, a death-ridden woman, haunted by dreams. She is ready to spring into action and ‘find the evil in town’, to blame someone else for the evil things going on. Probably helps to spin the rumours and make them even worse.  She has lost all but one of her babies. That kind of death and unfortunate circumstance begins to weigh upon a person and drives her mad with guilt. She must find fault for it somewhere else. The unfortunate deaths in her life have made her cold and cruel, powerless, but now she can have power by accusing the community of their wrong-doings. She can find some justice for herself. She’s excited by the unfortunate events – as if this is her opportunity to exact revenge on someone else. She and her husband are well to doers about town. They have high status, and very few people would raise negative words or accusations against them, and they know this.  • Major Desire: She wants to see everyone else in town who has prospered while her and her husband have struggled, to now feel the pain and suffering that she has felt all these years.    32 • Rhythmic Musical Quality: She spits her words out like venom, they come out quick and harsh.  • Change: I don’t know if she really does change, other than to grow more powerful and sure of her and her husband’s good standing and place within the town to get the things that they want, no matter who they have to step on along the way. Mr. Thomas Putnam: a well-to-do, hard-handed landowner, near fifty. He is a man of many grievances. He regards himself as intellectually, physically and morally superior, and is vindictive towards his neighbours when he does not get what he feels was owed to him and his family. Feels hugely disrespected and that he’ll do whatever he has to in order to right matters; a deeply embittered man. So many of the accusations were written in Putnam’s handwriting, and that his name is so often found as witness corroborating the supernatural testimony and that his daughter led the crying out at many opportune moments in trials. He has only contempt for Parris – he feels that he is a waste of money resources and not doing what he should for Salem and the Putnams. He will use Parris, turn his mind to suspicions, and believes that there are witches doing evil that must be found and brought to justice. • Major Desire: To see his wrongs righted. To get what he feels he deserves and see his enemies burn.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Like his Wife’s; bold, strong, venomous, and lashes out like a snake tongue.  • Change: He starts out being lower status in the town; feeling like people are mocking him and his family, and that he is not getting what he deserves. He ends the play more powerful and owning more land because of the evils he has committed.    33 Mercy Lewis: The Putnam’s servant, 18 years old, a fat, sly, and merciless girl. Ruthless, beats on the Putnam’s daughter, as determined as Abigail to stay out of trouble but have fun and do what she wants. Mercy is reckless and an excellent manipulator. She ran naked in the woods during the dancing, accuses Mary of tattling to the adults, and she is a free and wild girl – she craves excitement and danger, and is titillated by the strength and demeanor of John Proctor. • Major Desire: She wants to be free and have no one else control her, just like Abigail. She has no thought about what her actions will do to someone else, but instead thinks only of how things will affect her.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Smooth, confident, like a little spunky tune. She’s got spunk and fire.  • Change: she goes from powerless to powerful.  Mary Warren: A subservient, naïve and lonely girl, 17 years old. Scared of what might happen to her; just wants a bit of fun, but is too frightened to actually take part in any of the ‘spell’.  Honest, doesn’t want anything bad to happen and believes that telling the truth will save them. She is afraid of her boss, John Proctor, and what he’ll do when he finds out what they did in the woods. Mary at times is a threat to Mercy and Abigail. • Major Desire: She wants to be free and not under the control of the Proctors and everyone else, but she is too meek, and honest to lie and manipulate to stay in power.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: More like a frightened creature, jittery, and trying to maintain control, but she loses it at times. She is uneven, unbalanced.  • Change: She’s eager to work with the courts and Abigail and the other girls when she thinks that her fits are genuine and helping to catch real witches and stop evil. But when it starts to look like something more sinister is at work, she breaks down. She doesn’t go   34 back to the court for a week, and cracks under the pressure of it all when she does go in to confess with John Proctor. When brought face to face with Abigail and the power and sway she now holds over the court and witch hunters, Mary can't stick to John’s plan. She crumbles under Abigail's attack in fear that she will be seen as an evil witch and thus reveals John’s aggressive and violent nature in order to save herself.  John Proctor: In his mid thirties, a farmer, strong body, biting wit and intelligence, does not suffer fools and so they feel foolish instantly around him and therefore he is prone to have slander about him. Miller claims that he is even-tempered and not easily led but is a leader instead. John is a sinner, though, in Puritan society and thus has a troubled soul, he regrets his weaknesses and the sins he has done because they are against his own moral code. John is respected and even feared in Salem, but views himself as a fraud and that he should be punished for it in some way – this is boiling under the surface. At first glance, he is a man in his prime, quiet confidence, and a force within him. However, he used Abigail and it wasn’t until his wife found out that he ended the affair. Even after the affair ended, John would go to Abigail’s house and stand outside and stare up at her. He is arrogant, righteous, prideful, and cowardly. But also shows humility, guilt, and finally an acceptance of the faults he has at the very end of the play.   • Major Desire: Wants to be good and do what is right for the town, but has sensual desires deep down that he’s been taught are bad and so he finds an outlet for them. • Rhythmic Quality: Strong, steady, and crescendos a lot due to his aggressive and violent tendencies. Tries to sweet-talk, singsong rhythmically, with his wife at times, but then breaks off in a heat of anger or passion. • Change: In the end, perhaps John redeems himself in how he owns up for the mistake he made, having an affair and cheating on his wife. However, he uses many of the women   35 around him with little regard as to how it will affect them. He convinces Mary Warren to speak out against Abigail and what the other girls are doing at the trials and, while that is a noble and good thing to do, he has no consideration for what will happy to Mary when he does this. He uses Abigail when things aren’t going exactly right in his marriage and while he does want justice for Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey – it is only justice and proper treatment for those women that fall into a rigid idea of what is proper and appropriate behaviour for a woman to express at that time.  Rebecca Nurse: 72 years old, white hair, frail, walks with a walking stick and leans on it. She is sure of her self, and quick-witted. She knows exactly who she is, what kind of person she is, and will not fall subject to the foul, vindictive and fear-mongering proceedings that are taking place in Salem. In the end, she believes that her soul is clean and that she has done what is right.  • Major Desire: Wants to see the town survive and prosper. See her children prosper and quell these worries and fears of the devil.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Smooth, luxurious, slow, long and strong. • Change: She is unchanging; she does not forget her morals and beliefs of what is right in order to save her own life. She only becomes weaker and unheard, as the witch-hunt grows bigger.  Giles Corey: 83 years old, strong, knotted with muscle, canny (shrewdness or good judgment), inquisitive, and still powerful. He’s curious to find out if there really is witchcraft and a witch in the town. He is also an ignorant and foolish man that is self-absorbed - as he can't understand why his wife would want to read and find pleasure in that. While he might have a kind heart, his pride and ego are the whole reason Martha is suspected in the first place. He has the tendency to speak about things he doesn’t know or understand because of his pride. He doesn’t care what   36 people think of him, he is content with himself. He could also be a crank and a nuisance to the community.  • Major Desire: To be the man of the house, in control and heard. To save his wife.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Blunt, abrupt, out of time and out of sync. • Change: In the end he does what he believes is right so that he does not speak out against his wife, someone else, or show support in any way for what the court is doing to his friends. He is an innocent and brave man at the end.  Reverend John Hale: A Reverend from the town of Beverly, nearing 40 years old, he is tight-skinned, and an eager-eyed intellectual. He views himself as a new doctor about to put to work all the skills, symptoms, signs, and catchwords into use for the first time that he has acquired while hunting and discovering the witch in Beverly.  • Major Desire: His goal is to bring light and goodness to the people. And feels he is allied with the best minds of Europe in his holy and good quest to stamp out the devil. • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Nothing seems out of place or rushed. Everything is perfectly done as it should be, and so he is also in tune with the beat and not out of sync.   • Change: Hale's purpose is pure, honest and good. He does not seek to find witchcraft where there is none, but to truly clear out the devil's hold on this world, and heal the community. He does everything with the conviction that he follows what's right. When things start to seem wrong, he takes steps to find the truth. He even condemns the actions of Abigail and Danforth, and in the end, does what he believes is right in order to try and save the good people of Salem that have been wrongly persecuted and imprisoned. He advises them to lie – a sin – to save their lives from this immoral hunt on community members.    37 Elizabeth Proctor: Abigail says she is a bitter woman, a lying, cold, sniveling woman, a gossiping liar. Elizabeth perhaps isn’t really lying about Abigail in the village. Elizabeth is a good Christian wife doing her duty to her husband, but hurt by his affair with Abigail. She has some guilt for how her relationship with John has changed in the past year. That he pulled away from her because she was ‘sick’ (most likely post-partum depression) and could not be the companion he needed. But she also will not let the blame sit solely on her shoulders. She holds John accountable for his actions, insisting he must work to rebuild their trust and relationship. She is strong, compassionate, and prideful as well. She would not hurt a fly, but speaks the truth in almost all things. She has a lot of strength to stick by her cheating husband, try to save his soul, and bare his children while he is going to leave her for the sake of his name and his morals. • Major Desire: To see her and John’s life back the way it was. To help John come back to her and be a good man. She is trying to save his soul.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Melodic, but surprising, she has twists and turns.  • Change: In the end she is a devoted wife and a ‘good Christian’, and lives her life as such. In her eyes her duties to her husband come before her own life or her duties to the church – that is why she tries to lie for him and save his name. She goes from angry and hurt, to strong and humble.  Francis Nurse: Husband to Rebecca Nurse, a devoted and loving husband, good, wise and kind. He is well-liked and respected within the community, but the Putnams have a grudge against him and his family. He does not posture or backstab for power and control.  • Major Desire: To see his family prosper and survive.  To save his wife.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Much like Giles Corey, but sweeter, softer and gentler.    38 • Change: He does not believe such evil things could happen to his wife and family, but in the end he is crushed by what happens to his wife and family.  Ezekial Cheever: Clerk of the court when we meet him in Act II, was just an honest tailor before this. Records what happens when court is in session. A man that follows the law to the letter; he doesn’t question the authority because he feels beneath it; like those kinds of questions and big decisions should be left to someone smarter than himself.  •  Major Desire: To uphold the law and the authorities who make the laws. He does what needs to be done, even if he doesn’t like what happens to his friends, but he will always come forward with the truth of the matter. • Rhythmic Musical Quality: wavering, cautious, strong but interruptive.  • Change: He upholds the law and at first he does it because he thinks he is doing what is right. But by the end even though he doubts that they are doing what’s good, he will stick to his religious beliefs and the law and do the work that needs to be done.  Marshall Herrick: A man in his early thirties, helping with the court, is the Marshall, rounding up those with warrants against them and convicted. Is quiet, less sure of what he does for the courts, but knows he must do it or face accusation himself. Sure of his place within the law.  • Major Desire: To stamp out evil and be a good and fair person. • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Boyish, clumsy, quiet a lot, but interjects when needed.  • Change: Like Cheever, he is doing what he thinks is right and upholding the law because it is his job, but by the end he hates what he is doing to the friends and people he loves and cares about in town. That’s why he’s drunk on the job and kind to Sarah Good and Tituba in the jail. Both Herrick and Cheever are so scared by the talk of witches and the   39 devil though that they will do what they believe needs to be done in order to stamp out the evil and have peace of mind again and safety in the town.  Judge Hathorne: In his 60s, a bitter, remorseless Salem judge. Believes himself to be holy and righteous, with god on his side and so nothing he does can be wrong. He is powerful, strong, believes in his authority and Danforth’s for what is right and good. Will not be swayed by others.  • Major Desire: To squash out evil wherever he finds it.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Like Danforth, he is controlled, confident, strong, but he is more rushed, he’s eager and wants action to happen. • Change: While he might begin strong in the beginning, by the end he is apprehensive and begins to fear a rebellion from the community with the deaths of what were seen as good people. Deputy Governor Danforth: A grave man in his 60s, of some humour and sophistication that doesn’t interfere with an exact loyalty to his position or cause of wiping out the Devil’s forces. He is exacting in his judgment, there is black and white, right and wrong, and no middle ground. Has spent 32 years at the bar. Same qualities and conviction as Hathorne, but even more exacting, cut-throat, and unswaying in his belief that he does God’s work and that his decisions are informed by God, his knowledge of the law, and what he believes is right and wrong.   • Major Desire: To drive the Devil from Salem and the world for the sake of all that is good and holy.  • Rhythmic Musical Quality: Controlled, confident, strong, does not rush. • Change: The girls and their crying out take him in, but he will not be swayed by fear of rebellion from the townspeople. He stays true to who he is to the end. Unyielding.    40 Martha Corey: We hear her voice but don’t see her. She likes to read, and because of that she has been accused a witch. She is a good Christian woman whose only fault is that she wanted to better herself and read. She deeply loves her foolish husband.  Sarah Good: Has gone mad with fear of her hanging, she and Tituba have imagined this glorious plan that they’ll be rescued from death by the devil (because god has left them) and flown down to the sun and songs in Barbados. Hopkins: A guard, only seen in Act IV, a strict man, follows his superiors and orders. He believes he is doing what is right, good, the will of God and his job.  1.13.1 General Thoughts on Characters  All the women of this play are being oppressed in some way. Whether it's the Church, their husbands, neighbours, society, or even other women. It is no wonder that the youth are rebelling against that constraint and loving their moment of power and control! The Church in general controlled the community. There was no time for frivolity or pleasure, and seeking that out would have been shameful. Everybody was a ‘devout Christian’ – or was at least expected to be. In their minds, that was the only way they were all going to survive this ‘dark, dangerous, foreboding, savage, and barbaric’ place and time. It is an “eat or be eaten” kind of world.  1.14 Part 14: Structural Elements of the Play Exposition: The Exposition is taking place in the first Act, mainly in the first 10 pages until Putnam arrives. But with each new character arriving we receive a bit more exposition in Act I.  Complications: They have arisen before the curtain rises and we are seeing these complications now run their course. Development: As Act I continues with Hale’s arrival, we start to become aware that maybe he really will find something evil in the town. In Act II we discover that there have been hangings   41 happening in the village. Only a week has past and they have gone into full-blown witch-hunt mode.   Crisis: When Cheever and Herrick come for Elizabeth and they discover the poppet this is a deep moment of crisis, and we know that it was Mary Warren that placed the poppet there. Climax: Act III, when at the ‘courtroom’ and Mary Warren denounces John Proctor, and Elizabeth unwittingly has doomed her own fate and John’s.  Resolution: Does not come until the very end of Act IV, when John will not sell his name and soul for freedom, that he would rather die than sin again. And Elizabeth lets him go to his fate. 1.14.1 Does the structure of the play give me a clue as to how to rehearse? I have broken the play into French Scenes for rehearsals so we can make the most of actor time. Unfortunately, not all of the beat changes line up with character entrances and exits. So there may be some rehearsal times where we have to go a few lines over the scene change, or end a few lines early. This is something to look at with the actors and let them know that they may be on standby, so to stay close to the room.  1.14.2 How is the play broken up; pages and length, scenes and acts? There are four acts in the play, and no individual scenes. I’m creating French scenes in order to break the play down into beats/units, and make rehearsals easier to schedule. It reminds me of reading large chapters out of a novel or a history book, like we’re flipping through certain chapters of a history text and taking a closer look at only certain elements.  Act I – 45 pages. This first act has a lot of exposition and sets up all the intricate nuances of the world and the problems. Plus, this sets up the rhythm of the play, where it’s problem after problem after problem that keeps arriving on the scene, as well as characters. They are coming in   42 and out throughout the act. Thirteen pages are history notes from Miller though in this act, so that gives us about 32 pages of action. Act II – 34 pages. Problems are boiling and building up. No one is safe anymore if women like Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, and Martha Corey can be taken and accused of witchcraft and being aligned with the devil.  Act III – 37 pages. Problems are coming fast and furious and boiling over. Act IV – 24 pages. The end is near and everything’s going down in a ‘blaze of glory or surrender’. The length of each act, using number of pages creates this kind of shape:   This shape feels indicative of how the journey/progression of action happens during the play, and how things come falling down to a ‘resolution’ rapidly at the end of the play. 1.14.3 How structure creates meaning in audience? Because the play has these four large acts, it feels like within each act the audience can’t escape the nightmare they’re in. This is a long epic, and that we have started down a path that is steady, unchanging, and inescapable.  It also appears that Miller is allowing for time to shift forward easily between each act. By having each act in a new time and place, we can easily jump forward and follow the story. We’re not getting lost or caught up in multiple scene shifts, or changes of location. The structure also seems to be saying that these are large issues that the town is dealing with and can’t be broken up into smaller more manageable units – like scenes. That the intensity of these acts must be felt non-stop all the way through without reprieve for the performers or audience members,   43 and that in by feeling the constant barrage of conflict, tension, accusations, discoveries, and finally sentencing, that we too can feel what it was like to be living on the cusp of safety and security. Like the characters in the play, we never know when the court and church might come for us and destroy our whole life and world. Lastly, that there’s simplicity to the structure of the play. There isn’t something fancier or supernatural going on, but rather human nature at work. So the stage magic I imbue into the show must have purpose and meaning linking it to the play – it can’t be superfluous.  1.15 Part 15: Directorial Approach The biggest qualities in the play that stick with me are: • Injustice. • Characters seeking power, control, and autonomy. • Intimacy and love are being destroyed, interrupted, and impeded upon. • There’s a feeling of claustrophobia in the way that evil is closing in on all sides for the characters. • Time has run out, tensions and conflicts are so high that there is no stopping the path that everyone in the play is on. • The only way to stop these evil things from happening is to see the world burn down to ash so that it can start anew. • The stakes for everyone are so high because this is literally life or death.  • The push and pull of doing what is right versus what is easy or expected of people – to fall in line, not challenge the status quo.   44 1.15.1 What are the elements of emphasis? Look: I want to bring our attention and focus to the characters and who appear out of place; who do not tow the line in this society, and are therefore going to be persecuted for it. Feel: I want it to feel claustrophobic, like bad things are closing in on the characters, and there might not be an escape. But also, that there are some people that are finding power and enjoyment within that because it is the first time that they are free from their chains. Sound: It is deep, rhythmic, like a heartbeat, something we can all understand. It is organic, even in its dark ‘supernatural’ moments it is made from the natural world and the humans in this world; not machine like. Tempo/Rhythm: It starts slower in comparison to the rest of the play (but still a fast rhythm) and goes to hyper speed by the end of the play. We get a brief reprieve in Act II when it seems like things are going to be alright with John and Elizabeth, but the tempo and rhythm just continue to carry on, picking up speed; a rhythm that will beat the heart out of our chest.  Composition: Large compositions, with many people trapped inside the walls of this world. This is a place where the problems and world is large and overpowering the characters inside of it.  Picturization: The picturization will be very heightened and intense. The tension and conflict happening onstage is electrifying and so we should be intimately drawn into that conflict and drama. There cannot be casualness in the bodies during this play.  1.16 Part 16: Design Words for the Play Line: I keep seeing a skeletal type framework or that of a complex spider web that the characters are stuck in. Firm, strict, hard, uneasy – difficult.   45 Scale: The people are small, but with big emotions that come exploding out of them. The world is small within the larger context that they are isolated and cut off from help, and the help that does come is compressing them.   Mass: Things and people take up space. There is a sense of claustrophobia, and the people feel small, scared, and isolated because larger things are overtaking them.  Weight: Things and People have weight to them. They are solid and will not float away on a breeze, problems will not just go away, they are present and in your face. Texture: Rough, sharp, scratchy, and uncomfortable. This is a hostile world, but is it trying to hide behind the niceties of smooth, soft, round things. The characters are living in this uncomfortable world and are searching for a reprieve from the hostility of the world, a sanctuary. Like the bodies of people: they’re smooth, soft, round; or soft in lighting at times, but the finishes are rough – like shawls, or burlap.  Colour: Darks and subdued neutrals, with perhaps pops of colour when a character, or thing does not fit into this world, or a character is pushing beyond what is expected from them at the time. The character or thing sometimes is sitting outside of the palette of the world.  Light: Light helps to show us where the dark is, and who is trying to hide in the dark, or who is desperate to stay in the light. The light and dark play tricks on the mind and the characters because they make it hard to tell what’s true or not.  Space: The space is vast and unknown, with the sense that the outside world is closing in ever tighter around the characters; like there is a big expanse of dangerous dark wilderness that surrounds their tiny dot of light and ‘civilization’. Shape: The shapes feel organic; in Miller’s opening description of the Parris household he speaks of the crossbeams in the ceiling and that conjures an image of an empty ribcage, like the   46 town is literally surrounded and encompassed by death, and that a new beginning is just beyond this tragedy for the community. The shape is pointy and angular, like we’ve imposed something upon the natural world with structured angles. This world is very structured and set, and these characters are fighting against it. The characters have come in and tried to clear the chaos by taming the land, and plant some crops. How do the characters interact and behave within that shape? I.e.: the girls with their fits/tremors aren’t going to fit into the structure they’re in. 1.16.1 What’s Negotiable and what isn’t? I want us to be influenced by what that era was like and the silhouettes it offered, but do not want an exact replica of 1692. I’m looking for the influence of 1692 and mixing it with the modern; like a contemporary echo. How obvious do we make this modernity noticeable? Do I want to be reminded of it all the time? I.e.: Harvey Weinstein on the back wall of the set? What’s in the lobby? Donald Trump’s inaugural speech played at some point? How I contextualize this play? 1.17 Part 17: Audience Orientation For most of the audience, the action will be at eye level, or below, and will feel far away from them, so to really pull the audience in, we are going to have to make sure that the energy of the stage and play is going out towards them through the lights, and sound, as well as the acting by telling the actors to share the experience with the audience.  I want the audience to be sucked into what’s happening on stage. So we will try to use the deep pie shape of the stage to our advantage and suck the audience deep into what’s happening on the stage. The audience will be encouraged to sit in the centre section to get the full effect of what’s happening on the stage – not off to the side. We will orient the audience how you would traditionally use that theatre space. This may affect how I arrange larger compositions so that the audience is not missing anything along the sides of the stage or while in the house.    47 1.17.1 How will the audience/actor relationship affect how I will rehearse?  I want the audience to feel close to the actors, like the action is jumping off the stage and into their hearts and minds. This means I will rehearse the actors with Viewpoints technique of a soft focus and awareness of space and energy around them. I want the actors’ energies to go out from themselves and affect not only their scene partners but the audience, as well. This could be encouraged with different Viewpoints exercises to open and engage the actors’ senses so that they are fully present and sending out their energy from all sides of their bodies while on stage. 1.18 Part 18: The World of the Play 1.18.1 What are the “rules” of the world that this play sets up?  1) It is not the same amount of time shifted between each act and therefore may be difficult for an audience to understand. Lighting and sound will help to establish this, as well as a clear understanding by the actors of what lines of text signal those time shifts.  2) We have to buy into the fear of this community, that they believe that witches and the devil are real forces in the world and must be fought against. And because of that, whether there is factual evidence or not, if someone aligns you with the Devil, you are guilty. 3) Certain people have power and others do not, and that is just the way the world works. And a mistrust of motivations, why people do what they do, and secrets being revealed right now. Even if you think you’re speaking the truth – the truth isn’t necessarily the truth anymore. 1.19 Part 19: Special Problems within the Play 1.19.1 Racism within the Script  There are a lot of racist lines and actions that are in the play that pose a problem for our 2018 sensibilities and behaviours. I have dealt with this in the best way possible for casting by asking the actors who they would be interested in playing. This way I am not assuming anything about   48 the actors or the parts they could play. But for some of the lines of text I wonder if we should alter them slightly or cut them from the script entirely; like: Indians into Natives, Blacks and Whites into other words like good, bad, evil, etc. 1.19.2 Fight Choreography Required  Figure 1.4 Act II, John Proctor attacking his servant Mary Warren (L to R: Aidan Wright, Olivia Lang. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) There is actually more violence in the script than one would think. I have requested to have some time with fight choreographers to ensure that all of these moments are safe on stage for the actors involved.  1.19.3 Singing There are two moments of singing in the play; I will look at with Sheila, our Voice Coach.    49 Act I: The Salem people sing offstage, perhaps humming to add to the excitement and sexual tension rising between John and Abigail, with some final lines sung out from offstage somewhere of a 1692 hymn, or a contemporary hymn? Act II: Elizabeth can be heard singing a lullaby to the boys when putting them to sleep. Will it be an older lullaby or a more contemporary lullaby?  1.19.4 Special Physical Considerations I think there will need to be a physical coach because this world feels larger than life and so I don’t want the actors to have anything casual about their body movements and behaviours. We also have to figure out the fits for the girls, and have women actors playing male characters that will need advising.  1.20 Part 20: Significance of the Title of the Play The Crucible: • A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures. • A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact leading to the creation of something new. • The trials are the defining trials of our Time. There has never been an experience like this before, and there will never be one like it after. It is the defining moment of what it means to be in The Crucible.   50 Chapter 2: Journal Reflections  2.1 August 2017 – Preparation for School to Start August 21, 2017 – Thoughts for Auditions and Callbacks: Originally I had thought I would ask the Actors to prepare: 1) A Contemporary Monologue, where the character either has Power or doesn’t; the character could be persecuted, or where the character is using their sexuality to get what they want. 2) A Monologue from one of Arthur Miller’s plays that reveals something significant or unseen about his characters in The Crucible.  3) Movement Exploration of the ‘fits’ of the young girls when the Devil or a Spirit comes upon them. Explored with a sense of Jo, Ha, Qu (Beginning, Middle, End). Stephen Heatley and Gayle Murphy advised that this would be too much for the actors to have prepared by the Audition date. With that in mind, the actors will prepare one monologue that looks at the qualities I’m interested in seeing, encouraging the actors to look at Miller’s plays, as well as explore ‘fit’ movements during the auditions rather than waiting till Callbacks. I think being able to see the actors moving as if they’re under the influence of a spirit upon them will help me with the casting process, and further my thoughts about those moments in the play.  August 28, 2017 – The Crucible and Casting: Stephen and I spoke at length about whom I envisioned in each role from the actors in the BFA, MFA Acting student Frank Zotter, and specifically about casting the role of Tituba – Reverend Parris’ Barbados slave. I believe anyone could play Tituba and do that role justice. The main aspect is that she is a slave forced to work for Parris and has been taken from her home. This could be done to anyone from anywhere. We’re going ask the actors who they would like to   51 play, and then cast the actor that will do the roles justice, sorting out the details of what culture Tituba comes from after. I must make sure I have a clear understanding of the story that Tituba’s character, with the specific casting choice, will say to an audience when watching the play. Whomever I cast in any of the roles – what story does that tell an audience?  Most of my thoughts around the characters has been focused around the male roles because there’s an abundance of female BFA acting students to play different roles and they could all play several different roles in how I envision the production right now. I do know that Rebecca Nurse has to be strong, clear, steadfast, and an actor who has that gravitas. During Callbacks I need to make sure I am clear on what values I’m looking for with each character. I brought up my concern around the actors derailing rehearsals with side stories or tangents while also trying to create an open, creative, and sharing environment. Stephen suggested that when these moments happen be honest with them when I don’t understand the point. ‘Help me to understand. You’re telling me this for some reason, so what is it?’ This can also be addressed during the first rehearsal in the way I frame the process for the actors; I invite you to come and play in this specific framework, and remind them what are their responsibilities and what are mine.  Up until now I’ve been thinking that The Crucible is a Drama or a Tragedy, rather than a Melodrama. But Stephen brought up something interesting about Melodrama – it is about the scale of emotion in the play, and that the situation the characters are facing is life and death in the play. I think I’ve been leaning away from Melodrama because usually when I hear Melodrama I think of a pejorative definition for that kind of theatre – overly emotional or sentimental, over the top outbursts, and un-naturalistic. However, in the theatre, Melodrama can also mean those aspects above, as well as a story that has a ray of hope at the end of a tragic   52 story. I also brought up my concern that audiences won’t be pulled into the play, or that they will find the world funny, because it feels foreign to us now. How do we set up the world so we don’t think it’s funny and can we surprise the audience with our version of the play? I hope so.   2.2 September 2017 – Auditions and Callbacks September 13, 2017 – Frank Zotter Discussion with Stephen Heatley:  Figure 1.5 Act III, Deputy Governor Danforth kneeling with Mary Warren to asses the truthfulness of her deposition (L to R: Olivia Lang, Frank Zotter. Costume Design: Cora Wu, Lighting Design: Ryan Yee, Set Design: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) Stephen and I have been emailing about which role I would like to cast Frank Zotter. We discussed that I think Frank could be a good fit for Danforth or Hathorne. And after more consideration I suggested that I’d like to cast Frank as Danforth, to which Stephen agreed, and   53 noted that, “I think he should be an outsider.” This is because the character of Danforth is outside of the Salem community and enters halfway through the play to create ‘order’ in the ‘chaos’ – or so the character thinks. And so, due to Frank’s age and experience, he will easily appear like an outsider to the rest of the BFA students and this is a good fit for the character. September 15, 2017 - Thoughts around Auditions: It is my job as the Director to cut through the actors’ performances to the action they’re playing. That action is driving the idea of the play.  Before the auditions started Stephen and I spoke about the world of the play and how it’s not open and accepting of people and ideas that are different from the societal norm of the time; which are governed by the Rules of the Church, the Land, and the Law. Stephen asked me who I thought the play was about. I believe the play is about Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams. It is their love triangle that is the domino that fuels the action of the play; it sets everything in motion, and so at the core of this play is deception. Deception that occurs in the love affair, and deception that the characters commit to each other. Another thought for casting Tituba: Miller was saying something particular about ‘The Other’ when he wrote the part of Tituba, so what do I want to say? We are surrounded by ‘others’ every day in society, and no longer live in isolated communities where everyone looks like each other, or has the same beliefs as ourselves. We now live in a global community, and therefore everyone is potentially an ‘other’ for one reason or another. September 18–25, 2017 – Post Auditions and Callbacks: Friday’s auditions were long, of seeing twenty-two actors for only eighteen roles. I made the mistake of scheduling all of the auditions back to back. This meant we went from 1:00-  54 6:30pm without a break. Many of the actors came in and delivered beautiful and well-prepared monologues.  During callbacks I had some key revelations: 1) Jed naturally suits the role of John Proctor. He’s large and muscular - John has to be physically strong in order to till and maintain the Proctor farmland. Jed has a very commanding presence on stage, which works well for John’s sense of entitlement and being in control as a Man at that time. 2) Either Heidi or Natalie would be a fantastic choice for Abigail. Both of these women came in and blew me away! Natalie could switch on a dime and be the sweet child doing God’s work, to the sexual teenager in love with John. But in callbacks with Heidi, it was like Abigail was reminding John why he had been with her in the first place, and what he couldn’t live without. It was a new way of viewing their interactions that I had never noticed before and pulled me farther into their story. Heidi’s Abigail was also desperate and deeply in love with John and broken, and then determined to get him back; or destroy him if she couldn’t be with him. It was like Heidi revealed potential for what could be done with Abigail that I hadn’t seen before.  3) Choosing between Jed, Louis, and Aidan to cast in the role of John Proctor was going to be a difficult decision to make. All three actors brought the passion, strength, and emotional depth that was needed for John. No longer was it just about who would give me those specific qualities but “What would the Production say by having that specific actor in the role of John Proctor?” I want the audience to see John for who he really is; a man that cheated on his wife and would still be cheating on her if his wife hadn’t confronted him about it. A man that is still going around Abigail’s house after he   55 has ended things with her so he can stare at her. John held power and control over Abigail and easily manipulated his way into this girl’s heart and mind. He is passionate, conceited, and unsuspecting! He uses the women around him and doesn’t do the right thing until he is forced to; it takes him the whole play to be a better person, but Elizabeth has to be a better person the whole time. The real heroes of this story are the women.  Knowing all of that, I think Aidan will be the right choice. At callbacks Aidan brought a strong, determined, passionate, and desperate energy to John, which was lovely to see from sweet Aidan. Aidan could embody those important qualities of the love triangle in the play, and because of Aidan’s size, kindness and looks, he naturally reminds me of the kind of characters from The Big Bang Theory: dorky, but also slightly sexist and misogynistic. This then could be an opportunity to see our current society and how toxic and misogynistic qualities are being masked behind ‘small stature, rosy cheeked’ men. I’m very excited for what Aidan will bring to this role! 4) There are many talented women that could play Elizabeth Proctor and Mary Warren. The women in the BFA are extremely talented and growing into very strong actors. The problem is that Olivia, Shona, Natalie, Daria, and Sabrina could all play Elizabeth Proctor! Shona dazzled me with the strength she brought, and so I wanted to give her that opportunity. This felt true for the role of Mary Warren as well. Some brought out her quiet, subservient side, while others brought out the strength, power, and importance Mary feels as an ‘official of the court’. In the end, my decision of Olivia for Mary Warren came from her quiet, shy, subservient demeanour that also held that hint of the strength always underneath for Mary.    56 5) I don’t know where I could fit Tebo in this cast. Her acting is superb – she’s wise, strong, passionate, and in control. She naturally fits stronger roles like Rebecca Nurse, Ann Putnam, Judges, or Guards, but is that best for the casting as a whole? I don’t know. Right now I’ve slotted her into a few of the stronger roles but as my second choice. 6) Certain characters don’t fit any of the actors as I imagined it while reading the play, but I’m going to have to make the best of it! During auditions and callbacks, actors started to fall perfectly in place, however for some of the roles I left callbacks feeling baffled. In the end I’ve made the best decision I can for those characters. Plus, I’ve ended up casting two women in ‘male’ roles and need to figure out what this will mean. Overall, this whole audition process helped to build me into a stronger, more thoughtful and articulate director. One where all aspects of a production are happening because they are serving a purpose – to tell the story the best way I can see. Things aren’t happening accidentally. September 23, 2017 – Inspiration from other Theatre Productions:  On Friday September 21, I saw Bard on the Beach’s The Winter’s Tale. The set was visually stunning in how they manoeuvred giant columns around the stage for a new scene or location. There was something magical in the transformation and it felt like the set had a life of its own that was helping to further the story – like the characters couldn’t escape the actions they’d set in motion. This is also an interesting notion for The Crucible. Are the characters in control of their own fate? Or has their future been taken over by certain individuals? Or by an unseen force itself? Also, if a set is moving and we see it moved by characters – what does that mean for those characters and the story? Does it depend on which characters do the moving? And does it mean something else if certain characters are watching the movements?    57 2.3 October 2017 – Preparation for Design Meetings and Finalization of Casting October 10, 2017 – Directorial Analysis, Design Ideas for The Crucible and Discoveries: Stephen and Patrick Rizzotti advised that I keep flexible and fluid in regards to the design, and how we will create the four different locations needed for the play. I think they emphasized this point because up until now I’ve been strongly leaning towards using the revolve in the Frederic Wood stage floor. Unfortunately, the revolve has been broken for many years.  It’s clear to me that characters in the play come into the space like they are infiltrating it, or attacking the people within that space.  The Audience Expectation: What is the experience of the audience upon entering the theatre space? Do I want it to be a reveal? Or does the audience experience that world from the moment they enter the theatre? What is the cultural world of the play that an audience is bringing into the theatre with them? Encouraging playfulness with the set design for this play. Let’s try not to get bogged down in the doom and gloom of the play during rehearsals. Let’s see how we can create playful moments and reveals – do the actors appear somehow? Are they revealed? Create some of these fun and hopeful moments first and build the show from there. Hope lives past the end of the play; it lives in the future possibilities. Does the end of the play look visually different than at the beginning of the play?  Patrick and Stephen gave me some great suggestions of how to start the design process and some specifics for certain design elements. • Read the play together as a whole.   58 • During a first meeting be fun and creative together. Make a collage of images and phrases that speak to the designers about the play – asking them why they’re connecting to these images/phrases and what they connect to in the play.  • Set design – I’ve never worked in such a traditional theatre space, as such we should sit in the Theatre together absorbing the space and how it feels to be in there. There is a sense of formality in the theatre, so do we want what’s onstage to be helped by that formality, or do we want to disrupt it? Are we in harmony or in tension? • I am sharing my sense of the play as the team leader, and inviting the rest to look at the play this particular way, and bring their thoughts to this vision. Both Stephen and Patrick encouraged me to harness my passion and infectious enthusiasm for this play and material and use it in the rehearsal room with the actors. But also use my Stage Manager, Sony Tsai, to keep us on track. And actually build into the rehearsal schedule time to work and time to play! This feels better to me as I’m understanding my strengths as a Director, Leader, and Artist, and not trying to work against them. I need to define for myself what a successful process for this production and working with the designers will be. I think if everyone buys into my perspective on the show then success looks like: Everyone is 100% prepared for Paper Tech, I will be comfortable and able to ask for help when I need it, and there will be an encouraging atmosphere where the designers and actors are all actively working and creating together. Further thoughts on the design, and the world of the play: • In this world we’re getting to see the skeletons that are in people’s closets.  • A framework like a pair of ribs or a spider web – we’re opening the story up to reveal what’s at the heart of it; the people, their lives, and the ‘sins’ they’ve committed or are   59 convinced others have committed. A skeleton frame: it’s heavy, is human remains, and speaks strongly of death. • Spider webs can trap people, a web of lies and deceit are in the play. But a spider web is light, and can be invisible. You can walk right into it, like a trap, without ever even realizing it’s there, but it is also easily broken. • The characters are being surrounded by death and wilderness – no close civilizations/towns. They’re surrounded by dangerous forest, wide-open expanse, and Indigenous people that wanted to run them off or kill them for being on their land and attacking them.   • Tensions are rising, the play begins and we’re starting in the middle of a conflict. Death comes so quickly in the play. Even though at the start of the second act we’re lulled into a sense of safety at the Proctor home.  • How heavy do I want the design to be around the key themes of the play and show that to an audience?  • The Proctor home feels like they’ve shut the rest of the world out, like they’re trying to protect themselves from the ‘evil’ outside their door: and again, people slowly start piling in as Act II plays out.  • Space and Size: Act III feels large not only because of how many bodies come into the mimetic space (stage space), but also because of all of the diegetic cues (offstage) coming from ‘offstage’ (Easterling, Higgins 35). Sounds, text, moving bodies, and actions being played just offstage that the audience is supposed to hear and recognize what is going on. And what should be private conversations between Danforth, John Proctor, and Mary Warren, are being witnessed by many people in the town. The only characters that aren’t   60 onstage in this act are the ones that have been accused of witchcraft, and sentenced to jail or death. Nothing is private in this world anymore. How can a judge show neutrality (ignoring his own bias) when everyone in the town is there to sway the Judge’s mind to their way of thinking or create doubt in the minds of everyone else if the Judge “falls out of line” with what the most persuasive and strongest voice in the crowd wants.  • The space changes from empty and fills up. This has to do with the composition of each act. It’s the sense of a lot or a few bodies on stage. • In this world there is no room for thoughts or opinions that go against the church or more powerful townspeople.  • Miller uses The Crucible to prove that nothing can be kept a secret forever. Whether you think it’s morally right or wrong, that doesn’t matter; the truth will come out.  • There is tension between John and Elizabeth in Act II. I can help to show that in the way they move around the stage. There’s unspoken tension from their hurt, anger, resentment, and vulnerability to the dangerous situation in Salem. Then when other people come into their house, it’s as if sides are being taken by those other community members.  October 28, 2017 – Further Thoughts and Discoveries: Miller is constantly pulling the rug out from underneath us! He builds his stories to make the audience believe that things are going to turn out ok, get better, but they don’t. I.e.: Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman’s charismatic nature going to get a better job and find true success. View From a Bridge, we think the young couple are going to be together but then the Uncle/Father figure gets killed. And with The Crucible, when Hale arrives we believe he’s going to reassure the town that there is no witchcraft, no sign of the devil, just “misbehaving” children. Miller also does this by starting Act II in the calm, safe home of the Proctors where their drama   61 is the simple, ‘kitchen sink’ variety. But then this false sense of security is broken when we find out people have been sentenced to death. So with Hale’s arrival at the Proctor house, Hale is actually a dangerous invading force for all the villagers – even though his intentions are good. This all works to keep the audience constantly unsettled. Casting was announced today! I struggled with making these final decisions. I knew that the biggest part of the story that I wanted to tell was around the injustice of the treatment of the women in Salem. By struggling with these thoughts and questions it made me feel 100% confident about my casting decisions. I feel like the actors I’ve selected to play Abigail, Elizabeth and John Proctor are different than expected and will help to keep an audience looking at the story through new eyes.   On October 18 I met with Stephen and Tom and discussed my casting, and they generously allowed me to keep all of my first choices for casting! Then another week passed though, and the casting wasn’t released. Then Gayle asked me to join Tom, Stephen, and her to discuss casting one more time. Tebo will be away during She Kills Monsters rehearsals. We decided to cast her as Judge Hathorne, as I had thought Tebo would be a great fit for Judge Hathorne, but also, being a woman of colour, with Tebo in the role of Judge Hathorne, we’re subverting what an audience would expect to see for the play. This will help to keep an audience watching the play with brand new eyes. October 31, 2017 – Next Steps, Designing: I set up a meeting with Stephen to discuss how casting female actors in male roles would work for this production. I considered if we could change those three male roles into female ones for the female actors playing the parts. It might be interesting to change Judge Hathorne and Marshall Herrick to female characters, but we can’t change Giles Corey into a female character.   62 It completely alters the storyline and dynamic of the John Proctor, Giles Corey, Francis Nurse’s friendship. So, if didn’t change them all, could we really leave one actor playing the opposite gender?  During the past month reflecting on what I wanted the design to be, I realized some things about myself as an artist and director: I like to see stage magic, to see the reveal happen on stage. But I need to remember that I need the design to address the demands of the play! There’s a shift in feeling in the play from claustrophobic to alone. Both are not magical feelings. I need to remember that and not let my aesthetics sway the design. Perhaps it could be done through a reveal that showed the characters had been imprisoned the whole time. I also realized that the spider web imagery could work as a metaphor for the acting in the play, the character relationship dynamics, and how I wanted the sound and lighting to help suck the audience into the story.   2.4 November 2017 – Design Meetings Begin November 1, 2017 – Casting Female Actors in Male Roles: If we switched the gender of the three male characters to female, what would that story say? And the way women do not have power in this world? Do I want to put women in positions of power when it is the men that have all the power? Are we talking about men and what they’re like and do? Or men and women? Is it more general about power corrupting everyone? Does switching the gender of these characters pop the bubble of what Miller was trying to create?  November 10, 2017 – Thoughts on Analysis: • Directorial approach; the preplanning, the people you’re working with, what you’ve already determined about the play, the production and the artists. The values of the play.   63 • How do characters reveal themselves to the audience? • It feels like a heavy play, so do we need release moments planned into the rehearsals?  • In rehearsal: we’re always questioning to find out more.  • In performance: the actors don’t think about all the work we’ve done. Now they own it. This is the same for a Director. Here’s an idea that speaks to me the strongest now. I own all the ideas I’ve had, but I’m using this one now. We prepare so that when things don’t work or inspiration doesn’t hit in rehearsals we have work prepared to lead us, like a play technician. The wake up call is when something doesn’t make me feel good. Listen to that negative feeling and then change the circumstance and what’s causing it.  • This is a big play. Big what? It’s 3 hours long? Twenty-two characters ‘big’? ‘Big’ ideas? This play is no bigger than any other play, it just has more ‘big’ness than anything else I’ve done. Directing a play is like eating an elephant. One bite at a time.  • Which design elements can bring this period play into the modern world? • I will give two images to my Designers for visual inspiration for the world of the play. The first image is a drawing of two women in a house knitting, and through the window you can see someone hanging. The drawing has many dark lines that make up the walls of the house that are cracked and broken. The second image is a painting from the Arthur Miller article in the New Yorker. The image is a painting of a the courtroom scene from the Witch Trails with the caption “Spectral evidence – that poisoned cloud of fantasy – made a kind of lunatic sense in Salem.” The painting had dark and light contrasting tones, with a lot of blue and yellow colours that are highly saturated. The play between dark and light and the shadows in the image are very compelling. Compositionally the painting   64 also shows a large clump of frightened Salem townspeople, with a frightened Abigail Williams, John Proctor and Judge Danforth.  • These two photos are useful visual tools. I don’t want the play to look exactly like that but they have a feeling I’m looking for.  • Act I: The rhythm undulates, the rug is being pulled out from under us, so there is a sense of calm, and then an explosion of people and energy.  • How we help these three female actors become male characters that will inform how I speak to those three women. The costume designer and movement coach, Cathy Burnett, can help the expression of masculinity for them with their female silhouettes, so that it’s not distracting. • Communication with the designers is strained. Talk to Stephen when these feelings come up and don’t ignore any problems. • If there’s an instinctive response to something I’m seeing or hearing for inspiration, drill down deeper and figure out what it is about it that I’m drawn to. Remember, that just because I’m drawn to it doesn’t mean it necessarily works for The Crucible. November 18, 2017 – First Design Meeting for The Crucible: Our first design meeting was today, and overall it went well. Kim and Ryan were enthusiastic, came prepared with images, ideas, questions, and were thoroughly engaged in our conversation. It was even a challenge to keep them from diving into all of their design ideas right away, rather than all of us discussing the play.  Here are the questions I asked the Designers: • What’s your biggest hit about this play? • What do you think the play is about?   65 • Why would you do this play in 2018? • What part from the play sticks with you after reading? • What’s the truth in this play? Or, what’s the right truth? • Who is this play about? Is there a hero?  • What is the connection to the contemporary from the world of 1692?  Some of the best notes from the Designers I will consider further: • Contradictions of good vs. evil and the church, the proper way to follow god, they’re trying to be free and they’re trapped in the world of god’s eyes.  • Kids with strict parents, they’re the ones that rebel.  • Most people in the play defend their individual selves, their names, by using the names of divinity to help.  • Small town, word travels quickly. You don’t know what’s true. • They had boring lives and this was a way of making life more interesting.  • The smallest communities have the biggest things go wrong. Spiralling.   • They cover their asses by blaming someone else. No one cares for anyone else. The individualism.  • This world we’re in, even though we’re so connected with technology, we’ve got the rumour train leaving the station, fake news, witch hunts, the over reaching power of the government, the breakdown of due process, or suspension of it. Innocent until proven guilty is now switching.  • Reflects not just that time period, but it will happen in the future, in the present, in communities around the world.    66 • Felt drained after reading it. Emotionally took a toll.  • Abigail, she calls the shots, is the boss, she’s the instigator, and no one is the hero. No one saves the day, no happy ending. Abigail’s the kind of character that says she’s a prophet but is actually a wolf. She’s a stone that drops in a pond and causes the ripples.  • These characters are complex, human, they have truth within them, but they’re still fallible. Don’t presuppose who they are. The play is full of secrets for these characters, and so whom do we believe? Do you tell the truth that is the most convenient?   November 22 and 26, 2017 – Design Meetings: During design meetings this week, the following thoughts came up. Lighting: • Dark, spooky, tall lines, creating height, closing in. • Less is more; do we have dramatic shifts every moment? Do we have a big shift at the dramatic moments, or slow degradation? • Fog of confusion? Using fog or haze for this? If people were in positions of authority but masked in some way, anonymous then they were more abusive. • Severe, cold looks.  • Morning light breaks through in Act I.  • It is dusk, night time in Act II. But we get the glow and warmth of the fireplace. • Sunlight is pouring into the Vestry from high above in Act III. Middle of the day.  • Darkness, it is the middle of the night (coming up slowly on morning) and there is cool moonlight streaming in, Act IV.   67 • Where are the lights coming from? The inside world or outside? The lights are coming from the outside world, natural light only. Inside they create fire only , all natural sources of light.  • In Happy Days when the set was surrounded by darkness, and we saw the sunlight rising and coming in.  • Strict, Puritan living vs. the dark, sinister, menacing natural world. Set: • The Inside world: is overwhelming. Smaller space that gets even smaller as the play goes on. Walls and beams get smaller or closer together? • How does the space get filled or deflate? The heartbeat of the space.  • The four different locations in the play: o Act I: Private made public o Act II: Private that eventually is made semi public o Act III: Public that should be Private o Act IV: Public that feels Private Kim and I were thinking that the set could start out very wide, with outside forces for good and evil on their way into Salem (the devil coming into town, and Hale on his way to help deal with the evil forces). As the play continues, we go to a more intimate place, the Proctor home, but other people invade that space, then we move to the smaller and more compressed space  of the vestry – the ‘court house’ – where tensions and conflicts are high because they are being pressed upon. Finally ending with the one jail cell, where again, the forces of good and evil (which has become difficult to know exactly who is on each side) come into this even smaller space to discover what is ‘right’, and stamp out the ‘evil things’ they fear.   68 Is it the frame that makes it small? The world? Or the people? It’s a combination of both. The oppressive outside world, because it’s dangerous, so the town has to stick together. But the inside world becomes just as oppressive because townspeople are turning on each other. Both the frame and it’s oppressive nature make the inside world smaller, but the people also cram in and make everything smaller. The relationship between the two spaces, is it in harmony or disparate? The inside and outside world are in opposition of each other. Costumes: • Elizabeth Proctor: 6 months pregnant in Act IV? Do we need a pregnant belly? • Character wise: at the start they are all in a group in the community. They get divided, and alliances are created. Little gangs are formed, and they’re fighting each other.  • Costume wise: not many changes happen throughout. Show the difference between the groups through small differences. • Abigail, she’s the driving force behind the events.  • Huge choice: to not allow it to be period. There is a way to do contemporary, but to only ‘sort of do it’ is difficult and troublesome. Period but simplified, or streamlined. We need to figure out what the rules are of the Puritan mixing with Contemporary. Clothes and props will land somewhere. We’ll have to define every rule; what we can or can’t use. • The people of the court: are they more strict, structured in the costumes? Sound: • How does the Sound support the inside or outside world? Is there a contrast or are they in harmony? Do the two worlds sound different? Is one louder or softer? • The journey of sound, is it the same as the other designs?   69 • There isn’t a lot in the script of actual sound cues. • Erika said she didn’t really hear anything when she read the play. We figured out what the goals of each design element are: Set goal: show the transformation of how the people are becoming more trapped.  Costume goal: make that bridge between 1692 and now Lighting goal: light and dark at play in the town! The secrets that good people are hiding.  Sound goal: helping to take us on that emotional journey of the play November 27, 2017 – Further Examination of the Inside VS Outside World of the Play: Act I: • Spring, lingering cold feeling. • Inside: Private space becoming public. Betty and Abigail are fearful in the beginning,  and the space feels ominous, and suspicious creating the space for something unnatural. The space is physically higher as it’s on the second floor of the meeting house. And the space becomes full of people as the act progresses. • Outside: bright, it’s watching them, interrogating them, keeping a watchful eye on the people in the town. Invasive, oppressing the inside world. Because the outside world is vast and dangerous.   Act II:   • Eight days later, evening.  • Inside: low, dark, long, at the start it’s empty, but there’s a fireplace which is warm, inviting, safe, food, satisfying, fire for warmth and cooking food. So maybe we’re seeing the tensions manifested physically in the environment through the contrast of warm fire, yet dark everywhere else in the room? To highlight the dark wintry Elizabeth and the hot   70 passionate John? There is space for an upstairs, things could be higher up. Private space, that eventually becomes public when Hale, Cheever, and Herrick come to take Elizabeth away. It’s supposed to be safe.   • Outside: early night, it’s almost dark. If its sunset time, we are closing the chapter on light, on bright, the outside of Act 1. So it becomes more dark and ominous. Act III: • A week later. Day time, middle of the day. • Inside: Downstairs, bottom of the Meeting house – same house from Act I, starts empty, gets filled up, bleak, solemn, claustrophobic, heavy, unbalanced, unnatural, things aren’t the way they’re supposed to naturally be, positions of power within the room – snuggly armchair with power vs. no power of the plain benches and stools. So who actually holds power and who doesn’t? Your life is dependent on decisions made here. When you walk in you don’t know if you’re going to be able to walk out, you may be walking into a trap.  It’s an empty stage, solemn, there’s an uneven sense. • Outside: Sunlight pouring in, bright, oppressive, scrutinizing, like we’re searching for the truth, it’s actually probably safer outside in Act III. Act IV: • Six months later, Fall, jail, night time, 5:00am. Time is progressing fast. John Proctor is in the dungeon. Early November.  • Inside world: small, cramped, more empty because people have been killed, restricted, confined, isolated, alone, dark, cold, ominous because you might be going to your hanging at any moment.  You’re now a nobody, you have no power or control.   71 • Outside World: it’s dark but it’s being illuminated by moonlight, which feels magical, releasing, transcendent. The light of day is coming though; judgement day? Or hope? It’s unclear. The outside world doesn’t feel as oppressive because the oppression now comes from the inside world.  • There seems to be a progression from high to low. Top floor (Act I), main floor (Act II), main floor (Act III – feels lower than the Act before due to the fact that it has two high windows), basement/dungeon feeling (Act IV).  • There’s a progression where Acts I and II are safe in the inside world, and the outside world is dangerous. Then in Acts III and IV, it switches to a dangerous inside world and the outside is safe (because the outside is where freedom is, like Heaven in Act IV?) November 27 and 28, 2017 – More thoughts on Sound Design to Share with Erika: I have more thoughts on the sound design to share with Erika. • Does the sound pull or push us? • Is there a whole soundscape that could play at the start of the show, so we see the dancing, the ritual, Parris catching the girls, and then it brings us to the play beginning?  • A low rumble frequency; a dark and haunting note/tone that carries with us through the whole play? • We don’t want to release the audience part way through the show.  • What moments can provide the context for the play in our sound? The very beginning in the dancing, the girls at the end of Act I, the girls screaming in the court and attacking Mary Warren, the very end of the play when John refuses to give his signed testimony and tears up the paper. Is there anything in Act II?   72 • I want the audience to feel these sounds in their bodies. • A nod to the natural world; like the natural world is upset with what humanity is doing to each other. Moody, atmospheric. • All of a sudden high ethereal tones layered over top of the low tones. Like we’re being sucked up and into the action on stage, I feel it deep in my chest; like a storm, an earthquake. The world is breaking apart and we’re left with a beautiful whole feeling. A healing.  • Is the sound deliberately disjointed?  • Is it rhythmic? Do we hear a beat? A melody or specific rhythm to the piece? Sudden, changes in rhythm, unexpected shifts, those deep low tones that reverberate around the theatre and bodies. When sitting anywhere in the theatre, the sound still envelops us.  • The sound allows us to be transported through time, space, combining the horrific, scary, low atmosphere sounds. • It’s the juxtaposition of the hard, heavy, traumatic, and horrifying with beautiful, longing, melodic, and musical elements that suck us in, that make it a dynamic and emotional journey to go on.  2.5 December 2017 – Finalizing Design before Winter Break December 3, 2017 – Thoughts on Sound: • The play’s strongest features are the world of the play that we are transported into – fear, and a sense of injustice that is created through the dramatic action between the characters and the language of the piece.    73 • The sound design can help transport us into the feeling we’re starting at a run from the very beginning of the play. Perhaps with a very specific sound that is used while the audience sits and waits for the play to start? • Act I is called an overture, which indicates what the sound of the world is like. That it has a very strong musical quality to it, and that our sound design can help emotionally carry the audience through this story. • The sound design can help envelop the audience within the world of the play unfolding. And even make the audience feel as if they are culpable in the wrong doings happening as the characters don’t speak up for what they believe is right, or use the situation to their advantage. For that to happen there has to be a building up; an accumulation of everything. • The prevailing mood is one of waiting for the other shoe to drop; that things can’t keep getting worse, but they do. • The pre-show music could create a mood of fun, frivolity, and exploration (like the girls dancing in the woods). Then before the show starts, it changes, becomes dark and ominous. • Feel: Claustrophobic, the bad is closing in on them, there is no escape, but there are some (mainly the young girls) that are finding power and enjoyment because it is the first time for them that they are free from their chains. • The sound could travel through the theatre, starting in one speaker and then spreading to all of them, drawing us into the show, and immerses the audience in the action.  December 4, 2017 – Design Meeting and Getting Ready for Design Presentations: Blocking - In Act I, I want there to be constant circling around Betty, like she’s the eye of the storm!   74 The shape of the set floor was a pentagon type shape. But then during a design brainstorming sessions, Robert Gardner stated how that shape would tell the audience that it was the devil really at work in the play. So I worked with Kim and we adjusted the shape so it didn’t have the definitive point that came out to the audience at the downstage centre spot, and instead was cut off along the downstage centre spot. This will allow us to open up the playing space more, and potentially maybe Betty’s bed could be all the way DSC for Act I. December 6, 2017 – Advising with Stephen on Design Ideas: Lighting: • As we’ve been moving along in design meetings, the lighting design feels very fluid and unstable. It doesn’t feel fully formed in my brain.  • We need to recognize key transition moments in lighting, and try out some lighting ideas in real time in the theatre. Ryan, Kim and I will plan to do this together. Sound:  • Inside or outside sound? What is the value of the sound? • Can sounds come from the actors, the staging, the singing in person? • Sounds start natural and move to unnatural and/or supernatural? I.e.: A hooting owl – building from realistic and out to unnaturalistic and granulated so the sound is distorted and creepy, ominous. • The deep, guttural sounds, if we play that for an audience are we taking the themes/ideas of the play and hitting an audience over the head with them? • What is the audience supposed to believe about Betty’s illness? Does the sound bring our attention and focus to Betty? • Is the sound evocative or symbolic? Do I want it to be a reminder of the outside world?   75 • I need to play sounds during rehearsals. That will be the way to know if the sounds are working. • We have to set the convention that we will use during the play. Whenever the tension rises in the play, we hear a low hum? Let’s test it out in rehearsals! • What’s the evolution of the idea as the play going on? Underscoring the dramatic action of the play? If we do that, how is the sound changing and how is it different than before? We will treat the sound design as an experiment!  General Thought: • Even if a character is a rebel against the time period – they have to do it in secret at first. December 7, 2017 – Design Meeting: Sound: • Scoring those specific moments in the play I want us to focus on.  Lighting: • Candle light? Shadowy and dark? What about the boundaries of that? What if it’s too dark? What does that do? What do we want to do to pull focus, during key moments through staging? Are we being natural in the lighting? • We are moving the focus around the stage with lightin, not natural. What are the edges of that abstraction of design? What if this goes very abstract - big bold colours, vs. a few lighting abstracts. • Go see some bodies on stage and try some bold, and some simple lighting looks. Props/Set: • Do we need the fireplace? Do the kitchen props and elements that are in 1692 need to be in the scene? Or are they more modern mix with period, just like the costumes.   76 December 11, 2017 – Design Presentations: Set: • Colours and textures of furniture and set pieces. Natural/neutral: browns, greens, or black and whites. Also for the paint of the set: beams, walls, and painted floor? • The transformation of the set pieces: Act I bed into Act II kitchen table and Act I headboard into Act II fireplace, then the Act II kitchen table into Act III table in vestry room. Removed by Act IV. The chairs in Act I move into Act II and into Act III, but removed for Act IV.  • Streamlined or Simplified 1692 props and set pieces. • Lanterns: used in Act I. Any other Acts? • Main drape/window flies? Could take the drape off in order to fly in the windows downstage of the proscenium arch if we want. Sound: • In the beginning: the sound is fun, frivolity, laughter in the pre-show/prologue environment of the theatre. Then it radically shifts. We don’t really hear high and clear hopeful tones until the end of the play. And only briefly in Act II at the start of the act do we hear hopeful tones, and then again in Act III when Elizabeth enters and we think she’s going to tell Danforth the truth about John’s lechery.  • Dark, rumbly, low, and high tones coming together? Natural sounds that change?  • Use the sound to underscore particular important moments in the play. • Experiment with sound and actors speaking during ‘offstage’ singing in Act I, Martha Corey speaking in Act III, and the cow mooing outside the jail cell in Act IV. Do these sounds need to be mic’ed?   77 Costumes: • The costumes are making is quite sexual shapes because of the fitted waists, tight pants; is this what I want? • Colours: Hathorne and Danforth are outside of suspicion therefore they’re without colour. Also they are an oppressive force on the ‘colourful’ citizens of the Salem society. • Should Hale have colour? He doesn’t stick to the theocratic rule like Danforth and Hathorne. • Should we have more unity between the collars used for characters? Like different social standings, occupations, or class? And who has cuffs and who doesn’t? • Indoor and outdoor: something to go on top when they are inside vs. outside? Or for when they are coming inside from being outside? • Do they use jackets/overcoats as a way to give themselves power? Yes for Danforth and Hathorne? • Act IV: do the costumes need to be distressed? Or just disheveled on the bodies? Collars and cuffs – we could make a second set that are distressed to show time progression. • Make sure I am clear on the outcome of the costumes and how sexual I want the characters to appear. Lighting: • Do we need an extra day of Levels and Movement/Articulation of the Beams? We would lose half a day of actor rehearsal time to do this. • Texture on the outside world?  • What colour is the inside world?   78 • Fog – looks like it is coming from a specific source/location. Haze – fills the space evenly. Why would we want to use haze or fog? We can be more subtle with colours and light without them. • Moods and emotions of each Act – speak with lighting and sound together to make sure we are on the same page for these things. • Act II’s fireplace should have glowing embers. • Backlights of walls so they glow at certain points – why though? Or just the final moment of the play with Elizabeth? • Obliterate the Outside world so it is all Inside for the play? • When you shine a light on the actors inside the set space, it’s going to shine some light through to the outside space due to the breaks in the wood walls. General Thoughts: • Try those otherworldly sounds/elements and the meta-theatricality of it, and see if it works. It’s an external thing that I’m bringing into the world – it’s not coming from the script. Does it go along with the act transitions and the set changing? A consistent change? Does it continue, or change at some point?  • Look at key moments: do I have the things that I need to block those moments? How do I want to stage them? Where the reveals happen? Where the shifts happen with the change in action? How the strengths of the stage support the action?  • Metatheatrical story with realistic responses in the world! Holding onto a kind of realism within a metatheatrical set and design – so possibilities for symbolic or emotional actions.     79 December 20, 2017 – Moments to highlight: Act I: • Parris and Abigail reveal what was happening in the woods before Betty ‘fell’ sick. • Abigail threatens the girls about revealing what they did in the woods: ‘oh we’ll be whipped.’ • Betty wakes up and tries to ‘fly’ out the window, ‘You drank blood Abby!’ • Abigail and John alone with Betty in Act I. • Mrs. Putnam attacks Rebecca Nurse because the Putnams must accept all their children dying and the Nurses have not lost any children. • Hale’s entrance and the uncertain/insecure mood that settles over the room and community members, ‘what victory would the devil have to win a soul already bad?’  • Betty wakes up and her and Abigail call out people in town who are witches. Act II: • Elizabeth speaks about the rabbit just walking into the house on its own. • The tension between John and Elizabeth when he says he means to please her, and tells her that it’s winter still in the house. • Mary Warren comes home and the poppet ends up on the mantel overlooking everyone in the house. • Elizabeth speaks of how Abigail has a plan to get rid of Elizabeth, ‘it is her dearest hope John I know it.’ • John can’t remember all of his 10 commandments with Hale. • Giles and Francis arrive to tell that their wives have been accused and taken away.   80 • Elizabeth brings Mary Warren downstairs and we hear about the poppet being made in court earlier that day where Abigail could see what was happening. • Herrick takes Elizabeth outside and John goes outside after him. Act III: • Mary Warren admits the girls were pretending, while Parris is trying to discredit John. • John assuring Danforth that Elizabeth will never lie. • John, Francis, and Giles telling the judges that they have a testament signed by ninety-one townspeople claiming their wives to be good women, and not in pact with the devil. • Danforth claiming that this is a strict time. • Giles claims that the judges mean to hang them all. Trying to persuade John to say ‘no more’ to them for it will be twisted against Giles, John, and Francis.  • Mary Warren giving her deposition to the judges about the girls pretending, and Parris asking her to prove it and faint now. • Abigail and the girls being bewitched by Mary Warren, Abigail sees a yellow bird, the girls turning against Mary, and causing her to turn against John Proctor. Act IV: • Sarah Good and Tituba calling out to the Devil in the moonlight and that he’s going to save them. • Elizabeth and John alone together in the cell, with only the moonlight shining in on them. • John refusing to give up his signed testimony. • John leaves, Elizabeth and Hale together, and Elizabeth supports John’s final decision.    81 2.6 January 2018 – Final Preparations for Rehearsals & Pre-Rehearsal Chats with Actors January 5, 2018 - Advising with Stephen: Smaller moments in the play that I don’t understand: why we hear that Giles Corey thinks the trouble with the town is everyone suing everybody else. And Mr. Putnam getting angry at John for the wood. By diving deeper into those smaller moments of the play and coming to understand them it can help to unlock greater meaning of the whole play. You have to keep on those moments until you understand the significance of the confusing parts in the play within the greater whole! Let’s put the pecking order of the characters together as a group. How do the power dynamics shift throughout the play? We’ll need to have some dedicated physical exploration and vocal exploration time. Physical to discover how these characters move, and especially in the moments when the young girls have their fits. Vocally because the young girls have to scream at times.        January 8, 2018 – Design Meeting:   82  Figure 1.6 Promotional Photo for The Crucible of Reverend Parris and Abigial Willians (L to R: Louis Lin, Heidi Damayo. Costume Designer: Cora Wu. Photo Credit: Emily Cooper) Final design choices were made with Cora for the characters. We addressed that the mens’ costumes could not be figure hugging, that they’re more functional and less stylish. The colours used for different characters, as well as what the collars and cuffs for the different characters would look like; trying to create some more uniform looks for the collars and cuffs. January 12 - 30, 2018 – Pre-Rehearsal Conversations with the Actors: From January 12 – 30 I had several meetings with the actors in different groupings of their characters in order to hear from them about the upcoming rehearsal process, and encourage   83 them to consider some questions about their characters, their given circumstances, and their different allegiances without the community.   The different groupings were: • Louis, Heidi, Cassandra, and Sophia: Reverend Parris, Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and Tituba • Shona, Aidan, Olivia: Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Mary Warren • Shona, Aidan, Heidi: Elizabeth Proctor, John Proctor, and Abigail Williams • Sabrina and Matthew: Mrs. Ann Putnam and Mr. Thomas Putnam • Frank, Jed, Louis, and Tebo: Deputy Governor Danforth, Reverend Hale, Reverend Parris, and Judge Hathorne • Natalie: Rebecca Nurse (missing Tomas for Francis Nurse) • Daria and Sabrina: Giles Corey and Martha Corey • Elizabeth, Gray, and Jed:  Marshal George Herrick, Ezekial Cheever, and Reverend Hale • Olivia, Cassandra, Daelyn, and Drew: Mary Warren, Betty Parris, Mercy Lewis, and Susanna Walcott • Daria and Aidan: Giles Corey and John Proctor 1) What do the actors need from me as their Director? • Looking for more of a collaborative process when working together; freedom to experiment. Push him, but give him then the space to try things out, as well as time to process and integrate the notes.  • Be blunt, honest, and forthright in direction. Honest feedback, straightforward and professional.   84 • Let the actors know exactly where we are in the whole rehearsal process.  • Viewpoints exercises are very useful in getting in the body of the characters, and using the set as the space to understand it, and the bigger picture of the play. • Honouring the people in the room and the play, understanding what your role is within the context of the show, and understanding those boundaries – i.e.: giving actors notes, stealing focus, respect for the process and the other actors. Same actor director language. “What are you doing?”  2) In this production I want to create a safe space, and will ask you to go to emotionally dark places, so how can we do that in rehearsal and then leave it there?  • Really emotionally intense scene, if people are not in the scene but they’re whispering off to the side, it pulls him out. If you’re in the room then you are in the room. • Good to know what the point of rehearsal is. Know if we’re running through it for emotions or for blocking.  • Can go to 100% in the first week. Set up the parameters that they are encouraged to go as full and big as possible and they have permission to do so.  • Set up rehearsal as this is the work, and this isn’t anything more than the work. • Warming down. Setting aside time for unwinding at the end of the rehearsals. More important to have the cool down/check out time. An exit method. • After the emotional work, physically clearing the energy and emotion.   Sophia raised a concern about the Barbados accent for Tituba. How can we best make that work with Sophia, and make it truthful still? Sophia is not African, and so she doesn’t want   85 an accent to sound silly.  Is there a potential for adding words into the sentences so that they aren’t as distinctly in a Barbados accent?  Ideas for Rehearsal: • Let the actors in on my take for the genre and how this drama will unfold.  • How historically accurate are we going to be? What’s the percentage of how much is historically accurate, what’s in the script, and what’s the actors’ process? • Can we have a deep question period, where there are no weird questions, and no stone unturned? And allow a bit of tangents to allow for the connection to the material.  • Have times when we go as big as they can possibly go (150%)! And then bring people back to where I want it. But make sure to ask everyone to go that far.  • During the first rehearsal, a reminder that this is a professional atmosphere and there should be no actors giving each other notes or disrespecting each other!  • This is the time to mess it up! Bring it all and put the mess out there! • Pay attention to the stage directions from Miller, around the emotional context of lines and moments.  January 17, 2018 – Thoughts on the Process So Far… Where to start… the past few months have felt like a blur of decisions, questions, second guessing myself, lack of energy, and just not enough time! I feel right now like we’re flying full force into the production and design concept without having the time to really figure out what this world will be, look like, smell like, feel like… That I’ve let it fall back on what’s come before, and be heavily influenced by the 1692 time period. Should we modernize more of the props? The hair? Jewellery? Facial hair? The sound? The lights? It’s difficult for me to know what’s the right decision. How do I want to unlock this play for a modern audience?   86  I keep thinking about the costumes and the significance of the colour red in the young girls’ costumes. Does it signify their passion, their determination to fight against the rules of the society/time period? Should, not just Abigail and the girls have red, but also John, Tituba, and Sarah Good have too? I need to solidify for myself what these bits of red fabric mean to the world of the play and the characters. Elizabeth could potentially have something red by Act IV after she’s lied in Act III to protect and save John’s life and reputation. For me red represents how these characters do not like the oppressive theocratic rule that they are forced to live under. That they want to take action against those strict rules and find some way to break free from them. So, perhaps Tituba needs some red from the start of the play!  I was also thinking about the poppet and the costumes for the show – if the poppet has clothes that don’t match what the actors are wearing then that poppet will feel out of the world. We have to equally modernize the props of the play like we’re attempting to modernize the costumes as well. This is an old world with modern influences. With props we can have more ceramic/porcelain looking dishes, cups, and cutlery – less of the old brass/metal containers. I think dishes that have that same kind of design and feel as the Le Creuset pot are ideal – they have an old-fashioned charm while being modern as well.  I’m thinking more about the costumes and the design details. Could we have something like exaggerated stitching lines along the hems? Something that would align the costumes more with the lines and cracks of the set’s wood walls? As well as the kinds of fabrics used for the costumes? The linens used on stage for the bedding? I need more thought around what the characters’s shoes will look like. It would be best to have a meeting with Cora to follow up with some of these design concepts.    87 January 18, 2018 – Advising with Stephen: There’s been concern around lighting sightlines with the overhead beams. How will the light reach the actors below? Ryan brought up the idea of having footlights for the play again – especially the potentially limiting lighting options the beams will allow. I asked Ryan to mock up a lighting test for me in the Frederic Wood. I’d like to hear from him where he thinks the footlights would be beneficial. Stephen suggested that I think about the masking and lighting concerns more within the overall realm of the design – that if the audience can see the bare bones of the structure of the set, and the set move, then seeing the lights above the set or to the side is not outside of the realm of the world of the play. We’ve already created a heightened, un-naturalistic set, and a world where things are being exposed (thematically as well as design and structurally) so seeing lighting fixtures fits perfectly within that. I know that Kim would prefer not to see the lighting fixtures as she wants to create clean lines to her set design.  Stephen and I spoke in detail about how the First Read will go.  1) Why’re we’re playing – The World of the Play, my Directorial insights into the Play 2) The thing we’re playing with – Design Presentations and reading of The Crucible 3) How we’re going to optimize playing in this world – Rehearsal Guidelines and Character Hierarchies. For the Rehearsal Guidelines – I want to create ‘an air of discovery’ in the rehearsal room and excitement for the potential of discovery. As well as making sure all of the actors know that they have the right and responsibility to ask questions about the play. We then spoke further about the beams in the set and now that we know that the beams can move whenever we would like them to the question I need to answer is when do the beams   88 move? How often? And what does it mean when they move? Are the beams moving the whole show or just in between each Act? Do we want them to move after each significant moment that occurs onstage? When the beams move, are they reinforcing that there’s witchcraft at work, and that fate is at work for the characters so they can’t escape? Therefore, is the set revealing too much about the secret of the play? Do I want the changing unrealistic set to be responsive to what happens on stage and the actions of the characters?  January 20, 2018 – The Secret Scene of The Crucible: During my pre-rehearsal chat with Heidi, Shona and Aidan, they brought up this ‘secret scene’ that exists. At first I had no idea what they were talking about. I had looked through different copies of The Crucible script and never came across it. I’ve since looked up the secret scene – the scene intrigues me and looking at possibilities of what it would mean to stage it; what that addition would mean for the story and the dramatic action of the play.  The secret scene brings up these questions for me: • Why did Miller remove this text from the script? • What does this scene say about Abigail? • What does it say about John? • How does the scene change their journey and character development if we add it back in? I was not sure of how the scene would change the journey Abigail and John were on, and how I originally understood their relationship. But the scene was still compelling for me due to some of the lines of text. Perhaps I could pull lines of it out to use at the height of Act II as the act is ending and Elizabeth is taken away; like a creepy voice over/sound effect. I’m going to sleep on my thoughts around this scene.    89 January 23, 2018 – Notes from Movement Meeting with Cathy:  Figure 1.7 Act I, Abigail claims to go back to Jesus (L to R and Top to Bottom: Jed Weiss, Louis Lin, Cassandra Bourchier, Heidi Damayo, Sophia Paskaladis. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)  The Fits: Not witchcraft, but mass hysteria, swept up into it, using it to gain power and control. It’s empowerment in an era when they didn’t have any power. Their hormones are on overdrive! They want to be excited, charged up, doing something slightly naughty and rebellious.  Movement: Physicalize and vocalize that desire for pleasure and rebellion! This was a society where the women were bound up so tightly they couldn’t even touch, and humans need physical contact for well-being. In 1692 specifically: closed off and hidden bodies, with closed off body language too. Very restricted movements, and rebelling against those rules.   90 Viewpoints: Doing it as a warm up that helps to feed the 1692 bodies. Using the Grid (Topography), Tempo, Duration, Spatial Relationship, Repetition of Gesture,  We spoke specifically about the girls’ fits and that the movement is coming from a place of sexual repression and desire. Everyone has that feeling as a teenager when they’re so horny but can’t do anything to truly relieve those feelings. This idea links into my understanding of the play, because much of my desire to do the play comes from those original feelings that if these women were only born in a different time things may have been different for them. But because they were alive at a time when women were oppressed and repressed, they were forced into strict guidelines of behaviour and there wasn’t any opportunity for fun, self-discovery or exploration. Hence why dancing in the woods turns into total mayhem. We then spoke more about if there were any particular way I viewed the individual characters. Here is whom I think will need Physical Coaching: • Daria – Giles Corey, 83, knotted with muscle, old but powerful • Elizabeth – Herrick, early 30’s, male • Tebo – Hathorne, 60’s, bitter and remorseless • Tomas – Francis Nurse, well respected, in his 70’s • Sabrina – Mrs. Putnam, twisted soul of 45, haunted • Matthew – Mr. Putnam, rich, many grievances, near 50  • Louis – Parris, mid-40’s, villainous, prideful, suspicious • Aidan – John Proctor, mid-30’s, powerful body, “even-tempered” • Natalie – Rebecca Nurse, 72, leans on a walking stick, kind, wise • Sophia – Tituba, 40’s, frightened, loving, self-preservation   91 • Jed – Hale, nearing 40, eager, intellectual, good and moral January 29, 2018 – Advising with Stephen: Accent for Tituba: If we already have Women playing Male roles, Young actors playing Old characters, we don’t need to other that character even more than she already is in the play. My instinct it that we do not have Sophia play Tituba with an accent that isn’t her own. Tituba is already othered. Ryan has been speaking about cutting lighting cues from his list already. Here are some questions to ask Ryan to help understand where he’s coming from, or what his concerns are: • What would be better about the production aesthetically but cutting cues now? • What do the cues look like? • What are those cues doing for the play and the dramatic action of the story? • Are you confused? Let me know and I can give you clarity! January 31, 2018 – Discoveries:  Last night I had two really great chats about the show! During my chat with Aidan and Daria it was very useful to point out some of the background information I want them to consider. Also, we realized that both John and Giles Corey must be able to read, not only to read the bible, but also to be able to read and write lawsuits or court documents and summons. This means that either Martha Corey hides her books from Giles (is she reading something she shouldn’t?) Or is Martha just the first wife to really read whereas Giles’ previous wives weren’t interested in it?  The question around character sexualities came up in the priests/judges chat. We’ll want every character to have an answer to these questions of sexuality. The fact that only a handful of characters really own their sexuality in the play is fascinating and something we can use in our   92 production. To have each of the characters consider their sexuality and does it hold them back? Do they use it as a means of power? Do they embrace it as something natural and normal, rather than seeing it as something evil and of the devil? These questions will tie greatly into the Priests and Judges and how they view sexuality in general and their own sexuality? Or who is allowed to be sexual and who isn’t? Is it assumed that no one experiences pleasure? Only men? Women?   2.7 February 2018 – Rehearsals Begin February 1, 2018 – Discoveries: I’m realizing that a few of my ideas around the design of the show from when I was writing my script analysis have changed. The set – originally I envisioned the physical world of the play being utterly symbolic, that would help to only show the journey that the characters were on. While the roof beams do create that aspect, they’re also facilitating a period and realistically inspired set for the four locations needed in the play. I realized this as I was reflecting on the props, set and costume meetings. Props and set may just need to be what can practically and eloquently be executed on stage. When discussing the set dressing for each act, what’s being pulled first are realistic or almost-real versions of those items. I worry that everything isn’t going to work together cohesively like I hope it will. For the floor painting, I like the idea of a diamond being painted at the centre of the stage, and the lines spreading out from there. I like the symmetry of this, but also that the pattern feels broken or incomplete at the sides, like there is something living and happening beyond the set that we can’t always see. It also draws the eye inwards and helps to bring our focus to the stage and what’s happening there.      93 February 3, 2018 – First Read Has Come and Gone!   First day has come and gone already! I’m not sure how successful I was at explaining my vision for the play – my nerves of doing a ‘good job’ may have actually made me do a “mediocre” job. I need to find a way to harness that nervous energy and not let it hold me hostage or lose track of what I want to say. Besides me feeling like I could have done a better job – I think I can actually come back from my nervousness as there were two things we didn’t get to today, Rehearsal Guidelines and Character Hierarchies. So we will start Monday’s rehearsal with those items, and take that opportunity to go over the following: 1) Ask the actors if they have any questions about what I said during my “Vision” for the play? 2) Recap that #1, 2, 3 different aspects of the Play a. Here’s why we’re playing b. Here’s the thing we’re playing in c. Here’s how we’re going to optimize playing in this world 3) Ask the actors what are they most excited about for this production? By taking 20-30 minutes to recap this information with the actors will ensure that we’re all on the same page for the Production!  The actors looked excited for the design concepts and how all aspects are going to work together to create the world. The world we worked hard to create had come together really well, and the world was striking, expressionistic, and symbolic of some of the deeper meanings of the play. And I was thrilled to see the actors’ excitement to the world of the play. Frank said to me that it was a beautiful world that was compelling, and going to be such a treat to play within. When Erika played her sounds to the actors, the looks on their faces of surprise, shock, joy,   94 excitement, and a little bit of fear even. It was exactly the kind of reaction I was hoping for. One of the actors said “oh ya, I can see and hear the fear and manipulation from that!” To which I commented, “But not the Devil at work.” I will address that I do not think the Devil is at work in the play. Yes the characters think that is what’s happening – or fear that is what’s happening – but that it is people doing these things to each other. After the presentations we began our read! Hearing the actors speak their lines filled me with such a great sense of relief. They were bringing wonderful qualities to their characters and made me proud of my casting decisions. Frank also told me that I cast the play so well! If I’ve learnt anything since starting school - casting is at least 50% of my job. It was interesting to see where the actors found funny parts within the play. Most of those moments come from discomfort with the subject matter and how ridiculous we view the concerns, fears, and logic that characters use because those sentiments feel outdated to us now. It is useful to notice where they do scoff at their characters or others. Are we judging the characters as the actors? Where do I dismiss their fears and concerns? Those moments are important for us to remember because we will need to ensure the audience doesn’t dismiss what’s happening with our modern sensibilities.  The other aspect I noticed during the reading is how much the pace and rhythm of the play picks up after Act II (and intermission for us) when Judge Hathorne and Danforth ‘join the fray’. This not only is coming from the text, but from Frank as well. I hadn’t seen Frank act before, and a large reason I cast him as Danforth was because he’s an older, more experienced s actor, and John Cooper had advised me to cast a strong actor as Danforth due to the amount of lines he had – so Frank seemed like the best choice. As soon as Danforth entered in Act III, it was like a heavy weight champion had entered the room. His work immediately affected everyone else and the entire energy of the read began to shift and become more pointed,   95 determined, and loud! Ha! Frank couldn’t help raising his voice with some of the lines he said.. The delivery of some of his lines was unexpected and this was fascinating. The acts with Frank in them are really going to help keep an audience engaged in the story until the very end. I did wonder what would I work on with Frank? What will he need from me? This will actually be a blessing in this whole process. The full read took much longer than I anticipated, so we only had time to hear some of the actors’ thoughts around the play and what stuck out most significantly for them. This lead to a great discussion, and I was relieved that we were all starting to be on the same page about the play. February 5, 2018 – Discoveries: From tonight’s rehearsal, I am quickly realizing that this play is much longer than I was deluding myself into thinking.  Until now, I have been thinking that I simply need to treat this play the same way I would treat any other play, and everything should work out. I don’t think I’ve ever begun rehearsing a play and felt this behind from the onset. We didn’t make it through the table work for Act I so tomorrow night we will have to finish up Act I, and push to finish table work for Act II so we can get back on track. Some great discoveries about the play were made during our table work and the character hierarchy exercise.  Character Hierarchy: This is based on who has the most power at the start of the play. This wasn’t looking at how people move up or down in power as the play progresses. Here is the list: 1. Danforth 2. Hathorne 3. Hale   96 4. Parris 5. Putnams/Nurses 6. Coreys 7. Proctors 8. Marshall Herrick 9. Cheever/Hopkins 10. Betty Parris 11. Ruth Putnam 12. Mercy Lewis/Susanna Walcott 13. Mary Warren 14. Abigail Williams 15. Tituba 16. Sarah Good This was fascinating – especially to see the actors fight for their character’s standing within the whole. We discovered quickly that we had to differentiate what kind of power we were talking about. We decided that we were looking specifically at the social standing or status within the community. Then there was looking at how their place in the power hierarchy changes as the play progresses, and who had more power or not depending on who was in the room at the time, and how does that change when other people enter. I’m hoping that Heidi will bring in some of her power research and share it with everyone in rehearsal.  We read through all of Act I together, including the histories that Miller provided. By having the actors read their own character histories it provided them with immediate context for   97 those characters, as well as began to connect them even more with the given circumstances of their characters.  After reading, I asked the actors if there were new things they discovered about the world and their characters. They all had much to say, and Heidi had a good point that this world seems to be about a religion that promotes fear, rather than other religions about love (perhaps ones that Abigail is hearing from Tituba). Matthew also admitted that he now could see how the Nurses were one step above the Putnams on the status rung. This was a great revelation for him as it gives the Putnams more incentive to fight for that advancement of power in the community. Sabrina realized that Mrs. Putnam might have sent Ruth to Tituba to speak with her dead siblings without Mr. Putnam knowing about it. And thus it is a bomb dropping in the scene when she reveals that in front of everyone in Act I.  I want to tell the actors that Miller is saying something about the different spaces in the play and perceived ownership of the space: public vs. private spaces. And consider how that ownership of space changes with other characters around, or what does a character perceive as their space? February 6, 2018 – Rehearsal Thoughts: • Realized Mercy Lewis’ entrance in Act I is breaking the tension bubble that existed between all of the parents and adults with their concerns over Betty, witches, and the devil.  • Abigail is a wild thing, and the town has gone wild, which is seen as incredibly dangerous.  • The actors need to know what their name means to them, and what it means in the town, and to the rest of the townspeople.    98 • By Act II, John no longer calls Abigail ‘Abby’, just Abigail. No more nickname. • I want nine Deputies standing outside of the Proctor’s home in Act II, even if they don’t all speak.  • Twenty-five women were accused and brought before the court in one day! We find out from Mary Warren in Act II. • The girls in the court, is it mass hysteria, stress, panic attacks?  • In Act II, Mary Warren enters and gives a speech like the messenger speeches in Greek Tragedy. Discoveries: I’m constantly feeling like I’m running out of time in the Rehearsal Room.  In all of my previous experiences directing I’ve had an abundance of time in comparison. Now for this project – which is significantly longer than what I’ve worked on in the past – I’m trying to use that same model and breakdown of time and space with the actors and action of the play, and I just don’t think it is possible.  Here is my new plan for Wednesday and Thursday rehearsals: I realized from the progress we made in Act I and Act II what kind of table work system I want to use. Yesterday I spent a significant amount of time with Heidi, Aidan, Daelyn, Cassandra, and Olivia asking these questions:  • What did you learn or discover in this scene?  • What jumped out at you in this scene? • Do you have any questions about this scene? But, while that was useful for Act I, scenes 6-9, when we could spend 20-30 minutes chatting and discovering things together, it was not useful for the remaining of Act I, scenes 1-5   99 and 10-15, as there was too much to cover. It was as if we were just scraping the surface of the play in those scenes, and much more time was taken up as we read the scenes all together, and then discussed them. Sony and I changed how we would progress with the rest of Act II. We had the actors read all of Act II together, and after the break I spent 10 minutes with each scene (actors coming in and out of the room as they were needed for scenes) – this allowed me to get through every scene of Act II tonight, which means I have caught up in my schedule and will be able to spend all of Wednesday night on Act III and all of Thursday night on Act IV. The questions I asked in Act II scenes also changed from Act I. For Act II scenes I asked: • Where is the Danger? • Who is the Scene about? • Are the characters running out of time? • What facts do we find out in this scene? • What questions are being raised in this scene?  • Where do character’s upgrade their language? Or repeat certain words? (Their own words or other characters’.) I will give out a list of questions to the actors they can answer when not in the rehearsal room. I’m not able to go through all of the questions one-on-one so at least I can give them the questions and when they are in the room, they will have some thoughts in regards to those questions. Questions to ask about the script: • Who enters? • When do they enter? • What’s their entrance feel like?   100 • What happens in this scene? • What does the Spectator learn about each character in this scene? • What do the characters learn about one another? • What are the character polarities? • Who exits? • When do they exit? • What’s their exit feel like? • What’s the tone of the scene? • What’s it feel like? • Is it different from the previous scene? • What’s the tempo of the scene? • Is it different from the previous? • What happens directly before I enter? • What’s the line before I enter? • What’s the first thing said about me in the play? • What’s the first thing I say? • Who do I say it to? • How would someone describe my entrance? • What prompts my exit? • Do I have an exit line? What is it? • What’s changed for me between entrance and exit? • How does this move the Story forward?   101 I am relying heavily on the Stage Management team to keep me on track. We discovered that by limiting ourselves to only 10 minutes per scene, the ASMs would bring in the next actors a minute early so that we would start the next scene on time.  For Act III I will ask the same questions as I did for Act II, and adding in: What changes in the scene? On Saturday I need to spend some time reviewing certain things that we haven’t had time to get to as of yet like:  • Further probing into Given Circumstances • Shifts/Beats within the text and Scenes • Dramatic Action • Turning Points • Major Moments/Significant Triggers • Rhythm & Pace  • Start of objective work            102 February 7, 2018 – Discoveries:  Figure 1.8 The girls, led by Abigail, begin to have a fit as they feel spirits upon them (L to R, Top to Bottom: Olivia Lang, Tomás Balli, Daria Rusu-Banu, Heidi Damayo, Tebo Nzeku, Louis Lin, Frank Zotter, Matthew Rhodes, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, Daelyn Lester-Serafini, DrewAnn Carlson. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sortes) • Momentum is there in Act III but the outcome is unclear. Danforth feels like the chaos in the town is still orderable.  • The carpet gets pulled out from under the characters and the audience when John says to everyone that he’s had an affair with Abigail in Act III. • The Vestry location (all of Act III) is a place of tension and danger for John Proctor.   103 • The research presentations are going well for everyone. Everyone’s knowledge and communal understanding of the script and world of the play is growing together. They’re eager to share their research. It’s a great way to create a ‘buy in’ for everyone in the company and begin creating this world and understanding together.  • Act III has a lot of quick scenes at the start, and then longer units where the new characters that have come in are bringing revelations, then another section of shorter scenes where we find out information again, and then another quick succession of short scenes till the end. • There’s a crack in the foundation of Giles, John, and Francis’ plan and it is the revelation of John’s affair. • There are many signposts in Act III of what’s to come. And many uses of repetition. So what does that do for the characters? Can it be replicated in the blocking? • We strongly began to realize that in Act III, there is a ‘lynch pin’ figure. As a new person comes into the act, it’s like the baton gets passed to them. Everyone is looking to them for answers and to save the rest of the town; to show them the way, or prove that what they’ve been doing is good or bad. It is a chase or tug-o-war scene for sure.  • I think as part of the physical development we will do a chase exercise – especially in these larger scenes. • Heidi and Aidan came up at the end of rehearsal because they wanted to know how is it that Abigail hasn’t gotten pregnant during their whole affair: we discussed several different possibilities, all of which would have meant more sins on both of their souls for the time period.    104 • Heidi also shared information on Abigail and her belief in Christianity. How she would have had to be swayed quite strongly to step outside of the community and what everyone else around her was doing to dance and do witchcraft. Heidi explained it like this - Religion to them is like how we view democracy and human rights now. It was essential and the way that one lived their life.  February 8, 2018 – Discoveries: Breaking the scenes up and having the actors come in and out of the room is incredibly useful for me to visualize the rhythm of the play more clearly. Understanding the rhythm of the play also happened by asking the actors ‘are their characters running out of time?. This simple question helps to recognize the different rhythms that each character is working within for each unit of the play.  Every night has brought clearer understanding of the world of the play. The actors’ voices have greatly impacted the way I’m hearing the characters. Frank, for example, always surprises me in the delivery of Danforth’s lines, he keeps the lines alive, changing, surprising, and doesn’t let the rhetoric of the play lull us to sleep. It’s very important for the actors to know the timeline of things, how time is rolling out in the play, as well as what has already happened, or is still to come. It’s informing many of their decisions because it changes their given circumstances. Like Danforth, Hathorne and Parris going outside to let John and Elizabeth speak in the jail cell in Act IV and seeing that the town is already assembling for the hanging. Then when they come back into the jail cell after witnessing that, the mood of the scene shifts. Miller has written a lot of sentiment into his stage directions. I confirmed with Shona that she may ignore those directions, as they greatly limit what she is able to do as an actor.   105 • There’s much distinction around what people can and cannot do. • By Act IV the courts have hanged twelve people in the town. • There’s a lot of symbolism/imagery/importance around ‘birds’ and other animals. • John Proctor has been violent in prison – he was violent before as well. • There are in groups and out groups in the town, and the way they use different tactics to win power in the community. • All of the characters are chasing time and then time seems to stand still for John and Elizabeth. • Act IV: this is a public space, not private. • By Act IV everyone’s running out of time.  • Cheever’s line about the cows indicates that it’s absolute chaos now in the community. • There’s a lot of revelation of information from Parris and Hale in Act IV. • Elizabeth has a lot of power now surprisingly. • When John and Elizabeth are alone together in Act IV, there’s a similar structure as to the beginning of Act II, but a completely different tone. There’s a different kind of separation that exists now between the two of them, and they feel like they can’t fully say what they want to, to each other. February 10, 2018 – First Full Saturday Rehearsal: Viewpoints we explored: • Grid • Tempo • Repetition (specifically of Gesture?)   106 • Gesture (Expressive vs. Behavioural) • Spatial Relationship • Duration • Kinesthetic Response • Behaviours/Themes: o Fear/Hope o Pleasure as an Adult vs. a Child Thoughts from the Actors: GRID:  • Amplifies how they’re feeling, and seeing people off the grid made them want those off the grid to come back to it.  • When first see some people go off the grid, they appear to have so much power for those people still on the grid, and the people still on the grid feel that those off the grid have power over them.   When first off the grid it was just freeing. But then seeing other people abuse the power when off the grid allowed this actor to change their understanding of the rules of play when off the grid.  • Seeing people off the grid getting to be free and mischievous inspired those that were stuck on the grid before to then be mischievous when they had the opportunity to be free and those people from before were now stuck to the grid again.  A collective sigh amongst everyone when they were all free from the grid.  • When they were off the grid, there was a dread of when I was going to call out and make them go back to the grid or other people getting to join being off the grid.   107 • One actor even developed strategies to stay off the grid! Hiding when he was off the grid so that he wouldn’t be called back to the grid. The grid, even as restricting as it was, it wasn’t terrible. It made this actor focus on something different, and there was some kind of satisfaction in keeping momentum, and following the rules in spite of other things happening around them.  GESTURE: • Didn’t realize until they did a ‘good or enjoyable’ gesture that the grid wasn’t so bad after all. It changed their outlook on the rules. • Doing another actor’s gesture helped them realize that even though their two characters are very different, it spoke to the similar stresses they face, and they have their own pressures they have to abide by and that’s just as stressful. • Seeing and using other people’s gestures gave this actor a taste of how others felt (giving up vs. fighting back). Are all of the characters giving up in the play? CHARACTERS in SPATIAL RELATIONSHIP: • Easier to stay away from whom they didn’t like.  • Giles: Chasing Hale, or Proctor, or being with Francis. But when he gets to Proctor, Francis or Hale are they really going to help him? • Small playing space: different groups were so close togethere so they were easier to define,  and then the polarizing differences between groups was easier to see. • Francis: Very clear moving away from people. But who I wanted to be close to was hard. Ann Putnam: Focused on following, Parris and Hale.  • Martha Corey: Pulling away – everyone needs to back up.    108 • Hopkins: Confused – guarding? Do I want to be near or far away from other people? Betty and Sarah Good: Always followed people. Sarah Good: loose canon roaming around on her own – she has no ties. Betty was confining – she always had to be with someone else. • John Proctor: Didn’t feel like a leader, but realized that people were following him. He was following Mary Warren though and trying to corral her towards Danforth. Act I, he was following Abigail; wanted to follow her but shouldn’t, and the tension that exists. There was a difference between whether it was a public space or a private space. • Hathorne: Lost without Danforth. Was aligning with the girls strongly.  • Parris: Drawn to whoever holds the perceived power.  • Mary Warren: No idea who she really wanted to be close to, but really didn’t like it when John was following. Wanted to leave but couldn’t. • Mercy Lewis: Following Mary Warren but in a predatory way. • Hale: Following people with spiritual power and legal power.  • Abigail: In Act II, she’s not in it, but discovery of intent and how she’s like a ghost in the house. In Act III she wants to divide relationships now, get in between John and Mary. There was a moment when she wasn’t pursuing John and that was when the most people were following her.  • Thomas Putnam: His faith is a big part of his life. In Act I following Parris. Tried to follow Hale, but immediately wanted to know where Parris was. Usually close to the front of a group. In Act II, because he was following Parris he kept moving further and further back. Act IV: he’s a drift, so just kept following Parris.     109 CHILD: • Everyone wanted to do things for pleasure. ADULTS: • The lack of doing things is pleasurable. Sit down and have a beer, how much pleasure there is to just be at home.  There’s also guilt in pleasure because they feel they should be productive, and can’t partake in too many pleasurable things. Just walking in nature, enjoying God’s work.  HOPE vs. FEAR: • Moved slower in hope, and move quicker in fear.  • Fear meant moving with purpose.  • Hope meant moving with indulgence, and connected with their eyes more.  Notes from Rehearsal: • All of the characters are running out of time.  • The rumour of witchcraft is all about town – it’s a public affair, in a private place. • First taste of Salem logic – if you’re bad in one area, you’re bad in all areas of life.  • Ruth is sick but in a different way than Betty. • The Putnams have some kind of power over Parris.  • Hale found a witch in Beverly, so by brining him to Salem people assume something has happened with a witch here as well.  • Ann Putnam is convinced that the death of her babies was murder, and the devil, but the law doesn’t fall on her head for sending Ruth to deal with witchcraft with Tituba. • Betty has a lot of power.   110 Continuation of the Character Hierarchy: Act II: 1) Danforth / The Girls (Abigail, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren, Susanna Walcott and Betty Parris; with Abigail at the top of their small hierarchy) 2) Hathorne 3) Hale 4) Parris 5) Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins 6) Putnams 7) Proctors 8) Francis Nurse and Giles Corey 9) Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey 10) Tituba 11) Sarah Good Act III at the Start of the Act: 1) Danforth / The Girls (Abigail, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Walcott and Betty Parris; with Abigail at the top of their small hierarchy) 2) Hathorne 3) Hale 4) Parris 5) Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins 6) Mary Warrren 7) Putnams   111 8) Proctors 9) Francis Nurse and Giles Corey 10) Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey 11) Tituba 12) Sarah Good Act III by the End of the Act: 1) The Girls (in this order: Abigail, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren, Susanna Walcott, Betty Parris) 2) Danforth 3) Hale 4) Hathorne 5) Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins 6) Parris 7) Putnams 8) Francis Nurse 9) Giles Corey 10) Rebecca Nurse, and Elizabeth Proctor 11) Martha Corey 12) John Proctor 13) Tituba 14) Sarah Good     112 Act IV at the Start of the Act: 1) Danforth, Hale, and The Girls (Abigail, Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren, Susanna Walcott, and Betty Parris) 2) Hathorne 3) Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins 4) Putnams 5) Nurses 6) Parris 7) Elizabeth Proctor 8) Martha Corey 9) John Proctor 10) Tituba  11) Sarah Good Act IV by the End of the Act: 1) Elizabeth Proctor, and The Girls (Mary Warren, Susanna Walcott, and Betty Parris) 2) Hale and Danforth 3) Hathorne 4) Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins 5) Putnams 6) Francis Nurse 7) Parris 8) Tituba 9) Sarah Good   113 10) Mercy Lewis and Abigail Discoveries:  We’re creating the world together: first at the table and logically understanding the world and characters, then moving into their bodies with the viewpoint exercises to allow them to feel character wants Creating a vibrant, communal, and creative work environment where everyone feels able to contribute to this world and the characters together! Doing this by inviting the actors to speak about the significant moments in the play, and giving them an opportunity to speak for other moments they feel are significant. Doing the same for the character hierarchies; communally creating them, and then the frame work for how these characters’ powers shifts as they gain more power, give power away, or their power is taken from them.  Allowing the actors to explore the world from a very responsive and intuitive place allowed them to see how they’ve begun to understand the world of the play as well as their individual characters. It revealed that they understood our version of the play better than they may have intellectually thought. It appears to have increased their confidence in the work, as well as their trust in me and the process I’m taking them through. During Viewpoints, the actors’ body movements changed depending on whether they were in a private space or a public space. The actors notice those differences in the way they behave depending on the type of space it is. It confirms that the difference between the two kinds of spaces are significant and important to the rhythm of certain characters.  We had such an amazing Screaming Fits workshop this afternoon! The girls jumped into the exercise with both feet, fully committed to the given circumstances and I am so appreciative of their work and courage. By leading the Actors first through a series of Physical suggestions   114 and descriptions, and encouraging them to feel these sensations in their own bodies, they fully gave themselves over to the circumstances and the work they created was beautiful and breathtaking.  • The potency of the fear of discovery and the deep sexual desires within the young female characters.  • Leading through the joy and pleasure of exploration of those sexual desires. It was like a battle cry that started down low and moved up through their vocal range. • There was an outer tension in the legs and arms and extremities! • There finally was a sense of ecstasy: those sexual desires coming to life. February 12, 2018 – Discoveries:   Figure 1.9 Abigail reminding John of their love in Act I (L to R: Heidi Damayo, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Ligting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres)   115 We began blocking today and was able to run the blocking as I had originally wanted.  We ran a scene all the way through to completion for the first time. I gave directions for key moments that I knew how they would look on stage. ie: for the John and Abigail scene I asked Heidi to find a way to bring Aidan and press him against the headboard of Betty’s bed during her lines about how he clutched her back like a stallion, and that I wanted their scene to end with her straddling him on the bed.  However, the end of the scene isn’t working. Why doesn’t Betty scream when they are leaning back against her? Why does she wait until they are off of her and John is leaving to scream? I wonder if Abigail keeps John there by kissing him, and so it’s actually the moment of quiet that unnerves Betty the most because they’ve been so sexual together so it is more about what could they be doing now? I asked Shona and Aidan in Act II to stick with Miller’s stage directions to have a quiet moment together where John kisses Elizabeth but she pulls away, and when John stands and looks out the door to the warm spring sky outside.  I encouraged Louis to hold his ground more, stand and exert his power over everyone else in the room. I pointed out significant shifts that were being missed so that he understands how his tactic is changing. I had the idea that in Act I there could be a sound cue of quiet and intense breathing from Betty. This came from Cassandra when she asked if we could hear her breathing in the audience; we couldn’t but the other actors on stage could hear her.  I wonder if I should shift the bed more downstage or upstage at centre? Or do I leave it with Betty being at the eye of the storm for the Act – like she is a sickness that the community can’t get rid of because she has infected the heart of the community?    116 In a sense we have been power blocking today, in that normally I would like to spend more time on each scene. But with this rehearsal process, if the actors are remotely in the right area then I’m continuing forward to ensure that we have enough time to block everything and have something to show the designers and advisors on Saturday. I wonder if part of the reason the blocking is going so well is because my understanding of the play is stronger, and I am more prepared than I thought I was. This could be due to taking the time to figure out the best groundplan for each act – to facilitate the action and emotional journeys that characters are on.  Things I’m puzzling with still: Giles feels lost on stage. It’s confusing why he stays in the house longer than the rest of his ‘faction’ and what his purpose is there? Is it solely his curiosity? Or is there information he needs there? I am incredibly happy that we dedicated time at the start of rehearsals to discuss, argue, and explore physically the world of the play. And I’m especially proud of our sharing research portion of rehearsals. Everyone is bringing great information into the rehearsal space. Viewpoint warm ups have illuminated deeper meanings of the play and character wants. Some of their remarks are showing how the exercises are helping them to become more familiar with their characters. The more we work on the play, the more I believe John really is in love with Abigail and it’s more than just lust. This could be because we discovered darker qualities in John from exploring the text, and I’ve encouraged Aidan to go to those places. He made an excellent point that you can’t see the dark without the light. So we need lightness in him too. He’s split between feelings of love for Abigail (that’s tearing him up inside) and wanting to make things better with Elizabeth because of his responsibility to her and his family. Aidan, Shona, Heidi and I spoke about this, that if this were a modern love triangle, most likely Elizabeth and John would get a   117 divorce. Both of them are not happy.  Elizabeth has a husband that has cheated on her, even when she has postpartum depression. And John has a wife that doesn’t show him any of the love that they used to have. Along comes a woman who sparks passion in his life that he probably never knew existed within himself. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to get through so much blocking in one rehearsal before! Not sure if this is because of the table work we’ve done with the actors, the level of commitment, research and understanding by the actors, myself as a director, or the fact that I pre-blocked the act in my preparations so it was significantly easier for my to see the tensions in the script and give the actors the necessary cues to push them in certain directions.  February 13, 2018 - Physical Warm Up – Ensemble Building We revisted the Chase exercise and it’s opening the actors up to feel sensations and impulses with their whole bodies.  Discoveries: My meeting with Stephen confirmed several things: • Creating rough blocking sketches for the four acts is the best use of our time, then the actors feel confident that they have a place to stand for each moment of the play, even if we haven’t gone as deeply into moments as I would have liked to.  • I am planting seeds for the actors within the world, and their understanding of everything, and when we come back to the scene, the actors will have had time to think about the state of their character in that moment and develop further. Plant the questions like seeds that are growing and influencing their future decisions for their characters.   118 • Blocking for Act III – needs more work on my part. Clearer ideas of what I want the key moments to look like .Discovering the image of Danforth at the apex of a triangle, with his followers flanking him, protecting him.  • Love the fits. Want to schedule two times/week for the girls to practise together.  • Act III illustrated that there are specific ‘power’ spots on stage. With our groundplan design and the spatial relationship of energy on the stage there are two triangles of energy being created on the stage from the design – like a Star of David – and those spots on the stage seem to be very powerful positions for actors.  • My significant moments are becoming turning points in the narrative. There are big reveals and obstacles that push the play forward.  • Abigail is seeking a safe haven throughout the play. • The moments when characters are weeping – deconstruct those and work backwards to find out why the weeping is happening. What is Miller clicking into for those characters’ states of being? • I’ve got moments lined up in the play, but are they building to something? February 14, 2018 - Discoveries: Blocking for Act III went much better tonight! It practically blocked itself.   119 In Act III something isn’t clicking for Cassandra as Betty – she looks like she’s scared out of her mind, but she can’t let herself be seen as the weak link otherwise Danforth would pounce on her as soon as she enters the vestry. I discovered more information from my research about tensions in imagery that exist in Miller’s language of the script. Specifically looking at the tension created between heat vs. cold, places that are supposed to be safe and warm but are turned into places of judgement and those places are cold. I will bring up these new realizations with the cast and see how it changes their understanding of the world of the play and their characters’ journeys and values (Marino 57). Act III, Danforth asks Cheever to go get Elizabeth from the courtroom where she’s been waiting, but Cheever is the recorder so by asking him to leave to get Elizabeth what does Danforth not want on the record? Abigail (Heidi) instinctually went up and stood on the table, in essence taking the place of Danforth and his seat of power in the play. I loved it – that parallel between earlier in the act when Danforth is there and holds power over the room, and then ending the act with Abigail in that position.  By letting the fit carry the girls through the act, I realized that Mary Warren wants to join in with the other girls when they start having a fit. That is why she is mumbling and can’t speak properly. As well, Mary never lies in this act. When she finally turns against John, she speaks about him wanting her to sign her deposition, but it is Parris that speaks of the Devil.  Production Meeting: During this past week of rehearsal I’ve been imaging that I could have the fireplace along the upstage right wall between the doorway and the upstage wall. But we realized that the fireplace will have to sit flat along the upstage right wall, and we’ll need to move the chest over.   120 We’re still figuring out the lighting and masking for the set/lights. This is the never-ending discussion as we get closer and closer to moving into the theatre.  The bed is going to be long and a tight fit through the doorways. We need to decide if we want it to be carried on to the stage, or can we install wheels and have one person wheel it in.  Lanterns – I want the look of some ‘natural’ light like there would have been for 1692, but more.  February 15, 2018 - Discoveries: While I was pressed for time during our week of table work, this week has felt like a breeze in comparison, and have had more than enough time. By giving the actors this time to not only be in the rehearsal room together but also to be artists creating together, it shows that I appreciate all of their time, energy and work, and I am willing to reward them for it.  Cheever is one of the most honest characters in the play and is doing everything he can to right a wrong situation.  Blocking again for Act IV went really well.   121  Figure 1.10 In the jail cell of Act IV, John sits with Elizabeth (L to R: Aidan Wright, Shona Struthers. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) The final moments of the play with John and Elizabeth – Miller has written specific stage directions that I’ve requested the actors to ignore (like he can barely look at her, she swerves out of the way of Hathorne, etc.). I will look at what Miller is saying about the characters in those moment that I am missing currently. Right now it feels like Miller is erasing some of the tension and honesty between John and Elizabeth. I’m loving the range and enthusiasm Frank is bringing to Danforth in the final act. He’s a wreck and trying to hold everything together. In Act I, I said that Betty was in the eye of a storm, like a tornado was surrounding her. This act feels like Danforth is an Earthquake and going to shatter the world around him. Frank realized that while he had always thought Danforth wasn’t   122 running out of time, now he thinks he is running out of time to keep control of this thing, just like the rest are running out of time for their lives.   February 16, 2018 - Sound Thoughts Around Secret Scene (Act 2, Scene 2): I’ve decided that I don’t want to stage the secret scene but have chosen specific lines from the scene that we will record and use to help further our particular lense of the story along.  February 17, 2018 - Discoveries: Matthew: The Putnams are trying to get back to their sense of normal - what life was like when they had respect, and the community looked to them for advice on how to live life. The sound for the play is becoming clearer. During the run, I started to notice very specific moments where I thought there could be a sound coming in softly and helping to build the intensity of that moment. This is really nice, as the sound has felt more elusive to me during this process. I knew that I wanted sound to underscore the play at certain times, but it still wasn’t clear to me exactly how or where we should be trying to achieve that emotional engagement for the audience. Speaking with Stephen and realizing that some of the moments that I’m wanting to support with sound are also coming from the absence of sound - a profound and all encompassing silence in the theatre and the tension that exists within that silence.  The nature of blocking: I realized while watching Act I that the bed wasn’t in the right position, it was too much in the centre of the room, and was cutting off energy from people as they entered - like a funny commedia sketch where people were bumping into each other in that upstage left space. Plus it seemed as though the actors were stuck behind the bed for most of the Act. In Act II, I’m not sure how I feel about Giles and Francis sitting at the upstage Proctor table while the action happens in front of them. In many moments I’ve put them in spots where they look like they’re being ignored completely be everyone else.    123 The layout of the set in Act I and II: Act I needs to have the bed more DSR and open up so that it allows for more ease of movements from the actors. And for Act II, it feels as if the fireplace is in the wrong place, we don’t get to see the action from John at the top of the act. What if we moved the fireplace so it was completely DSR, and like a fire pit in the home.  Thoughts Post Run: • Spatial Imagining: how I’ll see things in the Frederic Wood Theatre – try to keep this in mind and what the performance will be like when I’m out in the audience. What will the blocking and physical movement tell an audience? • Encourage the actors to play Downstage! • How the entrances work? We want to see when a character enters – give them the focus.  • Be clear how the nature of the lies work in the play. And watch for the moment when Tituba first calls out a person as a witch – make sure the audience takes notice of that moment! • Transitions: come up with a plan for the characters and what they’re doing and accomplishing by moving the set. Beams: only move the beams in transitions because the set is helping to show the descent into chaos!  February 19, 2018 - Discoveries: Many of these characters would have been alive when the King Phillip’s War happened in America. 1688 King William’s War was still happening, immense fear of Indeginous people and the devil. Many who suffered from the devil were refugees and could have actually been suffering from PTSD. The Salem witch trials were like a smaller version of the European witch trials which usually followed times of war or an increase of refugee crises.   124 We’ve been realizing more and more that Abigail and John are actually quite alike. They do the most physical violence, they’re passionate and impulsive, and as Miller likes to show us – they are both hot-blooded characters in contrast to Elizabeth and the other people in the town. But while Abigail is violent like John – there’s something still quite childlike about her, like a child having a tantrum so she acts out physically as a way to deal with it (sexually, by dancing, and violently by slapping Betty).  Miller describes John’s character as ‘even tempered’. I cannot tell if Miller truly believed his character to be even tempered, or if he viewed John Proctor as even-tempered for 1692, or for 1953 standards. But looking at this character now, John is the least even tempered character of the play.  John has so much fire, pride and passion within him that he cannot contain it, and instead he is like a bomb exploding at least once per act. He’s the most violent character in the play, apart from Abigail. It feels that it was of the time when Miller wrote the play; while women could vote, they were still generally viewed as inferior and weaker beings than men, and perhaps this is saying something about Miller’s views of women. That Miller doesn’t view the beatings, brutality, and prideful abusive behaviour of John Proctor as anything out of the ordinary or wrong. This confirms my thoughts around the play; that we cannot view John solely as a tragic hero, we need to remember to question whether or not we can actually forgive him at the end of the play. I must highlight those flaws in his character throughout the play and not only highlight his redemption at the end of the play.  Act I needed almost completely reblocking. Things felt too bunched up, and actors were always staying upstage of Betty’s bed. The improvements we were able to make for the blocking were significant! Both Sony and I agreed that we could feel it when the blocking got better and   125 really activated the action of the play! There were now beautiful moments that sparked the play and carried it forward at an increasing speed.  Cathy expressed that I have done a beautiful job so far in crafting the play into an epic journey.  February 20, 2018 - Discoveries: The adjustments done in Act I and II have sharpened the projection of action in this first half of the play and kept me from ‘going grocery shopping’ at any point while watching the two acts. The action has a good pace, rhythm and forward momentum to it.  I’m finding that I have to remind the actors that what they’re hearing from Hale’s arrival and the information coming from Mary Warren is new and terrifying to them.  Notes from Rehearsal: These past few days we’ve been looking at what the objectives of the characters. This has helped to show me where the actors are uncertain, and where they are very definitive and clear in what they want. It’s also helped to show where actors are heading in the wrong direction.  I notice that I’m walking a line of what is too sexually provocative from the young girls and what is ok in this world. It is a fine line to walk with them and figure out exactly.    126  Figure 1.11 Transition between Act III and Act IV (Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) Production Meeting: Lighting – There were questions about if there will be blackouts between each act, especially from I to II, and III to IV. I don’t want blackouts. I don’t think we need to hide the mechanics of changing the set, and my hope is that we’ll be able to do these act transitions in a way that will help to forward the action of the play, support the character development, and show a side of the characters and their journeys that isn’t always seen.  Set – There’s conversation about changing the fireplace in Act II to something other than the classic fireplace against the side wall, and making it something non-realistic – like a fire pit. That could bring a lot of the action away from the wall to downstage and out to the audience. I   127 don’t know if this is possible. An alternative is to move the fireplace at least to the downstage right side of the right wall, at the edge of the stage near the audience. The beams will move in transitions and we want to see those changes of beams throughout the play.  February 21, 2018 - Discoveries: The actors are struggling with their lines and it is holding us back in our process. It is very difficult to move forward and look at pacing, rhythm, and the shape of the play as a whole when actors cannot get their lines. The world of the play (the design) is becoming clearer to me as the production with the actors continues to grow and change.  Originally in our set design, we had created large doors to allow for set pieces to move on and off of the stage, so that the doors could remain open or closed for the entirety of an act so we could tell whether that space was public or private. As we worked through each act, we realized that part of the intricacy of the writing is how Miller changes the space depending on which characters are on stage. So, with that realization that the spaces can’t solely be public or private, the actors began to close the door when they wanted their conversations to be more private. The one exception may be in the jail cell as that space, however private it may become for John and Elizabeth, it is still a public space and they can never really hide from that oppressive outside world.  The fireplace is now a couple of inches too long to fit at the DSR corner of the set along the wall. This wasn’t going to be a big deal when the fireplace was only an inch too big, it could ever so slightly block the door in Act II, but three inches bigger it becomes an issue. Either we need a fire pit in Act II, or the fireplace needs to be trimmed slightly on either side.    128 Notes from Rehearsal: • I want to add a vase of dead flowers on the stage for Act II in the Proctor house. Help indicate some of the ‘winter’ vibes in the Proctor home. • The nature of Cheever’s relationship to the community and his sense of fear and duty; what is the best for the Town? There is a reluctance to engage, yet he engages anyway. His attitude of when he engages to dispel lies or reveal truths tells the audience a lot. • What is the relationship of Hathorne to Danforth? Are they really good cop and bad cop? What is Hathorne to Danforth? Is there a balance of power between them? • The moment when Danforth says that he accepts no deposition is an important moment and is being lost right now.  • The very first time John says that Elizabeth cannot lie in Act II is also important and can be clearer to the audience.  • The table in Act III and the girls’ screaming fits can all come more downstage centre so that we are bringing it closer to the audience. When the girls are having their fits, are they trying to see the bird? Or convince the bird not to hurt them? Reasons for moving more downstage.  Further Thoughts on Transitions: • Transition of Act I to Act II: completed by Abigail, Betty, Susanna, Mary and Mercy. What does it say having Just the girls? Could it appear like a memory of the girls dancing in the woods? • Transition of Act II to Act III: completed by Crew during the Intermission • Transition of Act III to Act II: completed by Hale, Parris, Hathorne, Danforth, Cheever, Herrick, and Hopkins. Like the Authorities are taking over the Town.    129 • Are we helping to show the transfer of power through the play? Of who is in control at this time? February 22, 2018 – Discoveries: Once again we didn’t finish a run. I think we’re making progress during the day when we’re working through specific parts of the play, the actors are taking the notes in as we work through acts and then when we go to do a run, it’s like some of the notes just don’t stick. I know that they’re working hard and that some of these notes will come in time, but then to get an email from Stephen about the nature of my notes and that they’re too fiddly for the actors right now, and that I could reconsider the nature of note-giving after I’ve spent all week giving notes by working through them was disheartening, especially when I’m frustrated with myself that we weren’t able to look at Act IV again in the afternoon.  Stephen’s email also spoke about focusing on the significant moments in the play right now, and described them like a plumber focusing on fixing the places that are gushing water first versus small trickle spots for later. But I’m not sure I’m really seeing the difference between those large vs. small problems. I have been addressing the significant moments, but it becomes clear to me when actors don’t know what they’re doing or what they want on stage, and when they slow down the energy of the scene. Plus, I think part of my particular skill and talent is looking at those smaller moments in the play and assessing their importance and how they build upon the character. Those small moments amass to something greater within the play.  February 23, 2018 – Discoveries: My conversation with Gray was very enlightening about what is driving this character. His sense of duty to his faith and the law, and his guilt about arresting his friends – people he thought were good Christian puritans.   130 My conversation with Tebo and Frank was equally enlightening about the quality of their relationship.  Notes from Rehearsal: • Hathorne loves hearing Danforth stand for the Law and God in Act IV. • I’m realizing that we need distressing for the Act IV prisoner characters – John, Elizabeth, Rebecca Nurse. As well as bruising and gaunt looking faces. John needs bruises on his face.  • After John signs his confession, Danforth, Hale and Parris are trying to trap a wild animal. And that’s how John feels when he says, “Because it is my name!” He’s like a trapped and scared animal, he must hold onto that confession so that the other three can’t get it. February 24, 2018 - Discoveries from Saturday: The actors’ lines are finally starting to flow, and I’m starting to see where those significant moments in the play are being lost or glazed over. It was very difficult for me to see those moments that weren’t working because when actors stumble over lines it becomes difficult to sense the moments being missed or not framed properly.  The actions and triggers of the play have to land on them and start to build up in some way so that it doesn’t feel like characters are in the same head space at the beginning of the play as at the end of the play – they are being changed by what happens in the play. That is why certain actors are feeling out of place at times. So I spent time speaking with Louis so that I could help him to contextualize the dramatic action of the play, and how the action was weighing upon Parris, and understand the character’s wants a little more clearly. It made me wonder if that same kind of one-on-one time was needed with other actors. I’ve asked all of them to look   131 through their lines to not only review them, but also looking for those moments when they have no idea what they’re doing on stage.  During the run, I had specific thoughts around the lighting. As I want to use more expressionistic lighting in the play, when there are moments of more heightened passion and emotion we could increase the intensity of the colours on stage, and when people are trying to shut themselves off from their emotion or passion, that the colours dampen. During today’s run, we actually made it through the whole play! Overall, it’s looking like this will be a three hour play with an intermission. That is quite an epic story to sit through. Notes from Rehearsal: • Significant Moment: Susanna Walcott saying that ‘it be unnatural causes’ needs more gravity.  • Act II, I want to make the battle between John and Elizabeth clearer in the physical actions of the two around the stage. Once Cheever and Herrick arrive to take Elizabeth away John loses it – he is aggressive, demanding, and denies Hale, Cheever and Herrick.  • Act III, we need to look closer at the moment between Danforth and John where he says “No no! I accept No Deposition!”  • Does John keep Mary Warren close to him so he can control her and make sure that she tells what he needs her to? • A thought that occurred to me: What’s the significance of John calling Abigail ‘child’ in Act I? • That he’s trying to separate himself from Abigail? That he’s trying to remind himself that Abigail is a child and not someone that he should be having an affair with?   132 • More work needs to be done to frame the moment when John reveals Abigail is a ‘Whore’ is Act III. Perhaps giving Aidan stronger context to this reveal, what everyone else should be hearing at this moment, and what it means to the town at this time. I think it can also be done physically – by John leaving more space between himself and her when he makes the reveal.  February 26, 2018 - Discoveries: Today’s rehearsal was spent working on significant moments in Acts I and III. We made a great realization while working on Act III that when John reveals that Abigail has twice been put out of the meetinghouse for laughter – it was probably because of John that she was giggling; either because he blushed when seeing her, or they were being inappropriate with each other.  Aidan told me that John is constantly using other people’s words against them. That it feels like he doesn’t have an idea of his own really until Act IV.  I think he has his own ideas in Act I, and IV, but in the middle he is being pushed and pulled by many characters.  February 27 and 28, 2018 – Discoveries: When an actor is blustering around the stage, figure out what their need is in these moments.  Lighting: I’m remaining open to new ideas and how they fit into the rest of the play, the journey and the design. Ryan still wants to use footlights. These create a very Gothic look to the stage and story. Like a flashlight under someone’s chin.    133   Figure 1.12 John tasting Elizabeth’s stew, start of Act II (Aidan Wright. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) ‘Insignificant Moments’ and how they add up: John’s ‘white lies’ – he has some subterfuge. Why lie about the stew at the start of Act II? Why not just tell Elizabeth the truth that he prefers the stew to be saltier than what Elizabeth likes? Is he a control freak? A liar that doesn’t mind a white lie, he would rather avoid the conflict. In the play, someone is always scheming to get their way, or get out of trouble – white lies might seem harmless, but they add up.  Danforth – he walks around with confidence like he knows everything, but there are cracks and insecurities and discrepancies. His whole career can fall and crumble.    134 The run highlighted the moments that are ‘general’ or confuse me because I don’t understand what the actors are doing. It also showed me where actors are just emoting on the stage. No real understanding of what they specifically want in those moments and what they are doing. The run also highlighted what significant moments in the play are being lost and that we need to spend more time focusing on to ensure that the audience actually hears that information, and sees how the information impacts the characters. Moments of setting up Elizabeth’s goodness and her inability to lie – so that when she does lie to save her husband it affects us even more. With a show this large there’s something about picking the moments that are most important to work and make better, and what moments can I live with the way they are now. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent addressing specific moments in Acts I, II, and III. I’m realizing that my focus has to be on the main characters at this point. They are the ones that are going to carry the play. So most of the time when I’m watching the play now, I find I’m focused on Abigail, Parris, John, Elizabeth, Danforth, Hale, and Mary Warren. We realized that there was an odd moment in Act I when Rebecca Nurse enters and she just waits for permission to go to Betty’s side and help her. This was always ringing false for me – as an experienced Mother and Grandmother she would just go to Betty’s side to help her. But what’s actually stopping her are the Putnams! They are not only physically stopping her, but also pushing their agenda forward – that Rebecca sees what is happening to Betty as witchcraft.  Notes from Rehearsal: Act I:  • Something is still feeling odd about the very start of the play when Parris chases Tituba out of the room. Does he need to react to herfaster or make her leave faster?   135 • When Abigail and John are alone in Betty’s bedroom together, there needs to be more urgency between them because they don’t know how long they’ll have alone together. • We need the actors to do an Italian of each act, so that they’re just concentrating on their lines. • Is John trying to convince Parris that he isn’t coming to church because of Parris’ crappy job as a Minister? To hide the affair with Abigail? • Abigail what are you thinking during Parris’ speech about his life and how he left a thrifty business in Barbados to do the Lord’s work? Is this new info for Abigail? Is she thinking about how she can use this information to bring Parris to her side of things? • When Hale is questioning Tituba, each question is like he’s upgrading his language. So he has to be building to something, right now all the questions feel the same. Act II:  • When John and Elizabeth kiss, this moment needs to be more meaningful. There’s more weighing on them in this moment. So they can’t simply go back to the way they were acting towards each other at the start of the act. • Is Elizabeth scared of what’s happening in town and for their safety? Is this why she brings up Mary Warren being in the court pretty quick into Act II with John? • Need to work the moments between John and Elizabeth, slowing down, really listening to each other, and hitting those obstacles that each other is throwing. • Elizabeth – how much confidence does she really have in her husband to save her?   136 • Hale, John and Elizabeth – Hale is there to help, but John and Elizabeth see him as part of the problem. This means that there are more obstacles that come up for Hale and getting what he wants. He has to work harder. Act III:  • Danforth, losing the lines ‘I accept no deposition.’ • John – how does it feel to hear Danforth speak of ‘we burn a hot fire here. It melts down all concealment’? Scared? Anxious? This means that Danforth may find out about the affair. • The gobo on downstage centre is like the light of god shining into the room from above. When do characters want to be in God’s light and when do they not? • When Cheever brings the girls back into the vestry, what does it feel like in the room? What’s the mood, atmosphere? Is there tension? Is it scary to be brought in here without any knowledge of what’s going on?  • How is it for Abigail to hear the accusations against her coming from John (her love), and Mary Warren (one of her friends and confidants who knew about the affair)? • Elizabeth – how hard is it to reveal that her husband was turning from her to Abigail in front of a room full of community members? That she even suspected him? • John’s final speech – what does he want? More than just a crazy ‘fit’ like the girls; that he’s also becoming overwhelmed by the injustice of this town. Act IV:  • Hale’s objective in Act IV doesn’t feel strong enough to carry him through the act.    137 • When John and Elizabeth are alone together, and he speaks about giving them this lie, we connect all the smaller moments earlier when John lied and how he’s always had this side of himself – a prideful, lying man.  • Elizabeth and John – don’t let yourselves drown in the emotion of this reunion. Use the emotion to fuel you and what you want. Rise above it.  • John – frame the moment when you finally say ‘I can. And there’s your first marvel.’ With a slight pause/breath. This is the first time in the play that someone says ‘I can’, that they are accepting the consequences of their actions, and taking responsibility for them. The audience needs to register the significance of this moment.  • Parris and Hale have to continue fighting for what they want till the very end of the play.  2.8 March 2018 – Final Rehearsals and Performances March 1, 2018 – Discoveries from the last night in the rehearsal hall:  Act III is still too slow and confused. I gave us time to rehearse the end of Act III specifically so that it can build to the proper place.  It also was spent looking at the development of Danforth’s character. We started to realize that Danforth is having cracks in his façade, and that there are small cracks and there are big cracks, and where do we see the big ones, or where is he able to mask the small cracks. The cracks start to wear Danforth down and that’s why he does the things he does – he doesn’t want Cheever in the room when he questions Mary Warren, he won’t give pardons or postponements in Act IV, he won’t let his status and reputation be tainted by the people in this town.     138 Notes from Rehearsal: Remind the actors: I feel something and therefore I need to do something! It’s not just about feeling something. We must fashion the ideas in active actions. Also: why is my character speaking these words and in this order? There is great meaning in that.  Consider some of the timing in the play’s events in regards to the 17 months since John stopped attending church regularly. Does this co-inside with when John and Abigail started their affair? Does he figure that with this affair he’s going to hell anyway, so why go to church services where he dislikes Parris anyway and doesn’t believe Parris is close to God anyway? March 3, 2018 – Discoveries from Saturday night, First night on the Frederic Wood Theatre:  The fight directors came to rehearsal this afternoon. This time was surprisingly helpful not only for the Actors to feel more confident with the fight choreography, but also helped to guide the fights in better directions that aligned with the dramatic action of the play. For instance:When Betty pushes past Abigail on her attempt to get to the window – she pushes Abigail so hard that it knocks her back onto Betty’s bed, and Abigail is stunned that Betty is 1) that strong all of a sudden, 2) is that determined to fly out the window, and 3) has never shown that kind of aggression towards Abigail before. It really helps to raise the stakes of that moment for Abigail and Mercy Lewis that even if it’s not witchcraft there is something wrong with Betty.   Noticing blocking issues more than anything. My focus is changing from the acting to blocking and some set and lighting issues.  March 5, 2018 - Discoveries from Monday/Crew View: I started rehearsal by having a meeting with Ryan, during which we were able to clear up some questions I had about specific moments in Act IV. It seemed that during our Paper Tech he   139 was missing out on some really great moments for a lighting shift to coincide with a sound cue and a significant moment unfolding in the play.  Frank and I finished our chat about the cracks that happen in Danforth during Act III. Going through these moments together proved significantly useful as it helped us to show how Danforth is containing himself for much of Act III, and it’s not until he finally reads Mary Warren’s deposition that his biggest crack is revealed in front of everyone – except for Cheever who is the recorder and is out of the room at that point.  In fact, we were looking at the page when Mary Warren is trying to tell about her deposition and we noted how she hesitates throughout all of her lines, which can be seen in the dashes (–) that Miller has put into her lines of text, and how all of those dashes happen after she says ‘I’. This highlighted for us that Mary’s hesitation comes whenever she has to claim what she herself saw or experienced – she’s in a position where she is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t. During the run, I realized that I should have moved around more during the run on Saturday. The sightlines are much more difficult to work with than I had thought before when we were in the rehearsal hall. I need to find ways to open up Act II, III, and IV. In Act II it is becoming really crowded around the downstage right area with the chairs. And Stephen had a great note that for an audience we need to see reason to why furniture is aligned in certain ways. If we move the downstage chairs slightly upstage and more around the fireplace, then they have a purpose, and it won’t change too much of the blocking. Hale is still letting himself be consumed by emotion at the end of the play, rather than using it and letting it fuel what he wants.    140 John, Elizabeth and Abigail are extremely clear! They’re all working so well together and creating some really compelling moments. Frank, Aidan, and Heidi were speaking about the love affair between John and Abigail, and that their sex was the best orgasm they had ever had before. I completely agree with this.  I’m still incredibly curious about Cheever’s response to what’s happening on stage. I want to see him more engaged with what’s happening and what his response is to the action unfolding. I’m loving the Fits from the girls in Acts I and III. They’re fantastic!  Frank wants Danforth to be Truthful, Contained, and Relaxed.  Lighting Meeting with Ryan: • Transitions: Each act has it’s own base look, so that can feed into different transition looks. • Act I – cool, somber, morning • Act II – early evening, fire burning. More contrast as the action goes on, cooler in fear. • Act III – daytime, sunlight, strong, lots of contrast in light and shadows • Act IV – dark, depressing, strong colours, nighttime. • Every lighting cue should be doing something • During Levels – make sure we get through every cue. Don’t get bogged down.  Let certain things that are question marks be worked out more thoroughly during Q2Q. • For any specials, let Ryan know right away if they are a yes or a no. March 6, 2018 – Advising with Stephen, Going into Q2Q: Changes and Notes during the Run of the production for the three weeks: they can be given throughout the run and can be accommodated by the actors and the team! Don’t be afraid of giving notes.   141 The play is soundly directed if it gets better as the run goes on! Keep in Mind: • Significant Moments • Turning Points Story of Danforth in Act IV: If Andover goes under then Danforth’s good name will go under. Too casual with Andover right now. What does ‘Floundering’ mean to Danforth? Danforth can’t even speak to Elizabeth when she first enters, he needs Hale to speak to her. Getting John to confess is the end goal for Danforth. Why does Danforth and Parris need to be in Act IV?  John’s journey is a 21st century story; when he finally owns up to what he’s done he dies for it.  In Act III let people have a bit more natural movement. They can people the stage and when they interject in the conversation or argument they can move forward and then move back. Why are there two magistrates and not one? Hathorne and Danforth. Hathorne’s character is the foil to Danforth’s character. In Act III John rubbing Mary Warren in any way is telling a different story to the audience. Also, when Hale speaks of Rebecca Nurse being condemned Francis is buried upstage. We want to see how this information lands on Francis. Can he come forward at all so there’s some focus on him too in this moment? In Act III, when Danforth questions Mary, it feels too aggressive. Wouldn’t she actually fall apart if it was this intense? In Act IV, John’s entrance is like a parting of the sea! Q2Q Theory: organize notes, small acting things could be addressed while designers and stage management are resetting things to try cues again. Use those moments to work acting   142 things. Address the small plumbing leaks at this point. And if the actors can try the note in that moment that works best! Especially moments where we want to open things up, address specificity of certain moments, and any changes in action. Tell Stage Manager (Sony) that as soon as he’s ready to go again tell me to get off the stage.  March 6, 2018 – Levels: • It’s all about the Feels! Don’t worry as much about timing of things.  • The preshow music is a surprise to the audience because it is a party mood/feeling, and then it is shocking when we go into the show actually. Preshow lighting is more vibrant, and bright to go with that party feel. • I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to use a part of Halsey’s speech from the 2017 Women’s March during the final moment of the play. Much of her speech addresses lies, sexual abuse and mistreatment of women by men using their power and control over women. I think it can help pull the play directly into the 21st century and questions we’re dealing with around women and men, respect and how we treat each other. We’re going to try the moment during the Tech Dress. March 7, 2018 – Levels complete, Rehearsal Time for the Actors with Me! In Act IV, Hathorne is happy for John’s confession because of fear of a riot in the town. He’s swayed by Parris’ words of ‘Our good purpose is lost in their tears.’  ‘Pardon or postponement speaks of floundering on my part and doubt on those already hanged!’ There needs to be a brightening of light in Act IV when Danforth says to John ‘I see light in the sky’.      143 March 8 - 10, 2018 – Discoveries from Q2Q: • When do Parris and Betty enter the stage? From the house opening? Or during the preshow speech? • Our preshow speech will be a pre-recorded message by Shona as Elizabeth Proctor: Welcome Goodies, Misters and everyone in between! We wish to take this moment to acknowledge that we are on the Traditional, Ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.  During your stay here, please turn off any devices that may get you accused of witchcraft. The Performance today will have a 15 minute intermission. Please enjoy Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. • The giggling sound cue at the top of the show should be out by the time we’re in the Act I lighting look. Sound at the end of Act II starts sounding panicked, with more somber tones, and then moves into anger, fear and anxiety. • I want to heighten the lustful moments in the play with the heartbeat sound cue and the lustful breathing that we had the girl actors record during rehearsals.  As well as using some of the panic and fear breathing during the transitions.  • I’m going to add a low hum when Danforth asks Cheever to leave and bring the girls into the vestry. The beams creak naturally when they shift! We could record this and add it into some of our other sound cues.  • Do we need a sound cue when Mary Warren is confessing about John coming after her every day and night to sign in Act III? A longer fade in of lights to start when Mary Warren confesses – turn it pink.    144 • I want more light up on the beams during the transitions so they are more visible and present. • Act IV, more light needs to gradually grow on the stage – the sun is rising during this act. In general the act was too dim and hard to see the faces of actors. • The sound cue at the end of the play of the heartbeat doesn’t feel totally right to me right now. Doesn’t come off as a drum roll out at the gibbet at all. Let’s try a drum roll sound and see what it’s like.  Saturday, March 10, 2018 – Discoveries from Tech Run in the Afternoon: • Almost all of the lighting and sound cues need to be longer so they don’t feel as abrupt, but rather a slow fade in and out so you don’t notice them the same way. • All of the actors need to remember that when they are exiting, they must exit in character.  • The transitions – especially Act I to II – need to happen much faster. Re-organize the sequence of furniture movement by characters so that it can happen faster.  • The lights and sounds for Act I need to be out before the Beams move to signal the transitions. • I’ve realized that the reason Elizabeth jumps on John’s lines when Hale is questioning him in Act II is because John is about to lose his cool. This also colours the interactions between John and Hale from the start when he comes in to ask about the ‘Christian nature of the household.’  • I love the low hum sound cue. I’ve added it in quite a few spots throughout the play.  • The transition sounds need to evolve more as the play goes on. They can’t all be the same.   145 • The stage left window is an issue. Its height blocks a lot of the actors when they sit on the stage left bench.  • Remember that the climax doesn’t come until John rips up the confession. Don’t let the tension fall out of the scene before this point.  • As the play goes on, I want there to be more lighting up on the beams, especially as they come down further into the stage space. Like the oppressive force is pushing down on the people of Salem.  March 12, 2018 – Trouble with Act IV: What do we do as a society after a disaster happens? I think this is what we’re seeing the citizens of Salem deal with in Act IV. The main characters have been sentenced to death because of false accusations, or they fled and escaped from the fear, paranoia and persecution in order to save themselves. It’s important that we remember in the fourth act these are the questions we are raising for an audience. We’re giving them the chance to see how her community deals with disaster. When a society is on the brink of major change how does it react? What do we do to move forward and survive? Do we tell the truth and suffer the consequences? Do we lie and keep ourselves safe? Are we angry with the people that have power and used it to save themselves? Are we angry with those people that had no power, but now have taken power and used it to raise themselves up, and us have upset the presiding order in society? These are the questions we are living with in Act IV! Even when John decides to die rather than lie and save himself, it is up to the audience to come to their own conclusion if they forgive John for the abuses he has caused and done.    146 March 12, 2018 – Discoveries from Tech Dress: • Perhaps the heartbeat at the end of the play could work if it starts quieter and builds till the end.  • When Tituba decides to name people in the town when Hale is questioning her, the audience needs to see the moment when she makes the decision to call out the first two names. Is this a moment when she decides to save herself? • At this point as the Director I need to step back and ask myself, “what is the experience I am having? What am I seeing?” • There are issues with certain costume pieces. There are still some strange sound cues. There are cold spots in the Act I lighting.  Many of the lighting cues are still too short and sudden. They need to have an extra fade in and fade out time. Same with some of the sound cues.  • There seem to be quite a few lighting cues that aren’t making sense to me.  • When John and Abigail are alone together in Betty’s bedroom, right now John is the one to reach out and grab Abigail first. This tells the wrong story for John’s feelings about Abigail.  • Sabrina’s aging makeup is more noticeable than Matthew’s. She looks about 10 or 15 years older than him right now. Whereas for Daria, her aging and masculine makeup for Giles is too intense. And Tomas’ Francis Nurse needs some more aging. • I wish there was more lighting on the beams overhead as the play continues. Those oppressive beams are becoming more and more present and their scary nature is impacting the characters feelings and desires.    147 • The young girls makeup is too young looking. The makeup that Cassandra was shown for a young girl (about 9 years old) works. But the other girls – who are supposed to be about 16/17/18 years old – now look too young.  • I want to add a sound cue in of giggling, fire crackling, and a low hum when Abigail is being questioned by Danforth, and have the giggling fade out quickly and just leave the low hum and fire crackling during this moment.  • We tried to make the stage left window that comes in for Act IV work after our Tech run but it just won’t work. We need to create a window gobo for Act IV. • In Act IV, the lighting needs to become brighter and hotter on John at centre stage as it leads up to his confession and confrontation between John and Danforth.  • The Halsey sound cue didn’t end up playing during the Tech run. We heard it finally tonight at the very end of the play during the blackout. It did not play well, and feels now that the play is really speaking for itself about its’ connections with our modern issues.  March 13, 2018 – Dress Rehearsal Discoveries: Transitions between acts: look at the exact order. Get the timing and story of those transitions right, and it will help the story.  Minimize talking upstage where possible, by opening out, include both sides of the house. Actors remember: • You don’t have to touch to get through to a person. • Where have you come from? What have you been doing? Bring this into the room when you enter.   148 Group scenes – your reactions tell the story and support the action. You must all hear everything as it relates to your circumstances and what has happened to you. We see all that detail in all of you. • You don’t have to look into the person’s eyes to hear them, or speak to them (we don’t in life). • Imagine substituting the word ‘witch’ with ‘racist’, same with ‘witchcraft’ with ‘racism.’ This word is taboo! ‘Devil’ is also a hot word you’re all frightened of it. • Let the other person work for what they want – don’t give it to them easily. Know the moment you give them what they want, as you pursue your next tactic.  When Rebecca Nurse comes on stage in Act I, she brings a great amount of hopeful energy into the play. This is a great foil to the negative energy that the Putnam’s bring into the first act.  The heartbeat sound cues at the play are working now. They need to just start quieter.              149 March 15, 2018 – Discoveries from Preview:  Figure 1.13 Act III, John attacks Abigail and Herrick pulls him off of her (L to R, Top to Bottom: Daria Rusu-Banu, Jed Weiss, Elizabeth Youth, Aidan Wright, Cassandra Bourchier, Daelyn Lester-Serafini, DrewAnn Carlson, Louis Lin, Tebo Nzeku, Matthew Rhodes, Frank Zotter, Olivia Lang, Heidi Damayo. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) The entire theatre was full of high school students and they were talking, texting, going on their phones to look on Facebook, eating and passing food, and generally being disrespectful to the actors on stage, but also to anyone else in the audience.  The journey Frank was on as Danforth was much more layered tonight. He’s reached a great journey for Danforth that is revealing a very complex character and is showing all of the many good and bad qualities a person has within them. It’s making his character someone we   150 love to hate, as well as completely understandable why he is becoming so frightened and angry by what is happening in his province.  Here are some of the specific moments I noticed where the audience was pulled into the story, or where they were having noticeable reactions to what was happening on stage: • People laugh at the giggling cue at the top of the show. They hear the girls laughing and then they laugh. However this was mainly the high school students and so I wonder what it will be like on Saturday night when I go to see the show again and there are no high school groups in the audience.  • When Susanna tells Parris that the Doctor thinks it may be ‘unnatural causes’, it’s like the crowd had a collective leaning at that moment. It helps to draw them into the story. • When Ann Putnam speaks about her 7 dead babies and Tituba’s ability to conjure the dead, this draws the audience in and builds the tension of the play. • When Mercy Lewis offers to beat Betty to wake her up – the audience laughed. Was it because this seemed ludicrous? It shocked them? It was inappropriate behaviour from a youth to beat a child? They view the behaviour as wrong? • Abigail’s slap of Betty unsettles people. It received an audible groan from the audience. I think it’s because it’s the brutality of the moment. • When John enters in Act I from behind Mary Warren it’s very impactful. The audience inhales sharply, like we fear that the girls have been caught. • People laugh and groan at John and Abigail’s kiss, and then when Betty screams immediately after they also laugh. I’m incredibly interested to know if the audience will have this same reaction on Saturday night.    151 • When Rebecca Nurse enters and brings a wave of calmness, the audience also calms down. It’s like they were being7 swept up in the tension that existed before, and now they can relax back into their 2018 sensibilities.  • Any bit of violence on the stage elicits a reaction: when Mr. Putnam pushes John out of the way to speak with Parris, and then John reciprocrates the push to Mr. Putnam. • Parris’ ‘Graduate of Harvard College’ caused a laugh. I think this is because we recognize the self-importance nature of Parris, and his attempt to bolster himself up.  • After John has said to Parris that he must ‘find the party and join it’ and Rebecca tells him ‘no John, clasp his hand and make your peace.’ When John then denies her as kindly as possible before turning to Giles is an excellent moment. We all leaned in to see if John would do as Rebecca told him to do or not. I think this is because we see how John is rebelling against the demanding rule that is being forced on him. • When Hale spoke with Ann about her seven dead babies it again drew everyone into the story. Like we yearned to find out more details. • When Tituba is finally brought in and confesses about the Devil, is excellent as well. I worried that it would cause laughter but it in fact became quieter in the audience at this point and drew everyone into the fear of what was being revealed - especially when Parris starts to join in and throw his questions at her as well! And when Tituba screams that the Devil bid her to kill Mr Parris, the audience seemed to gasp.  • At the end of Act I with the girls writhing and calling out people, and everyone held their positions when the beams moved was a really impactful moment. The audience had some audible ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ when the beams first moved; it grabbed their attention just like we wanted it to!   152 • Act II’s awkward kiss between John and Elizabeth received some laughs and groans from the audience. Then the shift that happens in John when Elizabeth brings up Mary Warren is incredible. John’s passion, anger, and forcefulness comes out and we see how impetuous he is and how strong a wife Elizabeth needs to be to deal with him.  • When Mary Warren enters, the audience witnesses John’s anger shift gears and become re-directed at Mary for disobeying Elizabeth’s orders to keep her at home. • When John grabs the whip from above the fireplace and threatens Mary with it, that received quite a stir from the audience. It feels incredibly violent and so wrong in our current society. Whether John thinks what he’s doing is right, it doesn’t matter because he’s using violence against a woman that has much less power than him. • When Elizabeth finally demands that John go and proclaim to the village that Abigail is a whore, this got quite an uncomfortable reaction and laugh from the audience. I think it is her blatant attack on Abigail’s character that caused the reaction for the high school students. This is quite a strong term to call a young girl. • When Hale breaks the tension that has been building between Elizabeth and John this is a wonderful moment to see how quickly the husband and wife go from being at each other’s throats to presenting a united front.  • The kind of passion and anger that John now exhibits when Hale is in his home questioning him, Elizabeth, and their ‘Christian’ nature is a great dynamic for John’s character development. We can see that John is really trying to keep his cool, but with everything happening, he’s just not able to control his temper at his wife’s goodliness being questioned. His own goodliness being questioned is understandable for John, but not his wife’s.   153 • The audience loved the moment of dramatic irony when Elizabeth has to give John the last commandment of ‘Adultery, John.’ • When John reveals that Abigail told him that it had ‘Naught to do with witchcraft’, and Hale repeats it back to John is also good. It hits the audience and allows us to follow the story of Hale’s journey in the play.  • Giles’ and Francis’ entrance is much better! It’s like they’ve really clicked into what the circumstances are that they are just coming from. They’re desperate, scared, vulnerable, and feeling all alone. This is a big trigger moment for the rest of the characters on stage.  • The needle revealed in the poppet is fantastic. The whole audience had this kind of gasp of recognition – they understand before the characters do the implications of a needle stuck in a doll. • When John rips the Deputy Governor’s Warrant out of Cheever’s hand and tears it in two, the audience gasped. They loved his defiance of ‘the man’, but also feared his actions and what it could mean for the rest of the characters.  • After Cheever and Herrick take Elizabeth off and Hale says that ‘The World Goes Mad!’ is a wonderful moment! It rings so true for us in the play but also in our lives right now.  • In Act III, Danforth’s ‘Mr. Parris I bid you be silent!’ – again, fantastic! There were ‘ooohs’ from the audience because of his complete shut down of Parris, and Danforth loses his cool for the first time in the act. We see him unleash his power over Parris.  • When Elizabeth comes in and Danforth is questioning her and he says, ‘Look in my eyes only.’ He does it quite jovially the first few times, as he’s trying to keep it light, to keep Elizabeth calm and open and honest. However, because of this subversive use of power,   154 the audience finds it funny/uncomfortable that he is trying so hard to keep his power under wraps and not let Elizabeth know how bad he needs this information from her. • When Abigail and the girls start seeing the bird, the audience shut up and were deeply invested in this moment.  • When Elizabeth tells John about Giles’ death and says that he only said ‘More weight’ this made the audience deeply uncomfortable. I think taking the time to imagine what that kind of death that would be like is far worse than seeing it happen. March 15, 2018 – Discoveries from Opening Night: People laugh when they’re uncomfortable, and the main moments people are uncomfortable are when things happen that we view as ‘ridiculous’ or ‘wrong’, and against our modern sense of human decency. So audience members laugh at the hypocrisy on display for us.  This was especially evident in the high school students. But they also laughed at the sexual moments between John and Abigail – I think because this made them uncomfortable not because of hypocrisy but because of the sexual explicitness and nature of the moment.  Many people told me that it was their favourite production of the season, that it was a great work, and that they were extremely impressed with the direction of the performance. The difference between Tuesday’s Dress run, Wednesday’s preview and to Opening night is remarkable. It’s like the actors needed a live audience to feed off of their energy. They were so invested, honest and truthful.  For them to go to that next place for the show, to really listen and respond to each other, they needed the kickstart of a watchful audience.  The story of the beams transforming and how that aids the dramatic action has finally become clearer and is having its proper impact now! By bringing the beam transitions to the beginning of the end of each act – it’s like the action that just occurred in the Act is causing the   155 world of the play to fall further into chaos. It’s helping to show them how they should be feeling at the end of each Act.  I’m not sure how the whispers at the end of Act II and start of Act III are being received by the audience. Right now the theatre has been so full at those moments that the whispers are being barely heard. I wonder if we need to bring the sound cue up some more, or if it will be received differently on Saturday night when there are potentially less people in the audience.  I hope that the whispers on Saturday night will actually pull the audience in and make them pay more attention, rather than giving them permission to chat at that moment. Elizabeth’s assertion in Act II that Abigail wishes to kill her and take her place really heightens the tension in the room.  I have been realizing with each run of the performance, I am uncomfortable in Act II when John starts to rage at Hale and Cheever that ‘are the accusers always innocent now? Were they born yesterday as clean as god’s finger? Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent? Or Abigail? I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem. Vengeance is walking Salem.’ It makes me uncomfortable because it is the strongest moment in the play where it links to the #metoo movement and where the play can be viewed strongly as a piece that is against believing victims – specifically women calling out men that have sexually assaulted them or used their positions of power to abuse and misuse them. I would hate for someone watching the play to view my interpretation of this moment as if I agree with John and that we shouldn’t believe the victims of crimes.  The interesting thing is this moment didn’t make me half as uncomfortable while we were still in rehearsals. It was only once we were up and doing runs in the theatre and seeing the show with all of the design, and Aidan’s performance had finally hit the sweet spot, that it began to make me uncomfortable.    156 After Opening Night, I read our review from The Georgia Straight, written by Andrea Warner, and it made me think about two aspects of this production.  But there are two major flaws in this production of The Crucible: the affectation of a Barbadian accent is jarring and deeply at odds with Nelson’s otherwise progressive staging. Secondly, the sound-design choice to utilize a flurry of hushed whispers and giggling throughout the show was confusing and not well-executed. It also seemed to signal to the audience that it was time for them to start whispering to each other. The show isn’t perfect, but for the most part, Nelson, who is an MFA candidate, exhibits a subversive fearlessness in deconstructing and recontextualizing a contemporary classic. Her Crucible signals a confident and exciting new voice behind the scenes (Warner). The reviewer’s first point about Tituba’s accent - this was shocking at first as I am really proud of the work that Sophia did on that accent. I can understand what Andrea is reading from the accent – it was something I was concerned about already from the start. That is why we spoke at length that Tituba’s voice would be more around the rhythm of her lines, rather than focusing on the actual full execution of the accent itself. And that we wanted to ensure that we weren’t trying to ‘other’ Tituba’s character more than she already is in the play. However, as Sophia worked with Adam Henderson her accent/rhythm was improving significantly and I was so proud of the work she had done and wanted to encourage her to keep going with it.  Her accent by performance time was based more in the rhythm of that dialect and the way her lines were written. The thing we would have had to do was change her lines in order to bring her voice out of the accent more. I do wonder if that is the route we should have gone, having Sophia work more with the rhythm of that character.    157 The Sound Design mixing with a high school audience at Opening Night – I think the flurry of whispers that came from the high school students wouldn’t necessarily have come from another audience. After Saturday’s run I will see how that audience receives the whisper sound cues.  March 17, 2018 – Discoveries from Saturday Night’s Run: In my discussions with my family about the play on the way home, I heard how they were interpreting the play: 1) They view Abigail as an evil monster that is coldly killing people in the town.  2) They view Parris as a slimy crook.  3) They don’t think John is a good person, but he has a moral journey he’s going through in some way. 4) They hated Danforth. But loved to hate him because he’s so comedic in Act III. Using humour as a method to question the community members, and keep his power and control over the situation.  5) They liked Hale because they could see his moral journey he is trying to do what he believes is the right thing.  Discoveries from the Run: • No one was laughing at the sound cue of the girls laughing at the top of the show! Yay!  • When Abigail enters at the top of the show, she brings a roiling and vibrant energy on stage with her! Same with Susanna Walcott’s energy upon entering, she’s so nervous in the household.  • The relationship between Parris and Abigail is growing and becoming better with every performance.    158 • Parris’ anger and feelings of betrayal towards Ann Putnam sending Ruth to conjure the dead with Tituba is palpable  • There is a great power struggle and dynamic between Mercy Lewis, Mary Warren and Abigail – it gives me chills. When Abigail and Mercy Lewis align against Betty and Mary Warren as they are freaking out, it is so strong! • There’s a really excellent moment of power and authority when Thomas Putnam, Ann Putnam, and Reverend Parris stand together against John, Giles, and Rebecca in Act I.  • Giles is a great release of tension at times in Act I, he gives the audience a bit of levity.  • We’ve really sprinkled in some lovely extra moments in the play that aren’t written into the script. Like while Hale is showing Parris and the Putnam’s what is in his witch hunting book, Abigail is trying to see what the book says, and Rebecca Nurse catches her trying to look. • The audience is really responding to John and Elizabeth’s awkward kiss – they laugh and groan a little. • When Elizabeth imitates Mary Warren it is a nice moment of humour and helps to pull the audience back into the story again. • Mary Warren’s reveal of what Goody Good and Goody Osburn did to her is so honest, open, and unbeguiling that it is so easy to believe her, and see how these girls could really believe these things were happening to them.  • There’s a great laugh moment for the audience when Mary Warren explains how Goody Good is pregnant and full to the brim with no husband.    159 • There is a power struggle and battle being played out between Elizabeth, John and Hale in Act II and it is coming through when they are moving the chairs around, deciding which chairs to sit in, and making each other sit down at times • There are many moments when the audience laughs at things in the play that I didn’t fully anticipate while rehearsing. Are we recognizing the Dramatic Irony of the play? That there actually is harm coming to the people in the town.  • I love how it plays with Abigail leading the group of girls into the Vestry room – she’s heading straight for John, and we can see and feel all of her hurt and feelings of betrayal. • I wonder why we laugh at the moment when John calls Abigail a ‘whore’ and respond to Abigail trying to stand up for herself. As women we recognize the victim blaming and slut shaming that is happening in the play.   160 Thursday, March 29, 2018 – Last Night for Notes! Figure 1.14 End of Act IV, Hale pleading with Elizabeth to save John (L to R, Top to Bottom: Shona Struthers, Jed Weiss. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) • Abigail’s reactions and responses to the knowledge she hears the adults speaking is fantastic. She pulls me into the action and drama of the play.  • They’re all more natural and comfortable on the stage and with their spacing! • The scene in Act I between John and Abigail is beautiful, truthful, and is exactly how I wanted it; that Abigail is reminding John of the love and passion that they shared.   161 •  Rebecca Nurse’s text is more prideful than I had originally thought and interpreted. They are daggers to the Putnams; they dig at their poor parenting skills and no children, whereas the Nurses have many children, and grandchildren. • I still don’t fully understand Ann Putnam’s line “there are wheels within wheels in this village and fires within fires.” Sabrina and I spoke many times about this line, but I don’t know if we ever really came to a clear and correct understanding of the line.  • When audience members laugh during the play, is this something I was really expecting to happen? It wasn’t something I was actively striving for – I was striving to pull forward the hypocrisy of these situations. • I really see now that even Elizabeth Proctor is prideful and guilty of judging other people that fall ‘outside the norm’ of what are acceptable members of society.  • The timing from Hale’s line to John in Act II about “Twenty-six times in seventeen months sir, I have to count that as rare.” continues to make me question when the affair with Abigail began for John. And if he stopped making a real effort to go to church services once his affair with Abigail started because he didn’t want to be around Parris, Abigail’s uncle, with all of his guilt, as well as feeling that since he was sinning anyway, then he might as well not go to church because that wasn’t going to help him. • It really feels like John pulls Elizabeth down with him; like when Hale is questioning the Christian nature of their household, and John starts to pull Elizabeth into it as well – ‘but sure we never loved the devil here.’ • The play gives the audience laughs when Elizabeth gives John the final commandment – ‘Adultery John’ – but then slaps them in the face with Hale’s response ‘Theology is a fortress.’   162 • There is very clear connections between alternative facts/fake news in our current society and moments in the play – like when John says, ‘there are those that will confess to anything before dying.’ • Tomas’ in Francis Nurse has really improved throughout the run. His performance is gentle, truthful, and honourable, and those characteristics are really shining through.  • The younger girls are spell binding to watch in Act III during their fits and when being questioned by Danforth. I tear up because of what they’re going through, and I fear for them, I go through the terror that they are going through. I feel like the play is screaming out to me that no woman will make it out alive. • The distance from the audience to the stage allows us to more clearly see the story and every aspect of the play and how the oppression and persecution affects everyone in the town! • I’m so pleased and proud of my actors – they’ve held true to my vision and have filled the roles even better than I could have imagined! March 30, 2018 – Closing Night: For the past three weeks I have witnessed tremendous growth from the actors. The sense that I could give them notes on minute details of the play but, with a strange kind of uneasy peace more often than not, I wanted to leave the actors to make this show their own during the run. To allow them to take control of the show that we have all worked so hard on and put so much of our passion, spirit, and creative energy into. They have breathed real life into the play, further filled out these characters, and brought new levels of nuance to their performance. They took the heart and soul of the play and the message we wanted to present and made it theirs while still honoring everything I wanted to happen in it. It’s difficult to describe the subtle   163 changes that happened over the three weeks, how through trusting their work and intentions allowed the play to move, breathe, and sweep an audience along on the journey was fascinating. Aidan’s John Proctor held within him all the messed up as well as great qualities that that character has within himself. Aiden never forgot about the fact that this isn’t a straight cut “good man”, that this is a man who has problems, who has anger management issues, and who lives in a society where he’s not able to fully be himself. And even he has noticed that he made subtle changes or tried out new things with every performance - he wanted to know if I was OK with it, he knew that he didn’t want to try out something and continue doing it if it wasn’t in the spirit of the play I had intended. It was an incredibly respectful and honorable process to go on with him. And then Heidi and her performance as Abigail within the last week and a half has just opened up and become even more honest, truthful, and vulnerable on stage then I could have ever hoped for. I feel like this production 100% accomplished the goal that I had set out for it. To highlight the injustices that occur when we as a society put strict expectations of behaviors on different genders. These are still issues we face to this day as we continue to grapple with what we think women, men, and everyone in between should behave like.   It’s funny that when opening night had arrived I was wishing I had another week of rehearsals to spend with the actors because I felt like they still needed that time to grow with the piece; but even though I didn’t get to spend that time with them directly they still had that growing time during the run of the show. And by the end of the run it was the design that I was wishing I had had an additional week to finish finessing with Ryan and Erika and Cora.  Throughout the whole rehearsal process there was constantly the sense that I was running out of time myself just like the characters in the play. I always felt like there was more work to be done with the actors, that the kind of focused discussion work that I was hoping to do was   164 never fully finished. I never got to go through and discuss with them all the different shifts that I saw occurring in the play. I simply had to hope that the work I had done before rehearsals and what I was exploring with the actors was enough to lead them in the direction that I wanted the play to go in. During the whole process I was actually lacking in the ability to step back and look at the performance as a whole - something that I still am not sure I mastered by the end of the run. When I watch the show, I get caught up in each individual moment and how it is unfolding and impacting me in that exact moment. I find it difficult to step back and see how the whole show will affect an audience and carry them through the performance. I know that I can trace the journey when I first read the play and within the first few experiences of the play, but by the time we get to the end of rehearsals and are watching many run throughs, it becomes difficult to keep my fresh eyes available until the very end of the rehearsal process.    165 Chapter 3: Conclusion – Reflection / Director as Team Leader or Cheer Leader  Figure 1.15 Act III, Mary Warren turns against John Proctor (L to R, Top to Bottom: Aidan Wright, Matthew Rhodes, Elizabeth Young, Gray Clark, Louis Lin, Olivia Lang, Cassandra Bourchier, Heidi Damayo, DrewAnn Carlson, Daelyn Lester-Serafini. Costume Designer: Cora Wu, Lighting Designer: Ryan Yee, Set Designer: Kimira Bhikum. Photo Credit: Javier Sotres) 3.1 How is this final product – The Crucible production – what I intended?  I don’t know if it really is. I wanted to explore the way gender is constructed on stage. Did I really focus on exploring what it means to play ‘a gender’? I had for the most part women playing women characters, and men   166 playing men characters, with the exception of Tebo, Elizabeth, and Daria (and briefly Daelyn and Drew as well when being the Deputies). I didn’t want an audience to assume that the girls were evil anymore, for even one or two people to see what they were struggling with and understand that even though their actions may have been immoral/wrong, they couldn’t find a better way out. They were all tired of being pushed down and stomped on by a society that abused them.  3.2 How is it NOT what I intended? I didn’t mean for it to be funny. At first laughter was a real concern for me. I didn’t want it, I didn’t like it, and I was horrified by the audiences’ response to laugh at certain moments. The fact that people laughed at the production completely threw me for a loop and was something that I had not at all intended, or was expecting to happen.  The way the Sound was executed in the production was on its way to becoming what I had intended but never actually made it to my end vision. I needed a composer, not only a Sound Designer.   While in my script analysis and pre-rehearsal work, I fully understood and could rationally see how even if the female characters were lower power status, and that the actions they did were to find some power and control in their lives, the actions of Abigail and others (like the Putnams) was still underhanded at times and that Abigail was especially manipulating the people to finally get what she wanted. However as rehearsals transpired and my understanding of the relationship between John and Abigail developed further, and my conversations with Heidi and Aidan made me empathize even more with Abigail and the struggles she was going through. So much so, that even though I knew that she was manipulating the situation to serve her desires, I started to feel that she was right in doing so. And I hoped that   167 the audience as they watched the play would sympathize or empathize with Abigail and see how wrong she was being treated by the society and people that had claimed to love her.  3.3 How I understand Directing now? Truths I know about Directing and Theatre? Directing is a malleable and at time intangible art form. I’m sure there are many artists that feel this way, but looking back at the past two years, I feel a sense of unease because it is an ever changing and developing skillset and art form. There will always be new techniques to learn, to experiment with, and I don’t think my journey simply ends here.  Are directors really charlatans? Magicians? Scammers? Taking the credit for those extraordinarily gifted and talented artists around them? Or is part of their skill and talent the ability to harness everyone else’s creative artistry and funnel it towards creating this one vision for a production? Perhaps this is because I’ve always felt the Director is the Captain and steers the ship, I couldn’t actually reach my destination without the work of every single member of the team helping to get us there. I think that is one my talents in directing and has made this production such a success. I am part of a team, and while I may lead that team, that doesn’t mean that I have to do everything myself, or know everything. That is why I’ve partnered with a team of amazing artists to help create this story for a community.  Directing dramatic narrative is like getting a map to a destination, the journey can be taken in many different ways. Either way it will still lead us to the same destination, but each director is bringing out the specific qualities, themes, aspects of the script, the characters and the story that resonate the most with them. And so they won’t be able to change the destination of where this story is going to, but they can adjust the route. And that’s exciting. We’re not exactly going out and discovering new places, but we are in control of our own artistic message, experience and journey. That’s a pretty exciting and appealing position to be in when making art.    168 Truths I know about Theatre: people go to the theatre to be changed, to be emotionally moved – with joy, sadness - or to think. One of my favourite quotes I came across from Arthur Miller at some point during all of this was, “before you can make an audience think, you have to make them feel” and I think this is unequivocally true.  3.4 What I am going to Employ in the Future? • Be more specific in directions and what I want from the actors.  • Pre-blocking the play, but most importantly significant moments and turning points. • Find the ‘sign posts’ in the script and make the actors aware of them.  • Tracing out the triggers in the script. • Find any repeating images and language used.  • Determine the turning points of the story.  • Pre-rehearsal chats with the actors.  New things to think about before rehearsals begin:  • What’s the revelation of information?  • What’s the cause of the characters and the audience to change how they feel about what’s happening? • Helping the actors to find these things by asking specific questions. (See pg. 110) EXPLORATION: • General knowledge and understanding of the Conflicts at work in the play o Story: What happens in the Play literally? o What is the Theme(s) of the Play? • What is the rhythm and pace of the Play?   169 • Pay attention to stage directions, punctuation, and moments in the script that don’t necessarily make sense right away: the playwright is giving me clues to understanding the play, the characters and the action as it unfolds in the play.  • Pay attention to the way that time unrolls in the play.  • All characters are working under two situations: 1) they are trying to make a bad situation better. 2) Maintain a good situation. • Ask questions about the script from who enters and when? To, how does this moment move the play forward? Answer all of these questions with the actors.  • Have the actors consider what the moral stance of their character is. What are the values that they place at the centre of their being? What is the moral code that governs the inner life of a character and results in the decisions they made and the behaviour they exhibit? • Make sure that the turning points and transitions within the script are established. • Let the actors lead and then make offers: What happens here for you? • Share with the actors the conflicts and tensions happening in the play and their journeys. • What are the stakes? Build the context for those stakes. DEVELOPMENT: • You can’t play the same scene twice. • Everything in the play either aids or impedes the Hero’s goals.  • Jump on the triggers as they occur for your character. • We must hit the Turning Points and make them clear.  • Remember to ask: What are you trying to get? What are you doing? What did you do that for?   170 • Play your own scene.  • Runs are only useful when the actors know what they are doing. • Focus on the ending, the outcome of the struggle of the action: the principal means of grasping the idea in a play is to track the dramatic action of the principal character/s, all the way through to the end! • Don’t soften the language. Meet it! • Where do I plant the seeds for big reveals later in the story? • Let the actors have time for their process. • Clarity of dramatic action for the Character. o Dramatic problem. o Providing context for the problem. o Using blocking to frame the problem. We want to see the problems land of the characters face, so make sure we can see them! Keep your eye on the danger! POLISH: • As the play progresses the characters have to change.  • Look at where are the actors are engaging in their emotional through line. If the actor is struggling with staying in their dramatic problem, now is the time to go back and look in the script for those exact moments when they are dropping out of their problem. That is the glue holding the story together.  • As the play progresses things must accumulate on the characters. There is a reason we are watching the action of the play today. The characters are in pursuit of their goals and as   171 we see them either get closer or farther away from achieving those goals, the successes or failures must impact the actor. • Now is the time to go back and look at the script and follow each characters emotional journey. To see where is the characters are getting closer to their goal or further away from their goal. Then when observing a run, if the actor is not aware of where they are in their emotional journey it is my job as the director to help them firmly locate where they are. • I will remember to ask myself: What is coming off the stage at me versus how I interpret the play in this moment? Where’s the focus?  • You must always work to see the whole. 3.5 This process has revealed what I will do next time? I really enjoyed ensuring that we as a team were able to decompress at the end of some of our rehearsals. Some rehearsals weren’t as deep into the emotional trauma of the play and so on those nights we didn’t feel that it was necessary to have that decompression time, but on nights when it was deep we allowed for that grounding and decompression time together as a company – it was well worth the 10 minutues.  Next time I want to ensure that the design is complete before rehearsals begin with actors. By this I mean that there needs to be some sounds created, some lighting looks mocked up, costume design drawings complete, and a maquette. This then also leads into actually having the sound designer come to some rehearsals to play sounds with me in the space. It just never came together for this production.  Pre-rehearsal chats with the actors about their relationships, objectives, and the world of the play were incredibly useful when working on a large ensemble play. It allowed me to lay the   172 groundwork for the actors about what direction we were taking the play in, the themes, the emphatic element, and the dramatic action of the play before they get other ideas created. Give myself plenty of lead up time for a production. To honour myself and my own working process to know that in order for me to truly be my best as a Director and do my best work, I need more time to dive into a script. To read the script more. I think I read The Crucible about 10 times in total before rehearsals started and it still didn’t feel like enough – like there was still more I could have discovered about the text if I had had more time to read through it.  3.6 How I see myself as a Director now vs. when I started this whole process? I now feel like I don’t have to prove myself as a competent Director anymore.  I actually understand how to break down a narrative play and structure.  I see myself as a confident, compassionate, and thoughtful director. One that works gently with the artists she is teamed with to create a supportive and creative environment where we all can work together. But also a Director who knows what she wants and will work with her artists in order to create that world for an audience to experience.  I not only know how to decode and understand a narrative script but also know when I am choosing to take a signpost/turning point/aspect to a narrative dramatic structure and turn it on its head. To say ‘I see what the Playwright is doing in this moment, but I’d like us to use this moment in a different way.’ I think it’s the difference between knowing the rules and consciously deciding to break them for a purpose, vs. not knowing the rules at all and not realizing that I’m breaking anything. And everything that occurs in a production is a happy accident.  I better understand how to use all elements of a production to my advantage.   173 I have a better sense of the rhythm and pace that are inherently written within a script due to the length of sentences, pauses or silences, grammatical structure, word choices, scene and act lengths. As well as a better understanding of how to help support that driving force within a script, or create something that is counter to that pace and rhythm to a specific purpose.  I can see myself as a Director that wants to take chances with her work, and even within a larger theatre, I can create an emotional journey for the audience that before I would have tried to engender through intimacy and proximity to the action alone.  A thorough Director that leaves no stone unturned and actively knows that all of my choices are working towards a specific experience of the story for the audience.  A compassionate and collaborative co-creator of the production. I am open to new creative possibilities for the production, while also being self-assured in my interpretation of the script enough to know when an idea is not serving our version of the story.  Confident to ask for what I want and expect that we will find a way to make that work and create it. To fight for those choices that are incredibly important to me and know that the production deserves those specific elements.  A confidence with actors to guide them through a rehearsal process – helping to clarify their choices, but also to know how to keep them on task during rehearsal. To keep us exploring and analyzing the script.  And to also have a better understanding of what other directors are doing in their own productions. To watch someone else’s play and question why they made the choices they did and how I might have done it differently.  To be honest, much of this process revealed to me how I have a negative, self-doubting voice in my head when directing and taking on a project that I think is beyond my capabilities. Through this process, I have learnt that the best way for me to combat those thoughts is to write them out.   174 I need to release them from my train of thoughts so that I can then move on and focus on the work that needs to be done. When working with designers that we don’t always see eye to eye, I feel a greater sense of confidence in not only my ability to articulate why I want the design to be a certain way, but also knowing how to face these challenges head on and figure out what is at the route of the dissonance.  Finally, am a collaborative Director or not? I am. There’s no other option for me – I am a collaborative Director. I want the thoughts and ideas of all artists involved, but I am confident in my abilities and interpretation of a piece to know when those ideas are serving the show or not. I am also humble to know when another artist brings in an excellent idea and when to share that I don’t have all the answers.    175 Bibliography Allegranti, Beatrice. Embodied Performances: Sexuality, gender, bodies. USA. Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print. Aston, Elaine. Feminist Theatre Practice: A handbook. London, Routledge, 1999. Print. Ball, David. Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual For Reading Plays. 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New York: Routledge, 2004. Print. Countries and Their Cultures. Barbadians, 2018, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web   176 Easterling, Anita Tripathi and Jeanmarie Higgins. ‘The Front Porch: A Case Study in Designing Domestic Stage Space Using Semiotic Analysis’, Theatre Topics, 23(1):35-44. 2013. Print. Goodheart, Adam. “How Satan Came to Salem.” The Atlantic, November 2015, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web. Griffin, Alice. Understanding Arthur Miller. Columbia, University of South Carolina, 1996. Print. Hodge, Francis and McLain, Michael. Play Directing: Analysis, Communication, and Style. Seventh Edition. Boston, Allyn & Bacon, 2010. Print. Jusino, Teresa. “How Arthur Miller Created an American Myth of the Male “Witch Hunt” Men Still Cling to Today.” The Mary Sue, 29 Jan. 2018, Accessed 1 Feb. 2018. Web. Lima, Robert. Stages of Evil: Occultism in Western Theater and Drama. Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2005. Print. Mamet, David. Theatre. New York, Faber and Faber, Inc., 2010. Print.  Marino, Stephen A. A Language Study of Arthur Miller’s Plays: The Poetic in the Colloquial. Lampeter, The Edwin Mellen Press, Ltd., 2002. Print. McCabe, Terry. Mis-directing the Play: An Argument Against Contemporary Theatre. Chicago, Ivan R. Dee, 2001. Print.  Merriam Webster Dictionary. Definition of Melodrama, 2018, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.      177 Merriam Webster Dictionary. Definition of Overture, 2018, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.    Michigan State University. The Salem Witch Trials, 2008, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.    Miller, Arthur.  - All My Sons. New York, The Cornwall Press, Inc., 1947. Print.  - A View from the Bridge. London, Penguin Books, 2009. Print.  - Death of a Salesman. New York, Penguin Books, 1998. Print. - “Journey to ‘The Crucible.’” Article. NY Times. 8 Feb. 1953. Accessed 15 Oct. 2016. Print. (pdf download) - The Crucible. New York, The Viking Press, 1964. Print. - “Tragedy and the Common Man” The Harcourt Brace Anthology of Drama. Third Edition. Worthen, W. B. (ed), Orlando, Harcourt Inc., 2000, pp. 1162-1164. Print. - “Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist’s Answer to Politics.” Article. The New Yorker. 21 Oct. 1996. Accessed 15 Oct. 2016. Print. (pdf download) Rintoul, Douglas. “The Crucible: the perfect play for our post-truth times.” The Guardian, 14 Feb. 2017, Accessed 23 Jan. 2018. Web. Schiff, Stacy. The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem. New York, Back Bay Books, 2015. Print. Schiff, Stacy. “The Witches of Salem: Diabolical doings in a Puritan Village.” The New Yorker, 7 Sept. 2015, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.   178 Simon, Bennett. Mind and Madness in Ancient Greece: The Classical Roots of Modern Psychiatry. London, Cornell University, 1978. Print. Solomon, Alisa. Re-Dressing the Canon. London, England. Routledge, 1997. Print. Starkey, Marion L. The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Inquiry into the Salem Witch Trials. Alexandria, Time-Life Books Inc., 1949. Print.  Tanenhaus, Sam. “Who Stopped McCarthy? What the history of Republican infighting can teach us.” The Atlantic, April 2017, pp. 34-37. Print.  Thuras, Dylan. “Sex, Drugs, and Broomsticks: The Origins of the Iconic Witch.” Atlas Obscura, 23 Oct. 2014, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web. Warner, Andrew. “UBC Theatre turns Athur Miller’s The Crucible into a compelling dark comedy.” The Georgia Straight, 16 Mar. 2018, Accessed 16 Mar. 2018. Web. Weales, Gerald (ed). The Viking Critical Library - Arthur Miller The Crucible: Text and Criticism. New York, Penguin Books, 1971. Print. Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Definition of Melodrama, 2018, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.  Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. Definition of Overture, 2018, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.   Woodside, Christine. “The Site of the Salem Witch Trial Hangings Finally Has a Memorial.”, 13 Jul. 2017, Accessed 9 Aug. 2017. Web.   179 Appendices Appendix A    Director’s Notes – The Crucible People assume two key elements about The Crucible: that John Proctor is the Good Hero of this story, and Abigail Williams is the Bad Antagonist. I’m suggesting otherwise.  Rarely do we consider that John was Abigail’s employer when their love affair began, creating an intrinsic power imbalance not to mention that in 1692 women were considered property to men.  Their affair ended only after John’s wife, Elizabeth, confronted him about it and even after the affair ended, John was unable to control his desire for her.  Also Abigail spent many years without her parents. The people that would have shown her unconditional love and safety were killed in front of her. Living with her uncle who resented her, enabled a fertile situation for falling in love when shown love and passion from John.  The characters are both good and evil like complex human beings are. Rather than blanketing them as either ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’, we’re exploring the knowledge that all of us are conflicted by these binary modes of behaviour based on our experiences and societal norms. I was drawn to The Crucible’s portrayal of gender and power dynamics right from the start of the play when the girls go out into the woods to dance, sing, and run wild. We can observe how when people are forced into strict and unyielding gender rules and codes of behavior, both the women and men suffer. The characters are not able to pursue their passions or fulfill their personal goals because they are restricted. Furthermore, the women are consistently misused or abused by their male counterparts, and even by other females in their community. Over time, these mistreatments lead many of the female characters to seek a release from their powerless roles.   180 We have made great strides towards equality since 1692, but in many ways, we’re still trapped in these traditional ideals and can see the consequences of these power dynamics and oppression. My hope is that by keeping these aspects of the play in the forefront of our vision for the production, it allows us to work towards a more equal world where we don’t have to push down some in order to raise others up.  I’d like to thank my family and friends, especially my husband Mike Irvine, whose unending support and words of encouragement kept me going. Thank you to everyone involved in The Crucible; the Production Team: Borja, Keith, Patrick, Lynn, Jodi, Brad, and Carey; the Advisors: Gayle, Cathy, Sheila, and my Thesis Advisor Stephen Heatley who was always willing to hear my wild ideas; the Fight Choreographers: Mike and Ryan; the Designers: Kim, Ryan, Erika, and Cora; and all of the cast and crew who breathed life into Arthur Miller’s words allowing the portrayal of the ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ that exists within every one of these characters. I couldn’t have told this story without their passion and commitment!     181 Appendix B   Director’s Speech During First Rehearsal for The Crucible – February 2, 2018 Director’s Vision There’s no denying that The Crucible is a smartly written piece about the unjustness of a society that allows fear, mistrust, and lies to tear a community apart and unfairly convict people. But the aspect I’m most interested in exploring is The Crucible’s portrayal of gender. When I first read the play, I couldn’t help thinking that if this were 325 years later, in present day, the persecution and hysteria around girls singing, dancing, and having fun in the woods at night would not have been the horrific event that it was for Salem. The actions of the young women (the fits and accusing people in town of witchcraft) that became a beacon for truth, goodness, and holiness seems preposterous to us now.  The Crucible shows how when an entire group of people (mainly the female characters) are forced into stricter and unyielding gender rules and codes of behaviour, and then are consistently misused or abused, these mistreatments over time will lead a person to seek a way out of those powerless roles they’ve been stuck in. Even if that means persecuting others so they can have power and control for themselves. Those stereotypical behaviours are still holding our society back from meaningful progress forward (i.e.: Donald Trump being elected over Hillary Clinton, the gender pay gap and how it exists around the world, the sexual assaults or harassment that women face every day and have come to believe that is normal and just something we have to deal with in life, #metoo and #timesup movements, etc.). We will be paying particular attention to what this play says to our community right now.    182 Themes we’ll be paying particular attention to: The roles of men and women in the play: consider what is expected of you as a man or woman at that time, how is it similar or different to now? The power dynamics between characters. Who has power? Who doesn’t? Who fights to gain a bit of power? And how these power dynamics have meaning in today’s society? We are living at a time when groups of people are “hunting” other groups, or that oppressed and silent groups will no longer keep silent but will stand up and fight for the power to be free, not be discriminated against, or misused anymore. I was struck by how universal the themes of Persecution, Scapegoating, Othering, Fear of the Unknown, the Search for Power and Control are today. These aspects of Humanity that we struggle with are a never-ending battle. It’s sad that we seem to repeat the past in these subtle yet similar ways. What world we are setting the play in: We cannot ignore the 1692 time period. It’s very indicative of its period in the language, and its interrogation and exploration of the historical events of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. However, we also see how many of these actions, themes, and questions that are explored in the play are beyond a specific time period. We're stuck in a horrific loop of persecuting those that are different from us and thus fear. As well as those people that we view as "radical" that shake the traditional society norms that we've grown used to, and the people in power in the society don’t like those that have come along and are shaking up the status quo. I hope the play will feel like a fusion of different time periods, and that this play could be in 1692 or 2018.   183 This is a Melodrama in the sense that there is hope at the end of the play, and that these are life or death situations. I want everyone to live truthfully in those circumstances and respond honestly and realistically within that world.  Puritan Life: No other group of people was more vulnerable to the witchcraft hysteria than women. Gender roles were deeply ingrained in society. The ideals of women in early modern Europe traveled across the Atlantic Ocean with the Puritans. Women were seen as inferior beings that needed to be dominated by a male figure, and those who broke the mold were viewed as dangerous. Ultimately, the contradictions between the religion and the gender roles illustrate the flaws with Puritan society. The basis for the Puritan’s beliefs was an emphasis on the righteousness and sovereignty of God.  God, they said directed all things by exercise of his will and directed all things to an intelligent end. The Puritans were more partial to the teachings of the Old Testament. (A more wrathful and strict God; fire and brimstone.) Meaning they had to live strictly to the divine law in every aspect of their lives, or the threat of God’s wrath and vengeance would be realized. The most important element in the play for me: the characters and their relationships and struggles. These are not evil characters or good characters. Don’t judge your character.  These characters are being pushed close together and pressed upon, the world is claustrophobic at times due to all the bodies intruding and invading personal space; like the outside world is pressing in on them. And the outside world is large, unknown, and dangerous.  We will show audiences that these are not simply evil or good characters, and that they are not controlled by some unseen evil force (the devil) - these are complex and multifaceted human beings. They let their own fear and prejudices that they have learnt from the theocratic rule control them. If we valued people for their own individuality and as equal human beings, the   184 world would be a much better place. Today we must remember to stand up for those that can’t stand up for themselves, we cannot fall subject to the faults of our past, we must improve and do better so that society can become better. What I will say finally to the Actors: remember we are giving this story to a modern audience. What does this kind of fear, prejudice, physical attacks, and oppression on people cause? Or where do we see this happening today? This play is the call to rally society to do better! Remember: in order to make an audience think, they must first feel. And finally there is a small glimmer of hope at the end of the play.      185 Appendix C   February 22, 2018 – Songs that have to do with Church or Witches for Sound Design Started to make a list of songs that we could use for the Preshow music for the show  Creed “With Arms Wide Open” Hozier “Take me to Church” Mumford & Sons “The Cave” Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More” Donovan “Season of the Witch”  Eagles “Witchy Woman”  Queens of the Stone Age “Burn the Witch”  Coldplay “Magic” Little Mix “Black Magic” Steppenwolf “Magic Carpet Ride” ELO “Strange Magic” Katy Perry “Dark Horse” The Cars “Magic” Guided By Voices “Cut out witch” Panic! At The Disco “Nearly Witches” Redbone “Witch queen of New Orleans” Frank Zappa “Drowning Witch” Rush “Witch Hunt” John Fogerty “Wicked Old Witch” Santana “Black Magic Woman” Fleetwood Mac “Rhiannon” Jeff Buckley “Witches' Rave” Yoko ono “Yes, I'm a witch” Yoko Ono “Woman of Salem” Thurston Moore “Wonderful Witches”, and “Language Meanies” The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin” The Lovin' Spoonful “Do You Believe In Magic”   


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