Theater Hosts Auditions for ‘The Crucible’

Amanda Granato

People mill about, studying monologues, joking with each other and filling out audition sheets. Someone makes a comment about the ‘what accents can you do?’ question on the sheet and Ferman shouts from the back of the theatre “Ello gov’na!”

As time nears to perform, the eager auditioners begin to settle into the first four rows of seats, out of earshot from Mr. Ferman and Ms. McIntyre’s seats. At the moment, Mac and Ferman sit on the edge of the stage as Mac dictates to the room the guidelines for the auditions. Everyone sits nervously in their chairs, tapping their feet, biting their nails and otherwise proudly displaying their nervous ticks.

[see the cast list here]

“We aren’t looking for memorization. The things we are looking for are voice, character, movement. Can we hear you is a big thing, and do you have the character in mind as you’re performing? Just don’t be nervous and break a leg.” Ferman said, ending the rules with some last minute tips.

The lights dim and the first actor steps into the spotlight and performs his monologue. As he ends his scene the audience of actors applaud his efforts. The actors grow quiet again as another steps up to take the stage.

In between performances people hastily read and reread their lines, silently mouthing them to themselves in the hopes that there won’t be any forgotten lines when it comes their turn. Someone lets out a high-pitched, squeeky sneeze into the silence and the air of tension around the students is temporarily cracked as the nearby thespians simultaneously proclaim ‘bless you’ and laugh.

As auditioners continue to mount the stage, Ferman and Mac sit in the seclusion of their empty row far from the students, quietly deliberating and deciding the fates of the hopeful actors.

“Now look you. All of you. We danced. And Tituba conjured Ruth Putnam’s dead sisters. And
that is all,” Sarah McDonnell says during her performance. “And mark this. Let either of you breathe a word, or the edge of a word, about other things, and I will come to you in the black of some terrible night, and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.”

McDonnell skips off the stage and returns to her seat after performing the monologue for Abigail Williams, the female lead in The Crucible. Her friends seated around her silently congratulate her with bright smiles and enthusiastic fist bumps.

Dallas Reid hands Mac his paper and says “You enjoy that. That’s my life on that paper.” And he proceeds to the stage to deliver his monologue of Deputy Governor Danforth.

“Mary Warren swears that she never saw spirits, nor any manifest of the Devil. It may well be that Mary Warren has been conquered by Satan, who sends her here to distract our sacred purpose. If so, her neck will break for it,” finishes Reid with a bright smile and a “Thank you!” He sits to a round of applause and an encouraging hug.

Christina Cranshaw goes to hand her audition sheet to Ferman and he gives her a word of advice, “Hey, relax!” Cranshaw nods and proceeds to jump up and down the aisle to the stage making wild flailing motions with her arms and legs, much to every one’s amusement.

As the auditions wear on, and the majority have performed, the atmosphere of the theatre noticeably lightens and there is considerably more talking and laughing between scenes, although the noise level never grows to anything that can be seriously considered loud.

One actress who goes up and gives her monologue quickly learns of the friendly pirate battle between Legacy’s Journalism and Theatre. After she had delivered her speech, Ferman says in a muted voice “It was fine except for the ‘Team Mallett’ shirt,”.

Eventually all of the auditioning thespians had given their performances and the group quickly vacated the theatre after a few kind words of praise and a reminder to check the callback list that would be posted the next day.