The “Crucible” brings out the creative spirit
MUNCY – It is a challenge. It can’t be done. It might be a risk. These were all the statements given to Bridget Murphy when she decided last year as a Junior in high school, that she wanted to direct Arthur Miller’s well known classic play, “The Crucible.”
Considered a classic form of literature and written in 1953 it is about the Salem Witch trials that took place in the province of Massachusetts.
“We read the play last year in English class,” said Murphy who was immediately inspired to put on the play at Muncy High School. “I fell in love with it when I read it,” she said.
This is the first time in Muncy history that a student has directed one of the yearly performances. Principal Tim Welliver said at first he thought it might be a risk when Bridget first came to him with her idea, but he concluded that she is “going to make it.”
“When I worked with her, I saw that there was no risk at all,” he said. “She’s doing a great job with it.”
Murphy started auditions early. She had the script books and play rights by mid September and the cast was assigned before October.
Murphy wants to go to school for theatre and gladly accepted the challenge for herself. She was pleased with the turnout for auditions and her colleagues have shown utmost respect for her given talent. She wanted to take on the challenge of directing the play rather than risk not having one at all. “I just didn’t want that to happen,” she replied.
Murphy has been acting since she was 12. She commented on how much support she has been given by her peers and parents. “Everyone has been incredible. I can’t even begin to express my appreciation for all of it,” she said. Much of the set design and scenery is being done by the parents and students are helping immensely.
“What Bridget and the kids are learning is tenfold than under adult supervision,” said Welliver. They are learning how to build something, how to work cooperatively and collaboratively. “This play is theirs! They own it,” Welliver added. Grades 7 through 12 got to audition for it back in September. They will also be competing in the Ray of Lights program in May 2015.
The cast of 20 has been very dedicated, coming to rehearsals and helping out on weekends. “You can’t coach or teach dedication,” said advisor Nan Rusczyk and a retired teacher who enjoys live theatre and volunteered her time to assist with rehearsals.
“Bridget is doing an amazing job,” she said. “She is able to balance the talent she has with the cast and other students. She has a tremendous gift with people. She puts it all together well.”
Joshua Lloyd who plays the lead character, John Proctor, said that the play is a bit more challenging than other plays the school has performed. Murphy said the audience should have “gut wrenching emotions” when leaving the show.
Cast member Aimee Braunsberg said, “I like this play because it’s intense and brings out your inner spirit. It’s very emotional. It pulls at you.”
“Murphy’s leadership is impressive. She is even motivating the adults,” concluded Welliver. “Yes they can do this.”