Wilmington Friends will put on “The Crucible”

Matt Byer, Entertainment Editor

Cries of hidden witches and devils behind pointed fingers pervade a town gripped by hysteria and vengeance. This is the world of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a dramatized and partially fictionalized retelling of the Salem Witch trials during 1692-93 with perceptible political undertones. A majority of the WFS community is familiar with the piece, for it has been taught in middle school English classes, but now comes an opportunity to see it performed on stage––for it’s this year’s upper school drama!

    There is much excitement surrounding the play this year, especially from those working hard to make the show a reality. Palpable enthusiasm comes from the cast who recognize the play as a powerful and challenging piece. Jay Handwerk ’18, who plays the role of Reverend Samuel Parris, gave his reasons for joining the production: “I thought it was an interesting play and definitely, being one of the last years I have here, it’s one of my last chances to do a show, and I thought this was a very good show to go out on,” he says, “I thought it was an interesting play and definitely, being one of the last years I have here, it’s one of my last chances to do a show, and I thought this was a very good show to go out on.” Ryan Wolynetz ’18, who has the role of Reverend John Hale, expressed similar sentiments when asked why he wanted to be a part of the drama: “This is a play that I’m somewhat familiar with; we read it in 8th grade and it’s very exciting because now this is the first time I’ve been in a play that I’m really familiar with.” Wolynetz went on to say, “and don’t get me wrong, I loved being in others. I’ve been in three other plays before this one, and they were all really great, but this one I think gives me a more challenging part, and for me, that’s exciting. I’m excited for this production.” The cast is not only thrilled to experience “The Crucible,” but hope that their peers are as well.

    “It’s a fun cast. [People should come see it] because we all have fun in it, so we want to share some of that fun with [the WFS community]!” said Casey Tyler ’19, who plays Giles Corey, after being asked why those inside and outside the WFS community ought to watch it. Wolynetz also promoted the drama: “it’s a very powerful play. It’s a timeless classic by Arthur Miller. Very well-written.” Naturally, the enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming performance extends to the directors themselves. They emphasized the importance of the piece. Lisa Osicky, English Teacher and Director, stated: “I think that it has a really important message for today’s audience. It’s about the Salem Witch Hunts, but there have been different kinds of witch hunts over and over and over again, back to McCarthyism, and even now we keep looking for the witches.” Lauren Gutstein, English Teacher and Director, also provided her opinion on the show’s significance and why the student body should watch it. “It’s gonna be great, and we worked really hard, and it’s a show that is important,” she says, “I think [“The Crucible”] speaks to our times today, and I think that most of the student body has read the play and should take this chance to see it come alive––with our wonderful students in the roles!”

    With excitement running high, those involved in “The Crucible” have been working tirelessly to make the production the best it can be. They aspire to do justice to a remarkable drama that has stood the test of time, so go out and support them! Students, faculty, families, and friends are all welcome to this year’s upper school drama which is sure to impact the heart and mind alike.