Proctor & The Crucible

Mr. Proctor in the 2012 ClassicsFest reading of The Crucible.  Photo by K. Flaathen

Mr. Proctor in the CFest 2012 reading of The Crucible. Photo by K. Flaathen

by Phil Proctor
Company Member

I’ve been asked to write something about the rehearsal process we are presently experiencing in exploring and mounting Arthur Miller’s masterpiece The Crucible.  So, okay, here goes.

It’s a nightmare – for me, anyway. I’m sharing the role of the old, irascible farmer Giles Corey with the loveable, even-tempered Steve Hofvendahl, but I am the only authentic PROCTOR in the cast, and whether or not I am a direct descendant of John Proctor (NOT played by ME – go figure), it’s not easy sitting in the theatre and hearing my name thrown around like a bale of hay every day!

They even dress alike.

Dueling Proctors.

Furthermore, not only are two wonderful Antaeans playing ME, (Bo Foxworth and Chris Guilmet) but they are being guided in the process by two brilliant directors, Armin Shimerman and Geoffrey Wade (alphabetical billing) who are annoyingly in sync when it comes to blocking and interpretation.  Unlike “The Scottish Play”, there is very little stage blood shed – so far — and as I believe this is the first time Antaeus has doubled directors, it seems to be going smoothly. Furthermore, the players get the advantage of Armin’s keen dramaturgy and Geoff’s theatre-games warm-ups.

The Weber twins celebrate their birthday!

The Weber twins celebrate their birthday!

But it is also a little disconcerting that even our stage managers are doubled – and by IDENTICAL TWINS, no less — Kimberly and Kristin Weber!

The dramatic design of this production is based on the Classicsfest reading initiated by Bo Foxworth and Ann Noble, and involves a challenging “full-frontal” presentation with occasional character interaction as dictated by dramatic necessity.  Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it?  Well, it is, and as we all are just beginning the staging process, we are also all part of the excitement of discovery and experimentation, in the proud tradition of our skilled company of classical masters. Miller’s language is exotic and poetic at times, so Geoff and Armin wisely insist that we honor the words and treat the text as we would if it were by Shakespeare.

It’s also a wonderfully diverse cast, and in addition, the gender-blind casting presents a unique challenge in assuring that characters are addressed in a manner that works for males and females, depending on who’s playing what role in any particular performance.

He's not kidding, folks.

He’s not kidding, folks.

And finally, in another ironic twist for me, our costume designer, E. B. Brooks, is using Amish-style clothing as inspiration for the look of the show, and being a Yoder of Amish-Irish ancestry on my mother’s side, I probably have an Amish hat or two from Shipshewana, near my home town of Goshen, Indiana, to contribute to the cause.

So, off we go!  These are, of course, just my first impressions as we embark on another great theatrical adventure together; and I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow cast members think as we continue to revitalize this timely and timeless work as only we Antaeans can…

Proctor_Phil 2013Antaeus member Phil Proctor draws back the curtain on rehearsals for The Crucible, our next mainstage production opening May 16 & 17. Tickets now on sale at www.antaeus.org

Advertisements

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s