Behind the curtains of RCC’s production of ‘The Crucible’

by Benjamin De Leon

The program handed to you as you walk in the auditorium encompasses the deception and hysteria that are prominent throughout the production.

The Crucible ran from November 8-10 at the Landis Auditorium found on campus.

Set in Salem, Massachusetts, the play focuses on a group of girls found conjuring spirits in the woods. Among them is Abigail Williams, an orphan, who drives a wedge between the marriage of Elizabeth and John Proctor.

This cast was composed and run by entirely Riverside City College students with the occasional influence from director and professor Ashlee Espinosa. Espinosa explains that she had to first figure out her directorial concept, which is composed of time frame, themes and central image.

“I wanted to market it to people of this generation but still staying true to the playwright’s intentions,” Espinosa said.

As the central image, Espinosa wanted to convey this post-apocalyptic era where her actors are left with minimal tools and everything that would survive an apocalypse. Through utilizing the minimal light, modern color and selective set pieces, the audience is able to envision this scenario happening to themselves.

This was the first play that  student, Jasmine Baker was stage managing and she was incredibly proud of the cast and the progress they made.

“The appreciation and respect that the cast gives me is really nice and I love their support,” Baker said.

Some of the actors did not know each other prior to the production and in order for the dialogue to appear natural, there had to be some time put it in to create friendships but the constant support from one another helped make this happen.

“The first five weeks before rehearsal we would play games to break the ice and bond with one another,” Joe Bakos, who plays Judge Danforth, said.

In addition, some of the actors came from productions put on by Performance Riverside, such as “The Little Mermaid,” “American Idiot” and “Equus” which helped them bring in different concepts and skills to this production.

Brittany Lotshaw, who plays Elizabeth Proctor, starred in “The Little Mermaid” where she was counterparts with professionals and believed that experience helped her with patience and humbled her for this play.

“This has been a growing experience where I had to show how fiercely my character loves and finding her likes and dislikes,” Lotshaw said.

The design of the costumes were muted colors and had an overall sense of minimalism. The mastermind behind the excellent execution was Amanda Foster who had “The Hunger Games” and “Mad Max” in mind because of the crazy textures.

“I wanted it to appear out of the box but still be something that you could see yourself having on hand,” Foster said.

From the opening scene of stairs with a woodsy backdrop to the final scene of having John Proctor taken away to be hung, the audience is enthralled.

RCC student Thomas Luongo, attended both opening and closing night.

“I really enjoyed the openging night, but tonight flowed really well” Luongo said.

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