On November 22 and 23, the Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) Drama department performed Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” a retelling of false accusations during the Salem Witch Trials. The performance showed audiences just how strong GHC’s drama program really is because a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to create the advanced production seen during the show.
The rehearsal process starts months before the final production. Students audition with a monologue of their choice, providing their own interpretation of the character. Once cast, students begin character studies, exploring characters’ actions and motivations. This helps both actors and audiences connect emotionally to characters. This is a difficult task to accomplish, yet is still very well done by the actors due to the immense amount of effort that is put into rehearsing.
“This is my fifth production at GHCHS, but the creative process this time around is different than what I am used to. Most of the characters I have played in the past are comedic, but his year’s show has forced me out of my comfort zone, and has taught me to trust my instinct and natural impulses,” junior Kerry Sempelsz, who played Giles Corey, said.
The student actors spend countless hours a day rehearsing and re-running scenes to ensure that they will achieve the best possible outcome by the time the play is performed for an audience. During this process, the actors experiment with different emotions for their characters such as sad and broken in one depiction of the scene, then angry and intense in the next. Then the actors and directors discuss which emotion best connects with the character to make a final decision.
After the process of rehearsals, the actors and directors start tech week. Tech week is considered one of the most hectic weeks in theater, as actors are required to perform the show in their costumes, repeatedly.
During tech week, student tech crews work with props, sets, lights, and sound, testing out different stage effects to determine what will best connect with audiences.
In the final performances, actors, directors, and the tech crew apply all of their skills and knowledge from rehearsals and tech week to perform the best they can.
“Even though the play is very dramatic and dark, we still take time during rehearsals to have fun and let out frustrations. The entire cast bonded and became good friends very quickly, which made the process a lot easier. Overall, we have a very good dynamic and rehearsing is often times therapeutic, in a sense,” senior Kyle Kaplan, who played Reverend Parris, said. This was Kaplan’s seventh performance with the drama department.