This Friday, Watertown’s first ever remote play “The Crucible” will be streaming! Get your tickets now — and by tickets we mean a cozy blanket and some snacks while you watch it online!
The play will be streaming for free from Friday, Nov. 20, through Sunday, Nov. 22. Click HERE to see the show. The link will also be available on the Watertown High School website (https://whs.watertown.k12.ma.us/), the WHS drama Instagram account (@whsdramaticarts), and the program’s Facebook page (@Watertown Fine, Applied, and Performing Arts). The link will close at midnight Sunday. There’s no in-person show taking place.
“The show must go on” was the mind-set of director Kacie Kirkpatrick and the WHS drama students when they decided to put together the fall remotely.
“We were only able to film two scenes in person and the rest we had to film on Zoom,” said Ms. Kirkpatrick. “The students worked very hard through out this endeavor to make sure that the play was able to work.”
“The Crucible” is a 1953 play by Arthur Miller and is a fictionalized version of the Salem Witch Trials that happened in the 1690s. The story line is based on religion and how that can separate two groups of people apart and how that separation can impact their lives. The play is part of the 11th-grade English curriculum.
According to stage manager Ryan Leonard, the play was actually almost perfect for Zoom. It focuses mostly on the actors instead of the background, so staging it wasn’t too big of a deal. As long as everyone had a neutral-color background, it was fine.
“We weren’t thinking, ‘Oh no we can’t have a show,’ we were thinking, ‘How can we still have a show?’ ” said Ryan.
The play’s leads are all WHS seniors: Seamus Doyle (John Proctor), Lana Taffel (Elizabeth Proctor), Rita Hackett (Abigail Williams), Carolyn Gulley (Rev. John Hale), Miriam Karachi (Mary Warren), and Cavan Catalano (Rev. Samuel Parris). WHS junior Sadie Currier-Brown did traditional songs between scenes, and Toni Carton, a 2020 WHS grad, is editing the video pieces into the final performance viewers will see.
WHS sophomore Emma Griffith, who plays Mercy Lewis missed being with the other cast and crew.
“I think it’s just really the connections between the people. Like, when you do it in person it’s easier to make connections with people, and build a community,” she said. “But over Zoom, it was kind of difficult because you’re just there and you’re on mute if you’re not really doing anything. You don’t really have that side time.”
It was hard, too, for Ms. Kirkpatrick.
“It’s been really difficult because if we were in a traditional rehearsal process, where we would all be sitting in a circle playing a drama game, doing ‘get to know you’ games, and really feeling that community, which is the whole reason I am so passionate about theatre,” Ms. Kirkpatrick said. “We don’t have that now, but I will say, this group of kids has been all kinds of incredible and bringing positive energy and really caring about this piece.
“I was a little anxious to keep kids on Zoom any longer than they already are because who wants to be on Zoom all day? Yet they all come in with the best attitude and are ready to work and I think that speaks to who they are as people.”
Being on Zoom, the students could have their scripts on the computer and did not have to memorize their lines. Another benefit was not having to travel for rehearsals, and already being home. All in all, though, the students missed being together.
“We can stop and laugh because it’s kind of strange, we’re all experiencing this together,” said Lana.