WTAMU’s Production of “The Crucible” Continues This Weekend

Mary+Warren+%28Channing+Taylor%29+tells+John+Proctor+%28Dakota+Brown%29+that+she+saved+his+wife%E2%80%99s+life%2C+Elizabeth+Proctor+%28Kaelee+Eichorst%29%2C+during+the+court.
Mary Warren (Channing Taylor) tells John Proctor (Dakota Brown) that she saved his wife’s life, Elizabeth Proctor (Kaelee Eichorst), during the court.

Mary Warren (Channing Taylor) tells John Proctor (Dakota Brown) that she saved his wife’s life, Elizabeth Proctor (Kaelee Eichorst), during the court.

Callie Hisek

Callie Hisek

Mary Warren (Channing Taylor) tells John Proctor (Dakota Brown) that she saved his wife’s life, Elizabeth Proctor (Kaelee Eichorst), during the court.

Marni Steckmann, Reporter

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In her first year with the West Texas A&M University theatre department, Assistant Professor of Theatre, Callie Hisek directs the program’s production of “The Crucible.”

Performances will take place November 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. and November 20 at 2:30 p.m. in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre. The cast will share the story of a Puritan village’s first experience with witchcraft.

“Every time you a direct a show it is new and exciting, and if you don’t approach it for its specific needs, then I wouldn’t be doing my job,” Hisek said. “I love the language of the show, the intimate space, and the story that is being told. All of which are items that typically intrigue me about shows that I work on.”

For “The Crucible,” Hisek introduced her cast to a play format called “in-the-round.”

“This means that when the audience comes to the theatre, they will be able to experience it from all sides,” Hisek said, “This has been new for the actors, and it has been great working with them and providing them with this experience for the first time.”

For Dakota Brown, who plays John Proctor, this causes the need for the cast and the audience to be there in the moment at all times.

Hisek was new to WT’s program this year, which for some of the cast made auditions slightly more concerning.

“Callie had no notions of me before the auditions,” Brown said. “She could have easily passed me up for another role or none at all.”

The auditions for the play brought in over 80 students; however, only 21 students received parts in the play.

The auditions were a long process in which Hisek had each student prepare a two-minute monologue from another Arthur Miller play and then a contrasting, one-minute monologue of their choice. Hisek then invited 30 students for callbacks.

Mykelti Rhodes, who plays Abigail Williams, never expected to get her role but felt confident after her audition.

“Performers have this gut instinct as soon as they leave the audition room whether it’s good or bad,” Rhodes said. “I felt great after my audition because I knew I had prepared enough prior to my audition. I fought tooth and nail for my part with hard work and determination.”

According to Hisek, the actors have rehearsed five days a week for three hours a day since Oct. 3. The last five weeks have forced many cast members to make sacrifices and cut back on their free time.

“Being a full-time student as well as being a cast member has posed the challenge of balance,” Rhodes said. “If I get any down time, it’s usually sleeping.”

While the road leading up to the play has been long, the cast feels that Hisek has been a positive addition to WT.

“I count myself lucky to have this opportunity to work with her,” Brown said. “She is a creative force to be reckoned with.”

Hisek also appreciates the opportunity to direct “a great company of actors and technicians.”

“…This show has allowed me to work with some amazingly talented actors,” Hisek said. “Actors who challenge and push me just as much as I hope that I have pushed them over the course of the rehearsal process.”

 

 

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