the excruciatingly long "crucible"

"that's enough shakespeare for today!", exclaimed my german friend helena, after we sat through three hours of my cousin justin's high school play for thanksgiving, "the crucible", last friday night.

more accurately for me, i had clocked in a total of 6 hours because i had to watch it again last night to videotape the last part of the play. my two mini-dvr discs weren't enough to film the entire play the other night, so i decided to attend the second performance to complete the recording with a third disc. i regretted not bringing my tripod with me, because my right arm surely suffered.

actually, this intense play was written by arthur miller (not shakespeare, hehe) based on the salem witch trials brimming with deceit, infidelity, betrayal, and twisted justice revolving around rumors of witchcraft. my cousin nabbed one of the major roles as reverend samuel parris, whose daughter has mysteriously fallen ill after "dancing in the woods" with a group of girls led by a servant named abigail williams.

justin is the young thespian in the family. this is his first acting role in freshman year but has previously appeared in middle school plays/musicals such as "annie", "the last kid on earth", and earlier this year as danny zuko in "grease." he needs more work where singing is involved, though.

i've been there to videotape and/or photograph his every performance. i take pride in knowing it wasn't just me who got bitten by the "acting bug" in high school. yes, for a short time, my catholic high school enlisted me and two other classmates to portray the life of st. augustine...the sinner-turned-saint. i played the role of augustine as a bad boy--pretty much the prodigal son image. i had written my own monologue for the part (based on some research on his early life), and sported a denim jacket and sneakers to complete the look. of course, st. augustine didn't wear denim during his time, but that was my own personal touch--to "modernize" the skit.

i had also joined--and won--declamation contests from elementary through college (!). i was just a typical shy schoolgirl who found her voice (and a bit of courage) in joining such activities.

among all the actors in justin's play, i believe that the boy who played judge danforth was the best. his acting permeated through his voice, which resulted in a very convincing portrayal of a haughty, intimidating judge. acting isn't just memorizing your lines and reciting it in a monotone. your voice, and the way you utter your words, (with the appropriate facial expressions, of course) contribute to great acting.

here's a short clip of the curtain call where you'll see justin in a dark brown pilgrim-like costume doing a "secret handshake" with his partner. he's in the second pair of actors, to the left. that be me who cheereth him on that you heareth in the clip. haha. the first pair is the two judges, danforth (the best actor among the lot) being the one also to the left. everyone did a wonderful job.

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