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Seasoned Professionals, Up-and-Comers Deliver

Theatre Review

By DANNY GIBSON

 Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE, by Three River Theatre at the Earl Arts Centre

 Human tragedy amid the controls of societal values is the essence of Three River Theatre's latest offering in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Taking its appreciative audience to ‘somewhere close sometime soon’, last night's audience witnessed a focused and well-rehearsed ensemble production of one of literature's classics.

 Director Stan Gottschalk has assembled an eclectic group: seasoned professionals, community thespians and some fine up-and-coming talent. They did not disappoint.

 Tash McCulloch's Tituba was well executed. Michael Edgar's vocal talents shone in the demanding role of Danforth. Outstanding performances were delivered by Eleanor Knox (Abigail) and Emilee Rigby (Warren). Their vocal skills were matched with sustained physicality and subtle mannerisms (even when they were not the focus). Knox and Rigby were well supported by the other girls. The vision in the meeting hall and the opening montage were particularly noteworthy.

 The show though, belonged to Daniel Lizotte. From the outset, Lizotte was mesmerising. He captured the essence of John Proctor with maturity and emotion. From eating the rabbit stew to confiding with his wife in the final scene, Lizotte was superb.

 Gottschalk and his production team executed a technically sound production. The use of the abstract set was appealing and the levels were well used, particularly in act two. The symbolic imagery created through set, lighting and soundscape was of the highest level; though, costuming was distracting.

 Despite its heavy subject matter and some prolonged pauses, The Crucible is a sound piece of live theatre. It deserves appreciative audiences and continues at the Earl Arts Centre until August 15.