The Crucible, a book written by Arthur Miller, explores a society with incredible social pressures that aid in creating a difficulty of doing good in the face of evil. Using the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 as an example, Miller presents changes that occur in The Crucible which assist in developing a theme of hysteria. Miller created this hysteria theme because of the trials that were occurring near the time when he wrote the book. My first impression of the play was that it was set in an area where Puritanism had great influence over everyone concerned. The play also showed situations on the subjects of dabbling with devil and hypocrisy.
When we began exploring the play, my understanding developed while we were using the explorative strategies; still image, thought tracking, narrating, hot-seating, role-play, cross-cutting, forum theatre, and marking the moment. Using still image, we communicated the scenes to the audience. We did this as well as titling each scene, each still image projecting the used emotion. The scene was presented this way so that the audience could absorb the feelings that took place in the scene.
Thought tracking allowed the surrounding audience to perceive what the characters were thinking. This enhanced our learning as we could see what each action a character made showed a certain feeling or emotion. Narrating was used for a narrator to describe the actions of each character in the scene, and what emotion they were portraying. The commentary was so useful because as some scenes were unnaturalistic, it would be sometimes difficult to understand what feeling they were representing, so a commentary was needed. Also, when unnaturalistic and abstract scenes were performed, they gave a great sense of what emotion they were depicting, so being able to know what the scene were showing was useful.
Role-play was incredibly useful as as performers, instead of just acting what it seemed what characters felt from the text, putting ourselves in their positions and empathising gave the performers a greater understanding of the character’s both words and actions. Also, when the performers understood how they were acting, they were able to act as their character more convincingly and gave the audience a deeper understanding of the character’s feelings and personality. When we used cross-cutting, we performed a still image of an emotion, then, by cutting the still iamge by turning 360, we performed a scene in the text that represented and displayed the emotion just shown in the still image. This enhanced our learning as we could relate text to emotions.
Forum theatre was used and helpful when it was, to know what us as performers should be doing differently. Each time someone commented on how we should stand as a certain character, or simply as performers, it was seomthing that changed our performance so that our characters could come across more genuinely. When we used marking the moment, still image or inner thoughts spoken out loud were used most commonly. This enhanced our learning as it identified main and crucial scenes and emotions in the play.