Delanie Sullivan is putting a modern twist on a timeless classic. Warren Arts is putting on a production of “The Crucible,” a play that Sullivan says relates to the way things are now in society.
“This is my first time directing,” said Sullivan. “I’ve always loved the story of ‘The Crucible’ and I feel as though it is timeless and very relevant to today’s world.” Sullivan states that the play was written less about the Salem witch trials and more about the McCarthy era and the Red Scare. “I like how the idea of gossip and tales told about you and your personal opinions can be used against you and destroy a person’s personality. We see that on a daily basis.”
Sullivan stated that she wanted to retell the story from a modern standpoint and incorporate the idea of social media and technology to show how while the advancements in technology and social platforms are great tools, we should exercise caution when using them.
“I haven’t made revisions to the story itself,” she said. “We haven’t changed the language or any of the actions of the characters. We do have a modern setting though. They wear modern clothing. Anywhere from the 90’s to the 2020’s going on. We have some screens that are going to have projections on the side so I am allowing most of the actors and actresses to have their phones on stage.” Sullivan said the phones will not be on but will be used as props so that characters can act out making social media posts or live streams. This will give the production a more modern feel and will help Sullivan’s vision of giving the story relatability to modern times.
Sullivan noted that the cast’s ages range from 15 to adults.
Sullivan stated that directing has its challenges due to never realizing exactly how much work you are presented with. “I know the cast has put in so much work though. I typically like to do musicals if I am in the show, but a straight play is a very different experience. This is a fairly long play and it is very serious but we do have some comical moments to try and break that up. It has definitely been interesting but it’s a fairly large cast. It has been difficult to find times where everyone can be here to rehearse at once and that has been a challenge.”
Sullivan said that getting the tech crew to all be able to come at once has been a challenge too but stated that the crew and cast has been a pleasure to work with.
The first-time director has been involved in the world of arts for quite some time and has been involved in Warren Arts since its origins.
“I have been doing stuff with Warren Arts since it started. I was in the first show, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ Prior to that, I had done some things in Cannon County and Cumberland County. I didn’t really act while I was in school, oddly enough, but after I got out I did. So probably since 2014 or so,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan also mentioned that much of the score for the show was composed by Danny Ray Martin. He composed the music for the overture, the bows and numbers for scene changes. “It’s got a very nice modern and 80’s feel to it. Very Carpenter-esque sound,” Sullivan added.
Warren Arts will be presenting the production of “The Crucible” from March 24 to April 2. Show times are on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinées are set for at 2 p.m.