Peninsula schools are nothing if not resilient. Faced with a global pandemic, it would have been easy for Woodleigh School to abandon its plans to stage Arthur Miller’s classic play The Crucible. Instead, the cast, crew and staff have spent the past few months adapting their production as a radio play, and it goes to air over two nights later this month.
Late last year, Woodleigh announced it would stage the US playwright’s dramatised story of the Salem witch trials this month. Then in March COVID-19 struck, prompting many schools to cancel or postpone their 2020 productions. Instead of following suit, Woodleigh completely revised The Crucible, engaging LSS Productions to professionally produce the audio complete with music, diegetic sound, and effects. “What we have produced against so many odds is an inspiring piece of polished aural theatre that has taught us many invaluable lessons in perseverance, resilience and creativity,” the school says.
It will begin with a video of a contemporary dance performance choreographed by Year 12 student Jussy Poyser and filmed and produced by Woodleigh’s VCE media class. This will be followed by The Crucible, with music arranged by Year 12 student Rosh O’Connell and featuring Year 12 student Jazzy Evenden on harp and Year 10 student Tayla Basso on cello. Tickets will include a link to the hosting site; only one is required per household for entry to both Acts I and II on Thursday, August 20, and Acts III and IV on Friday, August 21, beginning at 7.30pm each night. They can be bought here.
Half the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association to help it continue to fight two villains that also appear in the play: prejudice and injustice.