Crucible Goes to State Thespian Convention


Jolie Barnhart

Crucible was performed Nov. 9, 10 & 11 and then in Jan. at the State Thespian convention.

Mikaela Schmitt, Managing Editor

Monday, Dec. 7, the BV West Theater Department received news that their fall show, The Crucible, will be performing at State Thespian Convention in Wichita, Kan. Monday morning, at the end of first hour, the cast and crew was called to the Blackbox Theatre. Theater teacher Lauri VanderPol announced to the cast and crew their achievement. Celebrations erupted as the production members comprehended their shock and excitement.

“It was such a surprise and was also super gratifying because the show started off rough but we really worked hard to make it the best we could,” senior Zane Champie (John Proctor) said.

VanderPol has submitted numerous shows to be judged for State, yet the department has not brought a show in nine years. The announcement came as a shock to many. VanderPol informed her cast if they made it, she would call everyone to the Blackbox so they could celebrate together.

“Me [Jeremy], Zane, Haley, Coley and Emily were all in the same block,” senior Jeremy Kline (Judge Hathorne) said. “When we heard Dr. Potts tell us to go down we legitimately simultaneously said ‘no way’ because we did expect this or believe it.”

“When they made the announcement during class my jaw dropped because I knew what that meant, so I grabbed my stuff and joined the other cast members who were running to the Blackbox,” junior Megan Funk (Sarah Good) said.

Taking place on November 11 and 12, two state judges attended the performance, scoring it on the quality and caliber of the production. The department attends the convention in Wichita, Kan. yearly, among 2,000 other students, learning from other theater professionals and teachers. They were ecstatic to learn that their show would be among ones they sat in the audience and watched in previous years. The Crucible received one of the highest scores in the state, earning a coveted Friday night performance on Jan. 6–considered by many as the prime spot.

“Judges go to all the shows registered to be adjudicated in the state of Kansas, in our case one came to the Friday night show and one came to the Saturday night,” senior Arden Brewer (Elizabeth Proctor) said. “They have a rubric on which they score the show. Ours scored on of the highest in Kansas and therefore we are one of the five shows to be invited to state.”

Taking a show to State Thespian Convention takes hours of planning and perfect organization to ensure nothing is lost or forgotten.

“We had an hour long thespian board meeting yesterday just to figure out how we are going to rent and pay for everything.” senior Emily Sulentic (Abigail Williams) said. “We have to re-rent ALL the costumes, rebuild the set, rent another bus, rent a truck, reset all the lights and figure out all the sound.”

The cast will rehearse three times at the end of Winter Break to prepare the show and remind the actors of what they spent months previously rehearsing.

“Not only do we have to plan ahead for Wichita because we only have six hours on the stage before the show, but we have to be ready for the send off show too,” Sulentic said.

The department will be performing the show one more time in the Performing Arts Center on Jan. 4, fundraising money for the expenses of renting costumes and transporting the set and actors to Wichita. They will be recommending a $5 donation but will solicit more donations as well. There will also be a bake sale to raise funds.

“It was really surprising but such an awesome moment we could all share together,” senior Haley Bates (Rebecca Nurse) said. “It was really awesome having people who don’t usually care much about theatre come up and say ‘congrats on making state’ and saying how bad they want to see the show now.”

Photos by Jolie Barnhart and Linsey Poland