“It is rare for people to be asked the question which puts them squarely in front of themselves,” John Proctor famously said in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Making time and space to ask the “big questions” is one of the primary goals of the Program for Leadership and Character. That is why the Program for Leadership and Character partnered with the Wake Forest Theatre Department for a post-production Q&A with the cast of The Crucible. The discussion was led by Ann Phelps, the Director of Programming for Leadership and Character, and Sharon Andrews, the Director of the production and a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
The play explores themes of truth, religion, authority, love, and leadership. The actors contemplated the merits and dangers of inhabiting a character fully, especially exploring the role of empathy in attempting to embody even the most vicious of characters. Similarly, Leadership and Character students related their experience of analyzing virtues and vices to inhabiting a character onstage. Just as an actor puts on their character’s costume, sometimes one must “put on” a virtue in order to one day possess it.
The Crucible ran from November 1-10 and featured one of the Leadership and Character Scholars, Ian Davis-Huie, as Thomas Putnam.