‘Abigail/1702’ awes audiences with acting, set

By CARTER HALL, Staff Reporter |

Amarillo College’s Experimental Theatre’s final production of the semester, “Abigail 1702: A Twice-Told Tale,” was performed Dec. 6-9. It told the tale of Abigail Williams–one of the main accusers during the Salem Witch Trials–and her life after.

I read “The Crucible” as a senior in high school and I absolutely loved it. When I first heard this production was being performed, I knew I just had to watch it.

As I received my ticket on Saturday before the show, I made my way toward the auditorium and noticed something quite different in the box office. There were tree branches hanging from the ceiling. This threw me off at first, but then things started to click. “The tree branches are to resemble the woods where Abigail and her friends were in the woods in ‘The Crucible,’” I thought to myself. Then I entered the actual auditorium and the set completely blew me away. The crew went all out for this play. There were what seemed like four huge oak trees reaching from the floor to the ceiling. There was a twin bed that took up most of stage right, a fireplace at center stage and a table covered with various holistic medicines at stage left. These props made me want the play to hurry up and start, then I noticed something leaning up against the stage. A broom. I thought, “why is there a broom here? Abigail wasn’t an actual witch, she just acted crazy to get to John Proctor.” The props and lighting relayed so much meaning throughout the entire play without the actors saying a word. Some of my favorite aspects were the faint smoke, the huge trees and how the devil’s staff stood in place by itself.

I was amazed with the props, but the acting and storytelling were outstanding. This play revolved around Abigail, known by her alternative name “Ruth Meadows,” and a man named John Brown. As in “The Crucible,” Abigail ran away after 20 people were hanged. In this story, Abigail hides out at a pox house after being found by a woman who gives her the name “Ruth Meadows.” Abigail believes her real name is “stained” after what happened in Salem. She then finds John, a man who needs help with an illness. Abigail takes him in to cure him, but was it the right decision? Will John meet his fate of damnation? Wait … Abigail got proposed to? Does Abigail’s past catch up a decade after Salem? Will Abigail come face-to-face with Elizabeth Proctor after all these years? And who is Thomas? This play answered so many questions I had and answered so many more that I did not know I had. This overall play was phenomenal. It was brilliantly done from beginning to end. I definitely got my money’s worth for the price of admission. The theatre department did not upset, I will be looking forward to watching more plays at Amarillo College.

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