John Proctor Is the Villain

Melanie Aikins, Howl Editor at The Voice

Bloomsburg Universities Theatre Ensemble is back and ready for showtime. November 3-7 the Theatre and Dance program will be debuting “John Proctor is The Villain” a coming-of-age film that

examines power, love and sex education. This film centers around 5 high school girls: Nell, Raelynn, Ivy, Shelby, and Beth as they navigate the obstacles of young adulthood. Bloomsburg University students get the challenge and honor of embodying these characters in this uncomfortably relevant story.

Alvina Theatre opened their doors on Sunday for a talented bunch of aspiring performers. These students rehearsed with morality and objectivity; they are dedicated performers, set out to understand their characters from top to bottom.

“The best thing about performing is the collaboration, whoever you get cast within a production, will soon become your family” says Johanna Gelbs, a Bloomsburg University sophomore.

Collaboration is essential in theatre, and these students are fantastic at it. While reading script, the students and director take in-depth breaks to connect their emotions to what the characters are currently feeling. Communication and participation help the performer enhance the performance. For the next script reading, the execution was smoother and significantly more authentic.

Talent does not come without hard work, and these students are aware. On Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; they are together, working hard to perfect their show. Students can spend 25 hours a week rehearsing. Sophia Colon, a Bloomsburg University junior who loves what she does, recognizes the hardships.

“Once you get cast you realize how time consuming it is. It sucks sometimes not being able to go home after classes because of rehearsals.”

Once these students step onto stage, their hard work will certainly not go unnoticed. They use their voice to give fictional characters a voice; and their words are empowering. This is what Bloomsburg Universities theatre program sets out to do. A group of select students and professors get together to discuss possible upcoming productions. They pick these shows based on if they are educating, interesting, and carry important lessons.

John Proctor is the villain takes place in an environment all college students are familiar with, high school. The students begin to read “The Crucible,” while reading this story, scandal emerges in their community; and old friends and controversies are unmasked. This play also touches on the impactful Me-Too movement, the storyline is hard hitting and impactful.

During COVID-19, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble went completely virtual. They were required to do all shows over the virtual networking app, Zoom. While the hard work did not stop; the pandemic called for a new way to execute theatre. The students are thankful for this opportunity because they had to carry out production without the help of lighting technicians and stage crew. This taught them important knowledge about what goes in to making opening night happen. Despite this, the communication was off, and the performance lacked the most important segment, the audience.

“Everything is inspired and influenced by the audience. You value the audiences’ interactions. Live theatre impacts people so profoundly, they will take something away from this because of you,” Johanna Gelbs expresses.

Come and see “John Proctor is The Villain” at the Alvina Theatre in Downtown Bloomsburg, it will be premiering for five nights in a row. This production and group of students are not one to miss.

Find more information about Bloomsburg Universities theatre program HERE

Melanie Aikins