The UWG Theater Program’s Production of Abigail/1702 was a beautiful show that was a continuation of The Crucible and brought the room straight to Salem.
The show opened on Wednesday Nov. 13 and ran through the next Friday, Nov. 22, with a run time of around 120 minutes with a 10-minute intermission. The show was long, but did keep the audiences’ attention and had them leaning in and enjoying, just as the opening announcements said.
Abigail/1702 follows Abigail Williams as she runs from Salem, where she accused the townspeople of witchcraft and they were put on trial and hanged. Abigail throughout the play attempts to atone for her sins, taking care of the sick and nursing them back to health and living her life the way that she believes she should live for God. In the end it is not necessarily that she believes she should be running to God, but running from the Devil who she had signed her soul to, and who allowed her witchcraft.
The set of this production was a beautiful scene, transforming the Blackbox theatre in the Townsend Center into a home in the creepy woods of Colonial Massachusetts. The set along with the haze and the lighting created the eerie effect that made the room shiver and feel of magic. One of the best parts of the set was what was referred to as the “Devil Tree,” when the vortex opened and out walked these characters never to be seen again and even the Devil himself.
Scenic Designer Brad Darvis and Assistant Scenic Designer Macy Gallagher really out did themselves with the design of the tree. It looked like the Devil in the form of a tree was about to snatch people right out of the audience and drag them straight back to hell. That along with the stump that glowed with magic whenever the Devil’s book was mentioned made this set one of the most magical to be seen in the Black Box.
Though the set and lights were beautiful, there were also other aspects that pulled the whole show together, making it eerily fitting for the time after the Salem Witch Trials. The costumes brought the characters to life, allowing for a change of character without any confusion as to who they were.
The show cannot be put together without first the designers, but equally as important are the actors. It was very obvious how much work was put into this show as the actor’s accents were consistent without fault and they embodied the characters perfectly. Standout performers for this show were Tyshawn Gooden as the Devil and Kestlyn Clements who played our heroin, Abigail Williams.
Gooden took on the role of the Devil with almost scary accuracy of Lucifer. Very suave and in control and jumping out of nowhere to convince you to do his bidding and having the audience almost jump right out of their seats. Gooden’s performance was flawless.