John Proctor Is the Villain
Annie Russel Theater at Rollins College
By Kimberly Belflower
Directed by David Charles
Starring Kristen Edwards, Allison Furlong, Allison Stewart and Faith Artis
Winter Park, FL
Christians love babies but hate sex, unless they are personally involved. In this small southern school, students struggle to understand their positions on sex. Technically, only Mr. Smith (Josh Scott) should be doing the horizontal boogie, he has a wife “with Child” as they say. But Raelyn (Edwards) who’s been dating thuggish Lee (Jordan Barnett) since 5th grade considers whether to do it with Lee. Somehow, she’s not pregnant yet, perhaps that old time religion actually does work. The girls form a feminist collective, then decide what that might do for them. Can boys join? The guess so, but it is an interesting question. Under the guidance of popular Mr. Smith, we discover what we already suspected: Christians get a lot more sex that they admit to publicly, and its not always nice clean Biblically approved sex, either.
In a show lathered with “trigger warnings” we do have some stage violence, but I’ve seen much more on day time TV. Here we get to take a walk around the political block. Action centers around “The Feminist’s Club”, a not-exactly-approved after hours group. Red neck Lee (Josh Scott) heckles them like a good Christian should, but his dopey buddy Mason (Fisher Alexander) is desperate for enough extra credit to get back on the basketball team, and the club is his only chance. As Smith leads them though a full deconstruction of “The Crucible” they explore male/ female relation and uncover Smith’s history of purity ring violations. The show is intentionally provocative, and if nothing else takes us back to those tough days of dealing with a classic of literature that now has surprising links to modern times, providing you can dig through the language. Never peachy, but always seeking a moral high ground, tonight is a night for complex after show conversations. And if your upset by the action on stage, stay away from network news.