Abigail/1702 Play Review

By: Bailey Mruzik

Bringing in a mix of history, horror, and even some humor, Abigail/1702 is nothing short of interesting. The sequel to the award-winning production The Crucible, was created by playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and brought to life in the eyes of Adrian Theater Professor Joe Zettelmaier and put on by Adrian theater students.

Abigail/1702 catches up 10 years in the future with Abigail Williams, the girl who was once an accuser during the Salem Witch Trials, responsible for the death of many innocent people. 

In this production, she strived for forgiveness of her wrongdoings, even attempting to make amends with the wife of the man she once slept with- Elizabeth Proctor. 

As the center of the play, Abigail changed her name to Ruth Meadow and moved into a small cottage on the outskirts of Boston, becoming a healer for the sick.

When a sick sailor, John Brown, arrived at her door, the two formed a connection as she took care of him.

The love between the two heated up as the play went on, and both actors involved were talented in their respective roles.

Showing love and emotion to someone you are not actually emotionally connected to is no easy task, but Maryssa McNamara and Dallas Barringer nailed it. Abigail (Maryssa McNamara) is an emotional character as it is, but the audience was able to see an even more romantic side of her when John (Dallas Barringer) came into the picture. 

It took some time for Abigail (Maryssa McNamara) to show her true feelings for John (Dallas Barringer), but after the two spent more time together, they both opened up about their pasts, making for a deeper relationship. This love was exceptionally played out by the two actors, making the audience feel warm and fuzzy.

We were also able to see the emotionally-scarred Elizabeth Proctor, played by Kharyzma Williams. In an intense scene where Elizabeth (Kharyzma Williams) and Abigail (Maryssa McNamara) raise their voices at each other in a discussion of past events, true feelings are revealed. Both of these actors not only raised the volume in their voices, but also added emotion to let the audience know that they are each hurting in their own ways. 

There was a small cast of only five actors in this production, and two actors even played more than one part. However, the audience was never confused on which character was being played due to the excellent costume design.

Especially well done were the women’s dresses, accompanied by hair bonnets and aprons and helping to place us in the heart of Massachusetts in the 1700’s. 

Another notable element of this play was the set design. As director Joe Zettelmaier promised, the design was accurately representative of the time period. Acting as a true depiction of 1702, a large amount of the play took place at Abigail’s small wooden cottage on the outskirts of Boston. 

Decorated with a fireplace and a twin-sized, creaky bed and complete with a hand-knitted quilt, this setting really placed the audience in this historical period. 

Not to mention, the lighting and sound design also played a large role in completing the set. There was never full light, only dim and sometimes even red lights to indicate spookier parts. This contributed to the dramatic and horror elements of the production. 

Overall, director Joe Zettelmaier in conjunction with the Adrian College Theater students, was able to take a play set a long time ago and make it realistic. All of the elements in Abigail/1702, from the actors to the set and sound design, kept the audience engaged on the edge of their seat. And, at the end of the play, comes a dramatic final scene that leaves you wanting more. 

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