THE CRUCIBLE Marks TDW Exit from Westwood

(Westwood, Ohio) The Drama Workshop, the award-winning community theater based at the Westwood Town Hall, is preparing for its last production at the venerable 1890 facility. The Drama Workshop is leaving Westwood Town Hall on a high note, with its season-closing presentation of “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, directed by Dan Cohen and produced by Gretchen Gantner.

Winner of the 1953 Tony Award for best play, “The Crucible” is set in the Puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts. As rumors of witchcraft fill the town, local farmer John Proctor finds himself ensnared in the midst of the turmoil after spurning the advances of young servant girl Abigail Williams when the girl accuses Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, of witchcraft herself. In an attempt to clear Elizabeth’s name amidst the growing hysteria, Proctor brings the girl to court to admit the lie. It is here that the deep fault lines run through the Salem community are exposed and a monstrous course of bigotry and deceit given free reign. John, instead of saving his wife, is himself accused of witchcraft and finds himself in a fight for his very life.

“The Crucible” features a cast of award-winning TDW favorites, including David Levy as John Proctor, Tara Williams as Elizabeth Proctor, and Colette Thomas as Abigail Williams.

While TDW is leaving Westwood, it’s not travelling very far. After performing for many years at the Westwood Town Hall, in November, 2011 The Drama Workshop purchased the former Glenmore Bowl building in Cheviot. Work on the new theater, The Glenmore Playhouse, is under way. The first show at the new facility will be “Snoopy! The Musical”, opening October 5, 2012.

While the group is excited to finally own its own building, leaving Westwood Town Hall is bittersweet. The history of TDW and the Town Hall has been intertwined for decades. After its founding in 1954, TDW performed periodically at the Town Hall building for ten years. In the mid-sixties, it became apparent that long-discussed and deferred plans for tearing down the Westwood Town Hall in favor of a parking lot might become a reality. At that time, several interested parties– among them The Drama Workshop–joined forces to save the property. The groups proposed repurposing the building into the Westwood Town Hall Performing Arts Center, and presented a master plan to the city for the building’s financial and physical upkeep. The city approved the plan and leased the building to the group for $1 a year, until the city adopted the landmark and incorporated it into the Cincinnati Recreation Department five years later.

A renovation of the Westwood Town Hall facility in 2004-2005 reduced the utility of the building for community theater events, but the unique challenges of the building were offset by the flexibility it offered by virtue of its extremely high ceilings and reconfigurable playing area.

“Westwood Town Hall and The Cincinnati Recreation Commission have been proud to play host to such fine tenants as The Drama Workshop for all these years,” said former WTH director Marlene Trapp. “It is with deep sadness that we bid them a fond adieu. We wish them only happiness and success in their new theater.”

Show dates for “The Crucible” are April 27 (8 pm), April 28 (8 pm), April 29 (3 pm) and May 3 (8 pm), May 4 (8 pm), and May 5 (3 pm and 8 pm). Tickets for “The Crucible” may be ordered through the TDW ticket line at 598-8303, or online at http://www.thedramaworkshop.org. All seats are $15.00. Online orders may be paid for by a major credit card; checks and cash only are accepted at the door.

For more information, contact Ms. Gretchen Gantner at 513-470-5516, or groose1876@aol.com.

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