Performing in Nicolet Players’ ‘The Crucible’ a dream come true for Lynch
Actor Charles Lynch has performed in more than 70 different plays with seven different theater troupes over the past 25 years.
His favorite to perform with?
“They’ve all been great, each having their own feel and own strengths, but if I had to pick just one it would definitely be the Nicolet Players,” Lynch said. “There’s just this chemistry when you are in a Nicolet Players production that’s hard to beat. It can definitely be demanding, to the point of it feeling like you’re in an acting class. But it’s that focus that really helps you develop your character, which is always rewarding and great deal of fun to bring to life.”
Lynch will take to the stage again in the Nicolet College Theatre in early May when he performs in the upcoming production of “The Crucible.”
Set in 1692 using the Salem Witch Trials as the backdrop, Arthur Miller wrote the Tony Award-winning masterpiece in response to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s hearings in the 1950s intended to expose subversive communists in the U.S.
In the play, several young girls and a servant are caught in the woods, conjuring – or attempting to conjure – spirits from the dead. Rumors of witchcraft quickly spread through the town. Rather than suffer severe punishment for their actions, the girls accuse other inhabitants of Salem of practicing witchcraft. This desperate, dangerous, and childish finger-pointing results in mass paranoia and an atmosphere of fear in which everyone is a potential witch.
Lynch will play the multifaceted role of John Proctor, a hard working middle-age farmer who hates hypocrisy and is a humanist living in a religious society.
During his two-and-a-half decades in community and professional theater, Lynch has performed in virtually all genres, from comedies to tragedies and musicals to intense dramas, the latter being the category where “The Crucible” fits.
“Of all those, performing in dramas is my favorite,” he said. “I love to play the role of the protagonist, which is John Proctor. There are so many layers to characters like this that it becomes a really meaty role. The character really changes and evolves over the course of the play and, to me, that’s what makes it both challenging and rewarding.”
Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall has cast Lynch in a number of plays over the years.
“Charles always launches right into the heart of a character,” Nuttall said. “Particularly with Proctor, one of the most iconic roles of the 20th Century, Charles finds the core emotions and doesn’t hold back. It’s pretty remarkable to watch.”
Nuttall also noted that Lynch will have his work cut out for him with this play, considering his character is on stage about 90% of the time.
Lynch said he knew that going in, and he’s fine with that.
“I’ve wanted to play this character for 20 years and it fulfills a dream for me,” he said. “What really makes it special is that I get to perform it with my favorite theater troupe.”
Performances for The Crucible will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, May 5 and 12.
Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be ordered online at nicoletlive.com or by calling (715) 365-4646.