By Hannah Spina
We often say in the theatre that casts and crews become like families. You spend so much time together, you trust one another, you laugh, cry, learn together. You get close. Well, sometimes, one has the chance to share the experience with actual family. That has been the case for three different families involved in The Crucible. Mother and daughter pair, Dyanna and Maddie Davidson, father and son duo, Nick and Paul Kilburg, and husband and wife couple, Deborah and Lance Maynard. For these families, the experience of working on the show together, has made it extra special.
“I have loved sharing this experience with Maddie,” said Dyanna Davidson. “I think the best part is to see that she is experiencing the same joy of working on a show that I have experienced.” Dyanna is the assistant director for The Crucible and her daughter, Maddie, plays Ruth Putnam, one of the girls in Salem who is “bewitched.”
“Now, Maddie is having the same experience, and she is loving it! We can appreciate each other’s joy.” Maddie has enjoyed getting to spend time with her mom, and has appreciated her being there for her during the process. A memorable moment was “saying I didn’t need her help when putting on my costume and then immediately needing her.”
But Dyanna wasn’t seeing that her daughter still needed her. “The most memorable moment so far was the first time I got to watch her actually on the set and in costume,” said Dyanna. “She was so confident and focused. I got to see her in a whole new light. She was part of this really awesome ensemble! She was loving it, and it showed.”
Paul Kilburg, who plays Hopkins, the jailer, is stepping onto the stage for the first time since high school. He has really enjoyed getting some guidance from his son who has more recently be involved in theatre. “I have enjoyed having the opportunity to spend extra time with Nick,” said Paul. “Surprisingly, I have been very pleased with the role reversal of having Nick be the teacher and me the student. I have found Nick to be a patient teacher.”
Nick Kilburg, who plays the Reverend John Hale, has certainly become the proud son. “After auditions, he said he thought his acting career was over before it began,” said Nick of his father. “I told him, ‘Oh, don’t be so sure…’” Paul was pretty surprised when he found out his acting career was indeed not over. “My most memorable moment was probably when Nick sent me the cast list,” he said. “It never occurred to me that I would actually be in the play. That moment was followed by terror and thoughts of: ‘What am I doing here?’”
But Nick says his dad has done a great job. “It’s been very enjoyable seeing him interact with the other actors and get more comfortable throughout the rehearsals. I would absolutely work with him again, or even encourage him to do more on his own, like the Underground New Play Festival.”
And Paul might just be willing to give that a try. “I have really enjoyed the experience. I would gladly repeat the process.”
There really is something special about sharing the stage and a theatrical experience with a loved one. Theatre Cedar Rapids is thrilled to play any part in what is sure to be a lasting and lovely memory for these volunteers.