(CAMDEN, NJ) -- South Camden Theatre Company opens their 15th season with Abigail 1702/A Twice Told Tale by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa from Friday, February 7 through Saturday, February 29. The story was born out of the playwrights’s desire to tell Abigail’s story. This tale of New England witchery takes place ten years after the harrowing and tragic events of the Salem witch trials.
Abigail Williams—the lead accuser who sent twenty people to their doom as a young girl—now lives under an assumed name on the outskirts of Boston, quietly striving to atone for her sins. When a handsome stranger arrives claiming to be a sailor in need, Abigail takes him in, and long-dormant passions awaken within her. Love starts to grow between the two—an unlikely flower cracking through salty earth. But their contentment is short-lived, for someone else is coming for Abigail, someone who has been looking for her since she danced in the weird woods of Salem.
South Camden’s Artistic Director, Ray Croce, chose this show after having done Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. “I was very familiar with the character of Abigail. Her final mention in The Crucible was of her sneaking out of town and heading to Boston. Since she was the primary antagonist, I was left unsatisfied by the end of her storyline. I recognize that by that time in the script, the primary focus was on John Proctor, but never the less there was no 'justice' for Abigail. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s play not only puts Abigail’s story to rest but does it in way where she became repentant. In Miller’s piece, the idea of darkness was not explored and, to some extent, blamed on the imagination of children. I like how the shadows are present in this piece, whether they are real or the machinations of a guilty tormented mind.”
The playwright, Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa, is the creator of “Riverdale” on The CW and “Sabrina” on Netflix. He is best known for his work with Marvel Comics and the television series Glee and Big Love. He is also Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics.
Abigail/1702 is about blame, responsibility, and trauma. Who is responsible for the bad events in our lives? In other people’s lives? How responsible are we for our own actions? Our own choices? And how can we make amends for what we’ve done? For what we haven’t done? We can’t think of a more important set of questions to be asking ourselves right now.
When director Josh Samors read the play, he couldn’t put it down. "I’ve seen a lot of plays, I’ve read a lot of plays, I’ve studied a lot of plays, and it takes a special one for me not to want to stop reading it. I was struck by the visuals I could see in my head, the lighting, the soundscape. The emotional interplay between so many different characters portrayed by so few actors. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And when asked to direct it, instead of just designing the lights for it, I couldn’t say no. I feel that both of these positions work together in this show. As the director, I’m looking at the interactions between the actors, the blocking, the emotions and the story-telling. As the lighting designer, I’m looking at the whole stage picture, how the elements interlock around the scene to support it. The two lenses allow me to be an even better director."
Raymond Croce says, “South Camden Theatre Company’s 2020 Season of Celebration has heart, tackles the issue of immigration and takes on the issue of race in America. It’s a season that you can’t see anywhere else. Our four productions have four dynamic directors. Our directors were selected because of their passion for the theatre and for the skills they have shown either on our stage or as directors of shows on our stage.”
The season continues after Abigail 1702 with a regional premiere, of the play Terminus by Gabriel Jason Dean and directed by Gabrielle Affleck in April 2020, “Terminus is a tale of Southern Gothic horror where fantasy and reality, past and present, freely intermingle.” states the NY Times. The playwright has sprawling imaginative power, is focused on delivery, and takes on a tremendous weight—the intractable problem of race in the United States.
The third production from playwright Sharyn Rothstein — A Good Farmer comes to the stage in September of 2020. This is also a regional premiere. Ms. Rothstein also wrote By The Water, an audience favorite, from our 13th season. This production is being directed by Scott Grumling, who also directed By The Water.
The fourth and final production of the Season of Celebration is The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Flights of poetry, music, dance, and West African mythology combine in a contemporary tale that explores the tenuousness of freedom and the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone. The Chicago Tribune wrote that this is “The greatest piece of writing by an American playwright under 30 in a generation or more.”
About South Camden Theatre Company and The Waterfront South Theatre:
All seating is general admission and is first-come, first-seated. Doors open one hour before curtain. Each show opens with a preview performance on the Wednesday evening prior to opening night at 8:00pm. Friday and Saturday night performances are at 8:00pm and Sunday matinées are at 2:00pm.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.southcamdentheatre.org, over the phone at (866) 811-4111 or at the door. General admission tickets are $25.00. SCTC offers a Camden Resident ticketing program with tickets just $5 each. This program is sponsored in part by Holman Enterprise group. Performances take place in the Waterfront South Theatre, 400 Jasper Street, Michael Doyle Lane in Camden, New Jersey.