“Scratch,” the nation-wide sensation created by three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald Macleish can now be seen at SLCC’s Black Box Theater.
All performances will be held in the Black Box Theatre, located at the South City Campus in room W-210. Performances are on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2 and 3.
“Scratch” has appeared in both local Utah theatres, as well as New York’s Broadway Theater.
The SLCC production is presented through a combination of puppetry and live actors.
“It requires a lot of time and effort to prepare for a show such as this,” says actor Jonathan Malaer. “It’s a completely different monster when it comes to acting. It takes strategic rehearsing and value to present a show that viewers will enjoy and continue to enjoy, and the actors have no problem putting in the work to make sure the viewers have a great experience.”
Based on Steven Vincent Benet’s short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” “Scratch” explores the dilemma of New Hampshire farmer Jobez Stone, who sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for seven years of prosperity.
Stone depends on Webster to assist him in an eerie trial for the rights to his soul.
Behind the scenes and masks
The “Scratch” cast includes Malaer, who plays Webster, Austin Grant, who plays Jobez Stone and Ron Ross, who plays the Judge. The puppet Scratch is voiced by Joe Hatfield.
Although Hatfield is primarily working behind the scenes, he is fully acting just like his co-actors on stage.
“I am not just sitting back there reading a script,” Hatfield says. “I am acting and fully invested into my lines.”
Director Doug Vandegrift brings a unique introduction of the puppets that hasn’t been seen in theater before.
“Without knowing if it would ever be produced I began carving the puppets, all thirteen of them,” Vandegrift says. “With the puppets completed and proudly displayed on the wall for a couple of years, I was asked to direct the show in the Black Box Theatre.”
The overall theme of this play is to display, in an interesting and artful way, the founding principles of the United States of America. Through the historic characters of Webster, Stone and the Devil, Macleish’s piece is brought to life.
It is about how a man should be able to exercise his freedom and rights, because the law was created specifically to allow man to live free.
The Black Box Theater has new and improved lighting, sound and stage. The theater invites all Bruins to visit and enjoy plays and performances of all types.