It wasn’t the first production of The Crucible for Erin Wilhelmi ’04, but this one was still a milestone. When Erin was cast as Mercy Lewis in Ivo van Hove’s revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play, Erin got to step onto the Broadway stage for the first time. “I was over the moon when I was cast,” she recalled.
Erin found herself sharing that stage with distinguished actors such as Ciaran Hinds, Ben Whishaw, Sophie Okonedo, and two-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan. Contemporary composer Philip Glass scored the production, and Erin described his music as one of her favorite parts of the show. “I’ve been a fan of his for years. It was almost like watching a film, where you have music that is guiding you and making the tension of the piece resonate.”
That tension was clear in what Erin describes as her favorite scene: “We called it the ‘storm sequence.’ There was a huge fan blowing trash at us, and a huge light fixture would fall from the ceiling to the middle of the stage. I was very apprehensive at first, but after a while, you think, ‘Here’s this spectacular moment that’s about to happen, and we get to do it again.’”
Erin’s road to the Broadway stage began at KCD, where she played Mary Warren in the upper school production of The Crucible. She also understudied that role for the Broadway revival and appeared as Mary three times—once with only nine minutes’ notice! “That was quite an adrenaline high,” she recalled. “I told myself, ‘Just go for it.’”
Erin was back at KCD in September, working with upper school actors on their upcoming production of The Crucible.
Next, Erin is looking forward to the festival premiere of the film Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl, in which she plays a young woman battling loneliness and temptation while caring for her aging aunt.
Above: Erin Wilhelmi ’04 as Mercy Lewis, along with Elizabeth Teeter (Betty Parriss), Saoirse Ronan (Abigail Williams), Tavi Gevinson (Mary Warren), and Ashlei Sharp Chestnut (Susanna Walcott) in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Photo by Jan Versweyveld.