photo caption: Tony with Kate Bunce as “John Proctor” and “Abigail Williams” (photo credit: Arienne Davey)
One would be hard pressed to look at a Hole in the Wall (HITW) production and not see any association by Tony Palmieri. A longstanding member, he has been an actor, director, producer, set designer, graphic designer, board member – the list goes on. Over the years, he has earned a reputation for being deeply passionate and committed to his craft. Next week, Tony will grace the stage again as the tragic hero, John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
Tony’s then-twelve year old son indirectly gave him his introduction to theatre. He was designing a set for his son’s play. “We borrowed a couch from a production company,” said Tony. “Sometime later, I received a message from that company asking if I was interested in being in their upcoming production.” The company was CT Heritage Productions. The show was Gross Indecency. Tony played one of the four narrator characters, and he was instantly hooked.
“I loved the whole process,” he said. “As soon as those words came out of my mouth, the audience was gone. It was a transformative experience.”
A fellow Gross Indecency cast member, Kit Webb, asked Tony to audition for his production of Loot at HITW. The minute Tony walked in, he felt like a member of a family. It’s been many years (and productions) since Loot. From The Tempest to The Rocky Horror Show, Tony’s HITW run has been wide and diverse.
In his current role, he taps into a character with intense internal conflict. “John Proctor is an upstanding member of his community. He is married and a very dedicated family man. He had an affair with a young girl in town. He can’t forgive himself for it…Every time he sees (wife) Elizabeth’s face, he feels guilty. He argues with her because he keeps telling her she can’t get past this thing. In truth, he can’t get past it.”
For Tony, The Crucible is about self-acceptance. “It is accepting that we are human, we are frail, and we make mistakes. That is an honest approach to life. It is the best way to atone for a mistake – going forward, learning and being truthful.”
Come see Tony when The Crucible opens on Friday, May 15th. Performances run Fridays and Saturdays from May 15- June 6, 2015 with one Sunday matinee on May 24th at HITW on 116 Main Street in New Britain, CT. Tickets are $20.00 (general admission) and $15.00 (students and seniors). They can be purchased at the door and online at www.hitw.org. The May 22nd show will be our Pay-What-You-Can performance. The Crucible is being presented in honor of Arthur Miller’s 100th Birthday.