One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville

by Benjamin Konuch, Student Public Relations Writer

Standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people has never been a foreign concept to Cedarville University fifth-year theatre student Josiah Kareck. 

Kareck, however, is moving from the college stage to the prestigious Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee, to perform in “The Crucible,” which opens October 13. The up-and-coming actor is taking a gap semester from Cedarville to advance his performing skills alongside veterans of the stage with Elite Studio Works in Nashville.  Josiah Kareck Headshot.

 During his time at Cedarville, Kareck has been featured in numerous theatrical productions, including “The Beams are Creaking” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”  

Making Kareck’s role of John Willard in “The Crucible” — which depicts acts of bigotry, deceit and witchcraft during the Salem witch trials in the 17th century — even more meaningful for the Cedarville student is that he is the youngest actor for an adult character among the cast.  

“’The Crucible’ for me has always been a bucket list show to do before I die,” said Kareck. “I had to accept because it’s an incredible opportunity, and this is my first time sharing a stage with adults who are truly doing this for a living. In most of my past community theatre experiences I’ve been the teacher or the mentor, but now I get to learn from those in the industry that I want to be in full time.”” 

In the play, Willard is the sheriff of the community who doubles as a bailiff during the central trial of the play. The character holds no power over the court but must enact whatever they decide, leading to an interesting moral dilemma Kareck wanted to portray through the subtleties of his performance. While the role has fewer lines than other characters, Kareck must be present during many of the show’s darkest moments and must grapple with them in silent doubt. 

“While we haven’t gone as much into the moral dilemma Willard faces in the show, we can definitely see his duty take a toll on his conscience,” said Kareck. “In my own life I’ve understood being a part of systems or communities that while at first glance we approve of, but over time their ideals shift from what we personally believe, and it causes a divide that we have to take a stance on.” 

Kareck is exceedingly grateful for this opportunity to share the stage alongside veterans of theatre, and he credits being a part of Cedarville’s theatre program for helping to prepare him for this moment. 

“Cedarville theatre opportunities have not just helped me learn how to act, but have helped me trust the acting process,” Kareck explained. “We hear that phrase all the time in the arts but in professional theatre the rehearsal process is much faster and much higher stress, but a transition to this quicker production schedule has been made easier because of my training and experiences at Cedarville.” 

“The Crucible” at the Darkhorse Theatre in Nashville will run from October 13-21, and tickets are now available to purchase online

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,456 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit

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