With Arthur Miller‘s “The Crucible” a familiar staple in high-school drama departments around the country, there may be no better setting for a modern retelling of the story than, well, a high-school drama department. That’s exactly what “Blame,” the first film by writer-director Quinn Shephard, looks to do, using a production of “The Crucible” as the backdrop for its twisted coming-of-age story. In this exclusive look at the new film — debuting this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival — we see the first subtle connections forming between Shephard’s character and her drama teacher, played by Chris Messina (“The Mindy Project“). I’m going to venture a guess that, like the play it’s based on, things don’t end up so well for these would-be lovers.
Here’s the full plot synopsis for “Blame”:
It’s the start of a new year at a small suburban high school and Abigail is an eternal outcast returning for the first time after a mysterious event the previous year. Facing constant bullying, Abigail escapes from her hostile surroundings by immersing herself in the worlds of the characters she reads about, much to the amusement of her manipulative classmate, Melissa. When the girls’ intriguing new drama teacher Jeremy announces Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” as their fall show, and casts Abigail over Melissa in the starring role, Abigail’s confidence blooms — but soon her relationship with Jeremy begins to move beyond the fantasy world she’s constructed. This taboo bond strikes a nerve in Melissa, fueling a vengeful jealousy that quickly spirals out of control — and brings about a chain of events that draws even further parallels to the madness of Salem.
“Blame” also stars Nadia Alexander, Tate Donovan, Trieste Kelly Dunn, and Tessa Albertson. The movie will have its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 PM at the Cinépolis Chelsea in New York City.