Dark magic, jealousy and superstition take hold in Salem, Massachusetts when Arthur Miller’s partially fictionalized play, The Crucible, takes the stage at the Studio One Theatre at Florida Atlantic University from September 19-28.
Written in 1953 at the height of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s campaign to root communists out of government, Hollywood and the larger American society, the story whisks theatregoers back to another time of mass hysteria, though the root of this evil was witches. The scene is the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1692-93, and witchcraft has swept the small town, leading to a number of false accusations and a mockery of a trial, resulting in the death of a flawed but good man, John Proctor. Rife with themes of intolerance, hysteria, and empowerment, The Crucible begs the simple question: will you conform to survive, or stand upon your integrity, even if that results in certain demise?
The Tony Award-winning drama, which took historical cues from the real Salem Witch Trials, was written as an allegory of McCarthyism, earning Miller (pictured above) a spot on Hollywood’s blacklist. As if mirroring the play, Miller was brought before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities and questioned in 1956. Taking his cues from Proctor, Miller refused to name names and was convicted of “contempt of Congress,” seemingly confirming the onus of the play that once a person is accused of an act, exoneration is very difficult to attain from both the courts and public opinion. Miller later said in an essay “Why I Wrote The Crucible” for The New Yorker in 1996: “The more I read into the Salem panic, the more it touched off corresponding images of common experiences in the fifties.”
- Relive history when the FAU Department of Theatre & Dance stages The Crucible at Studio One Theatre from September 19-28.
- Tickets cost $23.60.
- For showtimes and to purchase tickets, call 800-745-3000 or visit fau.edu/theatre.