By Samantha Werkheiser
ESU’s fall production “The Crucible” premiered on Oct. 18 at the Smith-McFarland Theatre.
The play, written by Arthur Miller, is a fictional retelling of the historical Salem trials that took place in the late 1690s.
“It is an extremely well written play with many design challenges, great roles that challenge our actors and [has] important journeys for all the characters,” said Director Stephanie French.
Though the play is set more than 300 years ago, the cast and crew insist that it still has many relatable topics for today’s society.
“In Salem, the problems within the society, even personal problems, were being blamed on those that are different [the homeless, midwives, women who read, etc,]” French said.
“These others are being scapegoated It is the same tactic that has created many of the worlds greatest horrors.”
To prepare for this play, the cast and crew of 30 people took a strip to Salem, Mass. to research the play’s history.
“It was amazing to walk the ground where the characters had walked, to go to their houses, to see replicas of the horrible dungeons where innocent women, men and even children were imprisoned as witches,” said French.
Though the play is a fictional retelling of historical events, much of the play is taken from the actual court proceedings that happened in the 1600s.
“Another thing students should remind themselves is that the witch trials were real,” said musical theatre major Abigail Witt, who plays Abigail Williams in the show.
“Some of the things you will be seeing onstage are recorded documents of what happened in those courtrooms. These people were killed because a group of young girls falsely blamed them for bewitching them. It’s crazy to think that anyone could possibly believe that.”
“The Crucible” plays tomorrow, Oct. 20 and Saturday Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. at the Smith-McFarland Theatre. For more information visit the ESU website.
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