The Crucible
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    The Crucible
    By Arthur Miller
    Generously sponsored by
    Judge & Mrs. Jed Q. Beebe
    Nancy K. Johnson
    Franca Bongi-Lockard
    Ron & Mary Nanning
    The Crucible is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. New York
    Arthur Miller’s thrilling dramatic masterpiece about the Puritan purge of witchcraft in old Salem, Massachusetts is both a gripping historical play and a strikingly timely social parable for today.

    Inspired by real events, the story centers on a farmer, his wife, and a former servant-girl who maliciously causes the wife's arrest for witchcraft.

    The farmer brings the girl to court to admit the lie - and it is here that the monstrous course of deceit and religious hysteria is set into terrifying motion. The farmer, instead of saving his wife, finds himself swept up in the runaway witch-hunt and ultimately must face the atrocious decision between preserving his integrity or saving his life.

    1953 Tony Award - Best Play
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    The Crucible
    Santa Maria, Marian Theatre
    February 15 - March 4, 2018
    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    15 16 17
    18 19 20 21 22 23 24
    25 26 27 28 1 2 3
    Santa Maria Performance Times
    1:30pm 7pm 1:30 & 7pm

    Show Advisory

    This award-winning drama is best enjoyed by children 12 years and older.
    Scenic Designer
    Costume Designer
    Lighting Designer
    Sound Designer
    Fight Director
    Voice / Dialect Coach
    Production Stage Manager
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    Betty Parris
    Madison Davis
    Reverend Samuel Parris
    Méami Maszewski
    Abigail Williams
    Skye Privat
    Susanna Wallcott
    Stephanie Roman
    Mrs. Ann Putnam
    Thomas Putnam
    Mercy Lewis
    Caity Petterson
    Mary Warren
    Bailey Durnin
    John Proctor
    Rebecca Nurse
    Giles Corey
    Reverend John Hale
    Elizabeth Proctor
    Francis Nurse
    Ezekiel Cheever
    John Willard
    Griffith Munn
    Judge Hawthorne
    Michael Wu
    Deputy-Governor Danforth
    Evan Held
    Elizabeth Booth
    Mollee Barse
    Mary Hubbard
    Catherine Pieske
    Susannah Earls
    Michaela Ferroggiaro
    Bridget Abbot
    Natalia Womack
    Sarah Bibber
    Gisela Feied
    Deliverance Dane
    Eden Bailey
    Parker Harris
    Brandon Mooney
    * Member, Actors' Equity Association
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    Fury in the courtroom.
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    Andrew Philpot* as John Proctor
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    Mark Booher as Deputy-Governor Danforth and Polly Firestone Walker as Elizabeth Proctor (center)
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    Andrew Philpot* as John Proctor
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    Bailey Durnin as Mary Warren and Polly Firestone Walker as Elizabeth Proctor
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    Skye Privat as Abigail Williams
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    Don Stewart* as Reverend Samuel Parris
    & Skye Privat as Abigail Williams

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    Méami Maszewski as Tituba
    & George Walker as Reverend John Hale

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    *Member, Actors' Equity Association

    Photos: Luis Escobar, Reflections Photography Studio

    Clips from The Crucible


    Theatergoers urge you to see The Crucible


    Andrew Philpot and Skye Privat discuss The Crucible

    First produced on Broadway in 1954, The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a fictionalization of the Salem witch trials of 1692, as well as a response to the panic caused by irrational fear of Communism during the Cold War, which resulted in the hearings by The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). According to playwright Miller, “The Crucible was an act of desperation. Much of my desperation branched out, I suppose, from a typical Depression-era trauma. The blow struck on the mind by the rise of European Fascism and the brutal anti-Semitism it had brought to power. But by 1950, when I began to think of writing about the hunt for Reds in America, I was motivated in some great part by the paralysis that had set in among many liberals who, despite their discomfort with the inquisitors’ violations of civil rights, were fearful, and with good reason, of being identified as covert Communists if they should protest too strongly.”

    “The play stumbled into history,” Miller explained in his 1996 New Yorker article entitled, Why I Wrote The Crucible: An Artist’s Answer to Politics. “…today, I am told, it is one of the most heavily demanded trade-fiction paperbacks in this country; the Bantam and Penguin editions have sold more than six million copies. I don’t think there has been a week in the past forty-odd years when it hasn’t been on a stage somewhere in the world.”

    The English Oxford dictionary defines a crucible as: 1) A ceramic or metal container in which metals or other substances may be melted or subjected to very high temperatures; or 2) A situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new. Miller’s theatrical masterpiece lives up to the definition of its title.

    Set in the small Puritan village of Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, The Crucible is a masterfully crafted exploration of the impact of hysteria and paranoia on a close knit community. As the story unfolds, we meet a community in crisis, caught in the wake of extraordinary external pressures and powerful internal conflicts. A group of young women has been caught dancing in the woods with Reverend Parris’s slave, Tituba. Strange behaviors reveal themselves soon after leading the village to believe their community has been touched by witchcraft and, indeed, is under attack by a subversive plot of evil to overturn everything in which they have come to trust.

    “The assumption is that there’s an exterior threat,” Miller explains. “In the case of the Puritan New England, it was from the Devil. The Devil existed as a person, and as he does in America today for a lot of people. When that started to move for the people – that idea that there were adherents of the Devil living in the village – the next question was, ‘who are they and what do we do with them?’ Well in the Bible it says, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’ That’s all they needed, and so they went around looking for witches.”

    “The breathtaking circularity of the process had a kind of poetic tightness,” claims Miller. “Not everybody was accused, after all, so there must be some reason why you were. By denying that there is any reason whatsoever for you to be accused, you are implying, by virtue of a surprisingly small logical leap, that mere chance picked you out, which in turn implies that the Devil might not really be at work in the village or, God forbid, even exist. Therefore, the investigation itself is either mistaken or a fraud. You would have to be a crypto-Luciferian to say that – not a great idea if you wanted to go back to your farm.”

    “As with most humans, panic sleeps in one unlighted corner of my soul,” Miller admitted. “When I walked at night along the empty, wet streets of Salem in the week that I spent there, I could easily work myself into imagining my terror before a gaggle of young girls flying down the road screaming that somebody’s ‘familiar spirit’ was chasing them.” As the action of the play unfurls, families are torn apart and legacies destroyed, leaving one to wonder if the nightmare will ever stop. “I am not sure what The Crucible is telling people now,” Miller explained. “But I know that its paranoid center is still pumping out the same darkly attractive warning that it did in the fifties.”

    This production of The Crucible continues PCPA’s longstanding commitment to enhancing the dramatic literacy of students and the cultural literacy of the community by bringing challenging American classics to the stage. Having directed over 60 productions at PCPA since 1988, Associate Artistic Director, Roger DeLaurier, feels Arthur Miller’s masterpiece is a play of big ideas that asks some important questions especially pertinent to what some might term a “post-truth” society. Among its many evocative inquiries, the play examines what happens when ‘spectral evidence’ – testimony that the accused person’s spirit appears to and/or acts upon the witness when the accused person’s body is somewhere else – is accepted as objective, observable fact. The play is both a domestic and psychological drama, weaving and revealing intensely intimate relationships and personal identity issues within a much larger panorama of societal conflicts. According to DeLaurier, “The Puritans of Massachusetts were a religious faction who, after years of suffering persecution themselves, developed a strong sense of community to guard against infiltration from outside sources. It is this paradox that Miller finds to be a major theme of The Crucible: ‘in order to keep the community together, members of the community believed that they must in some sense tear it apart.’” Hence, the play also serves as both a historical drama as well as a remarkably current social and moral allegory. “Written in 1953, Miller’s drama holds particular significance in the current political environment,” DeLaurier says, “and is an important and compelling work for our audience, our students, and ourselves.”

    Arthur Miller, born in New York City in 1915, is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of our time. Author of award-winning plays like Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, and The Crucible, Miller questions “death and betrayal, and injustice and how we are to account for this little life of ours.” As a student at the University of Michigan, Miller began writing plays, joining the federal Theater Project in New York City after he received his degree. His work has received accolades ranging from the Drama Critics’ Circle Award to the Tony Award and the coveted Pulitzer Prize. In defining the role of the playwright in society, Miller claimed, “Great drama is great questions or it is nothing but technique. I could not imagine a theater worth my time that did not want to change the world.”
    [Skye] Privat vacillates from tempest to quivering child to villainous shrew so deftly, one would think the role was almost three different parts played by three different women. She is electric when she delivers the heartiest of Miller's lines, scorching the man who seduced her and abandoned her with a fire in her eyes that could be seen from the back row.
    -Sun/New Times
    Hale [George Walker] plays a special role as the audience's surrogate because he bears witness, as we do, to the full scope of the tragedy. I found Walker's pained, silent expressions as moving as his speeches. The scenic space supports the emotional tenor of the drama as a metaphor for the characters' insecurity and the mysterious nature of the natural world and of their Puritan god.
    -Broadway World
    The Proctors, like the audience, view the growing hysteria with incredulity. This turns to shock as they, too, are drawn into the events. As the play progresses further into tragedy, the actors turn in deeply emotional performances, particularly [Andrew] Philpot and [Polly Firestone] Walker. Director Roger DeLaurier unifies the sizable cast and brings together a powerful production of a classic play.
    -Lompoc Record/Santa Maria Times
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