"The Crucible" is set during the time of the witch trials in Salem during the late 17th century. This town, after accusations from a few girls, began a mad hunt for witches that did not exist. Many townspeople were hung on charges of witchcraft.
Miller brings out the absurdity of the incident as a parallel to what was happening in his own life at the time. He wrote the play in 1953 during the McCarthy period when Americans were accusing each other of Pro-Communist beliefs.
Many of Miller's friends were being attacked as communists and in 1965, Miller himself was brought before the House of un-American Activities Committee and found guilty of communistic beliefs. The verdict was reversed in 1957.
The theme of truth and righteousness is conveyed through the struggles of Miller's main character, John Proctor, played by Alex Asbell.
Also playing major roles are Alison Howard as Elizabeth Proctor who is accused of being a witch by the vindictive Abigail Williams played by Kaeli Gray. Lucas Eckrich portrays Rev. Hale, a self-proclaimed expert on witchcraft, who later discovers the evil lurking in the court.
Part of that evil stems from Rev. Parris (played by Mike Waddell) who worries more about his own reputation than the town or the truth.
George Howard portrays Deputy Governor Danforth who works more to keep the reputation of he court than to seek justice.
This production is the first phase in a project on integrity that will then be taken up at DePauw University in the fall semester and incorporated into various events, including a symphony based on the Salem witch trials composed by Dr. Mark McCoy, Dean of the DePauw School of Music. DePauw Theatre will present another interpretation of "The Crucible" in November, with a post-performance discussion featuring both the high school and DePauw casts.
Tickets for "The Crucible" are $5 and may be purchased at the door. Friday's show will be followed by a discussion of the play with the cast and crew members, director Bethany Bax, DePauw Theatre Department Chair Andrew Hayes and DePauw theatre professor and director of the fall production, Susan Anthony.
All audience members are invited to stay for the discussion.