Cryer and his wife, choreographer and actress Britt Swanson, will join a cast of students and local actors Larry Sutton (professor emeritus of communication and theater at DPU) and longtime Putnam County Playhouse regular Jack Randall Earles in the Tony Award-winning play by Arthur Miller.
"Britt and I are excited to be a part of this interdisciplinary dig into the sources of mass hysteria in a culture, and, just maybe, we can help figure out ways for all of us to keep our wits about us," said Cryer, a veteran of more than 13 Broadway shows.
This chilling drama, produced by the DePauw department of communication and theatre and School of Music, will premiere on Thursday, Nov. 8 as part of DePauw's 175th anniversary celebration.
"The Crucible" will also serve as the basis for a year-long series of campus-wide events exploring personal integrity. The production is made possible by a PNC Foundation grant.
"Bringing Broadway veterans onto the stage with student, faculty and community actors will deliver a unique and thought-provoking experience for all who attend," said Jeff Kucer, senior vice president of client and community relations for PNC.
"The Crucible" vividly depicts the terror and helplessness of residents in Salem, Mass., in 1692 as they rage against the mounting hysteria of the Salem witch trials. As their placid world erupts with accusations and violence, neighbors betray each other and innocents mount the gallows.
"The Crucible" draws parallels between the hysteria of 1692 and the "witch hunts" of the 1950s during the McCarthy era.
Cryer portrayed Juan Per--n in the original Broadway production of "Evita" for more than 1,000 performances. From 2006-2011, Cryer assumed the role of opera manager Firmin in the Broadway production of "The Phantom of the Opera," after performing the role for years on national tours.
Cryer also has appeared regularly in film and television, with a starring role on TV's "Days of Our Lives" and appearances in "Law and Order," "Dallas" and "Wonder Woman." His big-screen credits include roles in "Escape from Alcatraz" and "American Gigolo."
He and fellow DePauw grad and ex-wife Gretchen Cryer are the parents of actor Jon Cryer, who stars in the long-running TV sitcom, "Two and a Half Men."
Current wife Britt Swanson has performed in several Broadway productions, including "The Desert Song," "Shelter" and "Come Summer."
In "The Crucible," Cryer will portray the terrifying Deputy-Governor Danforth, and Swanson will have the role of Rebecca Nurse.
Tickets will go on sale two weeks before the opening of the production.
In 2009, David Cryer was presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from DePauw.