Arthur Miller’s classic tale of the Salem Witch Trials and political commentary on the McCarthy era Red Scare.
In 1953 The Crucible opened at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway. At the time it was clear to many what Miller’s important theme was: a response to Senator McCarthy and his House Unamerican Activities Committe witch hunt for
communists. The original production included the short scene that begins act two, but Miller chose to excise the scene until 1971, when it was reinstated in printed copies. We are presenting the play with the deleted scene intact. Some argue that the scene shows Abigail’s weaknesses, or her madness, and it eliminates the intention of pure evil in her character. For Miller it has been said that the scene created more of an anti-McCarthy stir because it showed that the lies were understood by Abigail, and by extension, McCarthy. The primary reason we are performing the scene is for its literary merit and the opportunity it creates for the actor’s performance. You be the judge: was Miller right for removing the scene? Other changes we have made and added: The dance is only spoken of in the text, the courtroom scene takes place in the Meeting House Vestry, and Martha Corey is not intended to be seen in the play, the audience is to hear her off stage as if in another room. We felt having Martha and Giles together added a tension to the scene otherwise missing, and it gave more stage time for the actors to work out the interplay of tensions…which is important as Martha hangs at the end!
The Crucible ran for three nights with very good audience attendance. Technically it went without a hitch except for the second night when the nooses did not lower due to a tangle far above the stage. Ask a stage hand what stress is and the answer will be a failing rope.
Performances were top notch as is the usual for the TA Players!
This is the second run of The Crucible by the TA Players in the past ten years and the second Miller play in the past four.