SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

September 26, 2013

Faith and blood

Salem Theatre Company brings back 'The Crucible,' this time on its main stage

Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” dramatizes the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, but it was written in response to events of the 1950s.

“He was responding to the Army-McCarthy hearings,” said John Fogle, artistic director of the Salem Theatre Company, where the play is opening today. “That may have faded from public memory to a good degree.”

In an essay he wrote in 1996, “Why I Wrote The Crucible,” Miller characterized his own sense of fear in that period as a “dead weight,” but he also described its disappearance.

“Fear doesn’t travel well,” he wrote. “Just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory’s truth. What terrifies one generation is likely to bring only a puzzled smile to the next.”

But if Joseph McCarthy’s pursuit of communists no longer seems vivid, the paranoia that “The Crucible” examines is always at work, somewhere in the world.

“In this play, you see the grip of this religious extremism,” Fogle said. “We have some of that in this country today, but we certainly see it very strongly in Iran, Afghanistan.”

One of the judges in Salem, the Rev. Hale, is skeptical about the trials and has a line that Fogle admires.

“He says, ‘Cleave to no faith when faith brings blood.’ That’s a good litmus test,’” he said. “If believing in something means we have to kill, or authorize killing of somebody else, we’re on the wrong track.”

The Salem Theatre Company staged “The Crucible” in 2003 and again in 2007, and audiences always seem to appreciate seeing it, Fogle said.

“We do it about every five years,” he said. “When you have a Tony Award-winning classic that is about the history of your city, and it turns out to be a crackerjack play, it’s a no-brainer.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Orchid North Shore Gardener: It’s the summer without hydrangeas August "Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen, the hey-day of the year, with robes that gleam with sunny sheen Sweet August doth appear." -- R. Combe Miller Q: Can you tell me why my numerous "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants are not blooming th

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Kate: 8 strategies to help your child overcome a fear of bullies Despite the massive anti-bullying campaigns that dominate our current culture, many students continue to feel bullied. The current anti-bullying campaign focuses on decreasing bullying by policing the bullies, but what about empowering the victims? B

    August 1, 2014

  • booknotes0801 Stroll through a story at Danvers library Reading can be good for the body as well as the mind. That's especially true for visitors of the new StoryWalk at Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. "StoryWalk is combining physical activity with reading," said Karen Veilleux, a children's librar

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • frenkel Quick pick: Bring stories to life Bring stories to life Explore and experience the challenges and satisfactions of combining text with images in a four-session illustration workshop, led by award-winning published illustrator Yetti Frenkel at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Outlander [Duplicate] 'Outlander' brings novels to life vibrantly NEW YORK -- There's an odd believability you find inside "Outlander" that somehow makes it feel true-to-life. Never mind that it's a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept fr

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Dear Abby: Diabetic friend suffers close call miles away from hospital Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would

    August 1, 2014

  • People-Alicia Keys [Duplicate] Alicia Keys pregnant with second child NEW YORK (AP) -- Alicia Keys is getting ready for another big release: her second child. A representative for the Grammy-winning performer confirmed Thursday that the singer is pregnant. Keys posted a photo with her baby bump on Instagram early Thurs

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, Aug. 1

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker