, Salem, MA


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
  • Tuesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Tuesday, July 29

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

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? Par

    July 29, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker