Olean Theatre Workshop is proud to present the ever timely drama, THE CRUCIBLE, on Thursday, May 2 through Saturday, May 5. Evening curtain is 7:30 pm and Sunday matinee is 2:30 pm. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased on our website, by phone at 373-SHOW (7469), or at the door.
This very thoughtful and provocative play was written by Arthur Miller in 1953. The Tony award winning play reflected that historical time period - the McCarthy era in American history, where people, especially those who were in the literary, film and theatre industry, were accused of being Communists and were blackballed from employment. They also had to appear before the House of Representatives' UnAmerican-Activities Committee. Joseph McCarthy was a part of this whole Witch Hunt in the United States, but McCarthy was the chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee. Miller was called before the House Committee and was convicted of contempt against Congress because he refused to name people who had attended meetings. Such is reflected in the play, where many of the characters refuse to give information to Reverend Hale, or Judges Deputy Governor Danforth or Judge Hathorne. To remain silent but allow execution in the case of the victims of the Salem Witch trials or ruined careers of the McCarthy era is a brave thing indeed.
Based much on history, this play reflects a time where lies by "naughty" little girls was believed over the reputations of beloved and honest citizens of Salem. This happened during 1692-1693 when a cow that had fallen dead, crops that could not grow, could easily be linked to a neighbor one did not like and the words "spell," and "witchcraft" could without hesitation be declared. Poppets, unknown and suspicious books, and the girls' fear that they would be discovered as frauds led to 20 people being executed and over 200 accused. In 1711-1712, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and offered financial compensation to the families of those convicted.
This play is so complex, and with so many layers, this writer encourages all to come and see for themselves how it speaks of history, both past and present. The play also shows through its story line that some of the Puritans were a bit scandalous in their behavior. The cast is as follows, leading off with the naughty, but pretending to be possessed, girls who started it all- Betty Parrish - Lily Schena; Abigail Williams-Cait Butler; Susanna Wilcott - Emma Dwaileebe; Mercy Lewis - Jazlynn Knapp and Mary Warren - Aidan Heaney. Their older friend, a servant, Tituba, is Sandy Mulryan; Sadie Jay Edwards is Rev. Parris; Angela Emley is Tom Putnam; Maria Welka is John Proctor; Chris Norton is Rebecca/Francis Nurse; Director of this production, Jake Riggs is Giles Corey; Rebecca Green is Rev. Hale; Sarita Schwindler is Elizabeth Proctor; Shelley Greene is E. Cheever; Kaitlin Field is J. Willard; Steve Riley is Judge Hathorne; DG Danforth is Benjamin Hollamby and Willa Edwards is Ruth Putnam. An excellent cast that has spent a great deal of time perfecting their performances to bring alive history! See you at the show!