Based on the play by Arthur Miller, The Crucible is a cautionary tale of hysteria and persecution. Written in response to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, The Crucible is a partially fictionalized drama of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. In the play, several young girls and a servant play in the woods, conjuring — or attempting to conjure — spirits from the dead. Rumors of witchcraft quickly spread through the town. Rather than suffer severe punishment for their actions, the girls accuse other inhabitants of Salem of practicing witchcraft. This desperate, dangerous and childish finger-pointing results in mass paranoia and an atmosphere of fear in which everyone is a potential witch. With neighbor pitted against neighbor, a self-perpetuating cycle of distrust, accusation, arrest and conviction emerges. Winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play, The Crucible reminds us how intolerance and hysteria can intersect and tear a community apart.
Directed at the Cottage Theatre by Joel Ibáñez. Tickets go on sale May 8. Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.