News From Prep
Posted November 18, 2010
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Debuts
The Crucible is set in 1692, during the time of the Salem witch trials. Playwright Arthur Miller created a tense drama where accusations of witchcraft expose deep rifts among the Puritan residents. With the community in the grip of fear, intolerance and hysteria, mass paranoia perverts the principles of “innocent until proven guilty” as women and men fight for their reputations, their honor, and ultimately, their lives. This classic of the American theater premiered on Broadway during the height of the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigations, inviting comparisons to American life in the mid-1950s.
The Crucible marks the 50th production by director and English teacher Scott Myers for Flintridge Prep. “The play is about us,” Myers writes in his director’s notes, “without reference to specific historical markers. It explores evil as a mundane presence in our lives. The Puritans believe that their neighbors have sold their souls to Satan, just as Arthur Miller’s contemporaries feared that Communist sympathizers jeopardized American institutions and values. His play shows that humans don’t need help from malign supernatural beings or political systems to generate evil; we ‘sell our soul’ by betraying our sacred obligations to others. In The Crucible justice miscarries because of private moral lapses; that is, none of us is pure in heart. We achieve redemption, and save the social order, only by transcending our private evils and recognizing our mutual responsibility to create the world in which we want to live.”
Accusations of witchcraft expose deep rifts among the Puritan residents.