Ideology Confronts Community in 'The Crucible'
Arthur Miller’s award-winning play “The Crucible” confronts honesty, community, perception and truth.
Alma College Theatre presents the acclaimed portrayal of the Salem witch trials at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19 in the Remick Heritage Center, Strosacker Theatre.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
“The Crucible,” winner of the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play, tells the story of John Procter and how his internal struggle transforms his 1692 Puritan community from the inside out.
In a community built entirely around cooperation and faith, ideology quickly subsumes the truth and becomes what guides people. Those who can manipulate the ideology can twist the community to serve their own interests, and that becomes a major source of conflict and pain within the play when this tight knit village begins to destroy itself from within, says Twining sophomore Graham Morgan.
“John begins in a difficult situation, which in turn triggers a series of events that leads his community down a path that eventually he cannot bring them back from,” says Morgan, who plays the role of John Procter. “He knows what is false, but to reveal it would expose his own sins. Eventually he must admit his transgression, but in the process he loses a lot of his faith in himself, his community and God.”
“One of the biggest connections people have to this play is that John’s struggle is everyone’s struggle,” says Traverse City senior Tara Riedel, who plays Procter’s wife Elizabeth. “You find yourself asking is John a good person? Am I a good person? Do I do things for the right reasons? Am I justified in how I go about achieving my goals?”
John is constantly tested and always has these inner obstacles that cause him to question what is right for him and others, says Riedel What is easy comes into conflict with what is right. Even what is right is questioned when what is fact challenges belief. It calls into question not just John’s integrity but our own, says Riedel.
“In the end John must make a decision for himself,” says Morgan. “A crucible is in actuality a container where metal is heated in order to burn away impurities. In Miller’s ‘The Crucible,’ John must endure purification by force.”
Posted: Thu, February 9th, 2012 at 3:04PM