Performances: October 26 & 27, November 1 - 3, 2019
Written by Arthur Miller | Directed by Jared Griffin
In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony convicted and executed 19 people for witchcraft. Between June and September the court proceedings of the accused kept the village of Salem in the grips of terror, with up to 200 people between the ages of 5 and 80 accused by their neighbors of consorting with the devil. Eventually, colonial powers admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted. Ever since, the tragedy has puzzled and captivated generations of Americans, with Arthur Miller’s 1953 Tony-award winning play The Crucible among the most popular retellings.
The Kodiak Arts Council brought this uniquely American tale of fear, suspicion, and extremism to the Kodiak stage in the fall of 2019. Directed by Jared Griffin, the play grapples with questions of paranoia and mass hysteria in a striking interpretation.
The Crucible asks of us: in a world that has become hysterical, how do we retain our goodness?
Photos by Pam Foreman
From left: Tituba (Arianna Fangonilo), Abigail Williams (Acacia Birbilas), Reverend Parris (Jeremy McBride), and Betty Parris (Scout DeVries).
From left: Mary Warren (Wetherleigh Griffin), John Proctor (Wes Hanna), and Elizabeth Proctor (Bianca Clark).
From left: Thomas Putnam (Joe Symonoski), Ann Putnam (Jody Carman), Ruth Putnam (Yuria Frost), and Mercy Lewis (Gracie Thomas).
Considered an expert on witchcraft, Reverend Hale (Roy Thomas) was summoned to Salem to root out supernatural influences in the village. Hale’s initial enthusiasm to use his special skills for the Lord’s work gradually turned to doubt, disillusionment, and fear over his own culpability in the ensuing hysteria and suffering of innocents.
Giles Corey was one of several people to be arrested in a sweep in mid-April 1692. Though he denied the accusations, he refused to enter a plea. In an attempt to extract a plea, the Essex county sheriff subjected Corey to “peine forte et dure” or torture by pressing. Corey remained mute for three days, his dying words recorded as “more weight.” Because Corey refused to plead, he died in full legal possession of his estate, which otherwise would have been forfeited to the government.
The execution of Rebecca Nurse (Sandra Powers) was a pivotal moment in the Salem Witch trials. While most of the women to be accused early on were social outcasts, Rebecca was a pious and well-loved member of the community. Her initial verdict was, in fact, not guilty, but upon hearing the verdict the afflicted girls began to have fits in the courtroom, and the presiding judge asked the jury to reconsider. Rebecca Nurse was hanged July 19th, 1692.
Reverend John Hale, Deputy Governor Danforth, Judge Hathorne, Ezekiel Cheever, and Willard.