Arthur Miller’s – The Crucible
The Crucible is a historical drama based on the Salem Witch Trials. The setting is Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1692. Written by Arthur Miller, this play first appeared on Broadway in 1953. It was a symbolic response to the McCarthyism that was sweeping the nation. While the play follows the historical events that took place, certain fictional liberties were taken with the character development.
To summarize, a group of girls are witnessed dancing naked in the forest and lie to cover up what they were doing. They accuse others in the town of bewitching them. As the lies pile up, hysteria sets in, and things spiral out of control—the accused number reaching 200. Eventually, 150 are arrested and imprisoned. Twenty innocent men and women are executed, while others die in jail.
Watching this play, you quickly realize that while things have changed quite a bit since 1692, human nature has stayed the same. The whole event was a mess of lies covering up other lies. To save themselves from execution, many had no choice but to falsely claim to be practicing witchcraft. Others leveraged the proceedings for revenge regarding unrelated civil matters or for potential monetary gain and seizure of land. The decision-making process at the hearings was so corrupt that it unwittingly became instrumental in changes made to U.S. court procedures that were designed to stop similar atrocities. These changes included the right to representation, the presumption of innocence over guilt, and the right to cross-examine one’s accuser.
50 Dates at 50 Take:
I went into this play knowing very little about the Salem Witch Trials. I came out of the play surprised at what it was all about. The theater displays a slide presentation during the intermission that fills you in on details of the trials and why Miller wrote the play. It fills in many gaps of understanding you may have had during the first act. It also sets you up to quickly grasp what takes place in the second act.
Many of the performances at the Maverick utilize a great deal of humor, but The Crucible is much more serious. There are two acts of eighty minutes each, with a ten-minute break in between. The phrasing of the verbal interactions between the characters is era-specific. It may take a few minutes for your mind to adjust.
Type of Date:
We strive to keep dates fun here at 50 Dates. The Crucible is date night material for couples that have been dating for several months. It’s an excellent performance that moves at a good pace.
Why You Need to Visit:
Those who are not interested in theater will find performances at the Maverick to be much different than expected. As they state on their website, “The Maverick strives to attract non-theater audiences by producing shows based on screenplays, pop culture and history.”
Tickets are advanced purchase only. I recommend you arrive around 15 to 20 minutes early. There is generally plenty of parking out front of the theater.