Close
Current temperature in Boston - 62 °
BECOME A MEMBER
Get access to a personalized news feed, our newsletter and exclusive discounts on everything from shows to local restaurants, All for free.
Already a member? Sign in.
The Bay State Banner
BACK TO TOP
The Bay State Banner
POST AN AD SIGN IN

Trending Articles

Jamaica Mi Hungry: Entrepreneur takes business from catering to bricks and mortar

No easement? No problem. Condos rise in a backyard

McCormack students want school to keep field

READ PRINT EDITION

‘The Crucible’

Central Square Theater adaptation is humorous, unsettling

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
‘The Crucible’
The cast of “The Crucible.” PHOTO: NILE SCOTT STUDIOS

Through Oct. 20, The Nora Theatre Company and New York based Bedlam are reimagining Arthur Miller’s classic “The Crucible” on the Central Square Theater stage in Cambridge. This production highlights the absurdity and humor of the dark human nature Miller exposes. Though it’s often laugh-out-loud funny, it retains the chilling reality that this has happened before and could easily happen again.

Truett Felt, Caroline Grogan, and Karina Wen. PHOTO: NILE SCOTT STUDIOS

Truett Felt, Caroline Grogan, and Karina Wen. PHOTO: NILE SCOTT STUDIOS

If it’s been a while since your mandatory high school reading of the piece, Miller’s play explores the Salem witch trials of 1692 when teenage girls framed countless residents of the town for witchcraft, while mostly acting on personal vendettas. What starts as a game for the girls ends up sweeping the town and neighboring areas into a religious fervor that ends many lives with a noose. At a crucial turning point in the play’s second act, the judge who is sentencing townspeople to death admits that he must continue in order to retain his own pride and good name. Justice, if it was ever really in play, is thrown to the dogs.

Miller wrote the play during 1950s McCarthyism when a similar life-threatening zeal possessed the American public. This fact is alluded to in the character of Reverend Hale, played by Eric Tucker, who also directs the show. In his clean haircut and short-sleeved button-down, he radiates a “wholesome” self-righteousness by ’50s standards.

The cast of “The Crucible.” PHOTO: NILE SCOTT STUDIOS

The cast of “The Crucible.” PHOTO: NILE SCOTT STUDIOS

The diverse casting allows actors of color to embody roles other than Tituba the Caribbean maid (finally). In fact, Dayenne Walters, who plays Tituba, also portrays Rebecca Nurse and Francis Nurse, portraying each character with unique ease despite minimal costume and scene changes. Ryan Quinn plays a moving John Proctor, a townsman struggling with the pitfalls of morality when his former lover accuses his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, of witchcraft in a fit of revenge. Susannah Millonzi, who plays Elizabeth Proctor, flawlessly translates the outdated ideal of a “good Christian woman” into contemporary standards. She’s calm and logical and willing to set aside her own feelings for the man she loves.

On the web
Learn more at:

“The Crucible” runs almost three hours, but it flies by in rapid dialogue and compulsive stage movements. Though the story is dramatized, partially fictionalized and told with high humor in this adaptation, viewers watch the show with the underlying reminder that these events (or some version of them) happened just up the road. It’s also a timely reminder that Massachusetts wasn’t always, and perhaps still isn’t, the liberal paradise we might like it to be.

Already a member? Sign in.
The Bay State Banner