Ageless lessons: Saint Michael’s stages Miller’s Crucible

October 22, 2015

The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s chilling re-telling of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts as a commentary on 1950s McCarthy-era red-baiting, will be the fall semester “Mainstage” theater production at Saint Michael’s College, running Thursday through Saturday, November 5-7, and Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14 —  all at 7 p.m. in the McCarthy Arts Center Theater.

Director and costume designer Peter Harrigan, professor of fine arts/theater, says Miller’s play serves as a painful reminder of any instance where the irrational beliefs or fears of a few are used to intimidate or hurt others. The cast features 26 Saint Michael’s students including Sean Morrissey ’16 as John Proctor, Jordan Dekett ’16 as Elizabeth Proctor, Mckenzie Bergen ’17 as Abigail Williams, and Nathan Worthen ’18 as Reverend John Hale.

Dramaturg Patrick Cornacchio ’18 also plays the role of Judge Hathorne. Cornacchio, a native of Salem, MA, has shared extensive research with the cast, and helped to organize a field trip to historic sites there on October 9-10.

Three professors from the Saint Michael’s Department of History will “set the stage” for the performances in a panel discussion on October 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Theater. Susan Ouellette will present on the original colonial context and events. Douglas Slaybaugh will explain the 1950’s “witch hunt” by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, which concerned and inspired Miller. Finally, Daniel O’Neil, who teaches a course on the Modern Middle East, will speak about irrational fear and mistrust of Muslim-Americans to give a sense of contemporary urgency.

Harrigan’s production team includes: scenic and lighting designer – John Paul Devlin; fight choreographers – Jon & Kirty van Luling; dramaturg – Patrick Cornacchio ’18; properties – Rosalie McNamara ’18; assistant costume designer – Anna-Maria Forger ’17; stage manager – Melissa Hickox ’18; assistant stage managers – Maggie Bogan ’17, Lauren Sousa ’18.

Admission to all shows of The Crucible is free on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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