Texas State department of Theatre and Dance presents “The Crucible”

Malik James and Emily Absher, both in their junior year of acting, listen to director Michael Costello Oct. 11 after rehearsal.

Malik James and Emily Absher, both in their junior year of acting, listen to director Michael Costello Oct. 11 after rehearsal.
Photo By Ali Mumbach

Madison Williams

Girls are dancing in the woods and accusations of witchcraft are coming from every direction. The town is plucking the accused out one-by-one and sentencing them to hang. No one is safe, in Texas State’s production of “The Crucible.”

From Oct. 30 to Nov. 4, the Texas State University Department of Theatre and Dance will give new life to the timeless American classic “The Crucible,” by Arthur Miller. The production will take place in the Theatre Center, Mainstage.

Written in 1953, the play is loosely based around the 1692 Salem witch trials. But it was written in response to the McCarthy hearings, a series of trials led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. The hearings were intended to investigate McCarthy’s accusations regarding 205 communists possibly infiltrating the State department.

The production is directed by Michael Costello, bachelors of fine arts acting professor. Costello said the story has three layers: the retelling of the Salem Witch Trials, the comparison to the McCarthy Hearings and the relevance to society’s current circumstances.

The story takes place within the Puritan society of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. Several girls are accused of witchcraft. A prominent citizen is accused of an affair with a younger girl. Mass hysteria and riots ensue, and almost everyone hangs.

Costello said he and the cast are fully aware of the striking relevance the story has to the nation’s current state. Costello said the story’s timeliness was a major factor when he selected the play for production.

Costello said he hopes the production inspires the audience to think about things from a different perspective. He said he wants the audience to realize how much the past can relate to the present.

“The audience will recognize our times in this,” Costello said. “(They will realize) how precious the truth and integrity (are).”

Emily Absher, theatre junior, is portraying Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible.” She said the story is current and heartbreaking because it showcases society’s resistance to believe accusations against seemingly good people.

“There have been moments where it’s been really hard,” Absher said. “I’ve come home and had to shake it off.”

Malik James, bachelor of fine arts acting junior, is portraying John Proctor in the production. James said he, too, experiences difficulty acting in the performance.

“It’s a lot of baggage, emotionally,” James said. “It’s emotionally taxing.”

James said the message he hopes will resonate with the audience is the concept of staying truthful, even in risky times.

The show will debut at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in The Theatre Center Mainstage. Performances will continue the same time each night until the final one, which will be at 2 p.m., Nov. 4. For adults, tickets range from $17-$20. For children and seniors, tickets are $12-$15. For Texas State students, tickets are $10.

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