Theater program kicks off year with witch-hunt in ‘The Crucible’

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Kyle Pichot, drama and engineering sophomore playing Deputy Danforth, yells,“Look at me,” to drama sophomore Joan Albor, playing Elizabeth Proctor, Sept 11. during “The Crucible” practice in McAllister. Brianna Rodrigue

By James Russell

The play “The Crucible” by playwright Arthur Miller, based on the Salem witchcraft trials, will be the first production of this academic year of the theater program.

The play is set in 1690s during the Salem witchcraft trials, and was written by Arthur Miller during the Red Scare in the 1950s, where artists and others in creative industries were being pulled in front of Congress and accused of being Communists.

Coordinator Ronald Watson, who is directing the production, said Sept. 13, “In the world of ‘The Crucible,’ the judgment of the courts and the minds of the townspeople is guilty until proven innocent, instead of innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

Watson hopes the audience will open their eyes to the events that are happening right now in relation to people being accused guilty until proved innocent.

The main thrust of the play goes over characters John Proctor, played by theater sophomore Ryan Willis, who has an affair outside his marriage to Elizabeth Proctor, played by theater freshman Joan Albor, with their servant Abigail Williams, played by American Sign Language sophomore Elise Herrera.

After Abigail is kicked out of the house, she charges people in the town, including Elizabeth with witchcraft to get what she believes is hers, John Proctor.

“This play will follow a more modern take on ‘The Crucible’ with colloquial dialect and an inspired costume design from the Hulu series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’” Watson said.

“The cast and crew of this play will be rehearsing for 5 ½ weeks, 10 hours each week depending on what roles they have,” he said.

“The reason for the additional rehearsal time is for the cast to get used to the dialect used throughout the play,” Watson said.

“The play draws parallels from the mania of the Salem witchcraft trials and the mania of that went against people being accused of being Communists and brings them forward in a clever way,” Watson said.

Willis said, “The use of the colloquial language will be a challenge but, sometimes you’ve just got to roll with it.”

The play opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11 and continues at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 and 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.

Tickets are $5 for students from this college with a student ID, military, and senior citizens; and $10 for general admission.

Call Watson at 210-486-0491 or email him at


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