The Crucible

By Arthur Miller
Directed by Michael Fry

Accusations of witchcraft turn neighbor against neighbor in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. The malicious trials that follow reflect the mob psychology of a community paralyzed by terror, in which piety and righteousness are masks for malevolent greed and self-interest.

The Crucible was originally written as an allegory for 1950s McCarthyism and the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which accused thousands of Americans of being communists or communist sympathizers.

Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning masterpiece continues to resonate in our contemporary society.

The running time for The Crucible is approximately three hours and includes one intermission. The Crucible contains adult themes that may not be suitable for children under the age of 12.

This production of The Crucible would not be possible without the extraordinary talents of co-directors Robert Ramirez and Jess Shoemaker who guided the production through the final weeks to opening night. The Department of Theatre and Dance is very grateful for their extraordinary contributions.

StudyView the playbill for The Crucible.

Performances 

Preview: November 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Opening: November 9 at 7:30 p.m. 
Additional Dates: November 10, 12, 14-18 at 7:30 p.m. and November 12, 18-19 at 2:00 p.m.

Reviews

About the Playwright

"The American Dream is the largely unacknowledged screen in front of which all American writing plays itself out," Arthur Miller said. "Whoever is writing in the United States is using the American Dream as an ironical pole of his story. People elsewhere tend to accept, to a far greater degree anyway, that the conditions of life are hostile to man's pretensions." In Miller's more than thirty plays, which have won him a Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Awards, he puts in question "death and betrayal and injustice and how we are to account for this little life of ours."

Arthur Asher Miller, the son of a women's clothing company owner, was born in 1915 in New York City. His father lost his business in the Depression and the family was forced to move to a smaller home in Brooklyn. After graduating from high school, Miller worked jobs ranging from radio singer to truck driver to clerk in an automobile-parts warehouse. Miller began writing plays as a student at the University of Michigan, joining the Federal Theater Project in New York City after he received his degree. His first Broadway play, The Man Who Had All the Luck, opened in 1944 and his next play, All My Sons, received the Drama Critics' Circle Award. His 1949 Death of a Salesman won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1956 and 1957, Miller was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee and was convicted of contempt of Congress for his refusal to identify writers believed to hold Communist sympathies. The following year, the United States Court of Appeals overturned the conviction. In 1959 the National Institute of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for Drama. Among his works are A View from the Bridge, The Misfits, After the Fall, Incident at Vichy, The Price, The Crucible, The American Clock, Broken Glass, Mr. Peters' Connections, and Timebends, his autobiography. Miller's writing earned him a lifetime of honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, seven Tony Awards, two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an Obie, an Olivier, the John F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize.

Courtesy of the National Endowment for the Humanities

About the Director

Michael Fry is a director, playwright, academic and executive. He has been artistic director of three companies, has had senior faculty and management posts at universities in the United Kingdom and the United States, and is a regular international workshop leader and conference speakers. He has directed more than 150 productions, including many premieres, at UK regional theatres and opera companies, and in London at the Young Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Gate, the King's Head and the Soho Theatre. Work abroad includes Ireland, Italy, France, Romania, Estonia, South Africa and frequently in the United States. His plays and adaptations have been performed in theatres throughout England, America and Australasia, and are published by Methuen, Samuel French and Oberon. He has written numerous articles, chapters and his study of adaptation, Proliferation and Prejudice, will be published by Oberon, along with a recent chapter in British Theatre Companies 1980-1994 for Methuen next year. He is currently Deputy Director of East 15 Acting School, University of Essex and a member of the board at URTA.