Miller's Crucible in Pittsfield
At Barrington Stage to Oct. 24
By: Barrington - Sep 26, 2010
Barrington Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd Artistic Director and Producing Director Richard M. Parison, Jr., concludes the 2010 Mainstage season with Arthur Miller’s American classic The Crucible, with performances beginning October 6 and running through October 24, with a Press Opening on Sunday, October 10 at 3pm. Barrington Stage Artistic Director Julianne Boyd directs.
The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s most performed play, was first produced in 1953 starring Arthur Kennedy and Beatrice Straight. The Crucible, set in 1692, uses the Salem witch hunts as an historical allegory for McCarthy’s blacklisting of Americans in the 1950’s. The same mob hysteria takes hold in both periods as Miller examines religious intolerance, perversions of justice and the individual’s role in society. The Crucible, which never seems to lose its relevance, explodes with passion, fear, and danger when a group of teenage girls, caught dancing in the forest, take their revenge on their Salem Puritanical society by naming names of townspeople who they claim are witches.
The Crucible is sponsored by Legacy Banks. Additional funding is provided by sponsors 95.9FM/WUPE AM/FM and Berkshire Living. Funding for Student Matinee performances include Crane and Co.; HSBC Global Asset Management; Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins; Donovan & O’Connor; Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home; Haddad Motors of North Adams; Mission, Inc.; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; and the Word X Word Festival.
The production features Christopher Innvar (BSC’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Private Lives) as John Proctor, Kim Stauffer (BSC’s A Streetcar Named Desire) as Elizabeth Proctor, newcomer Jessica Griffin as Abigail Williams, Robert Zukerman (BSC’s Ring Round the Moon and The Collyer Brothers) as Deputy Governor Danforth, Fletcher McTaggart as Reverend John Hale (TV: Law & Order), Peter Samuel as Reverend Parris (BSC’s South Pacific), Edward Cating as Judge Hathorne, Gordon Stanley (BSC’s The Fantasticks) as Giles Corey, Rosalind Cramer as Rebecca Nurse/Sarah Good (BSC’s To Kill A Mockingbird), Jeffrey Kent as Thomas Putnam (BSC’s A Streetcar Named Desire), Glen Barrett as Francis Nurse, and Matt Neely as Ezekiel Cheever. The cast also includes Betsy Hogg as Mary Warren, Starla Benford as Tituba, Peggy Pharr Wilson (BSC’s Carousel and To Kill a Mockingbird) as Mrs. Ann Putnam, Maggie Donnelly as Mercy Lewis, Caroline Mack as Betty Parris, Gabrielle Smachetti as Susanna Walcott.
Since achieving fame with his early plays All My Sons (1947) and Death of a Salesman (winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Miller has become an American icon and pioneer in the development of a distinctly American form of theatre. In connection with The Crucible, Miller said that “conscience was no longer a private matter but one of state administration” and that men seemed satisfied with handing off any sense of conscience to other men. His extensive list of works spans the last six decades and includes plays, screenplays, novels and essays. Some of his notable plays include A View from the Bridge (1956), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991), Broken Glass (1994), Resurrection Blues (2002), and Finishing the Picture (2004).
The production design team for The Crucible includes scenic design by David Barber (BSC’s Sleuth), costume design by Kristina Sneshkoff (BSC’s The Memory Show), lighting design by Scott Pinkney (BSC’s The Whipping Man and Carousel) and sound design by Brad Berridge (BSC’s Pool Boy and Absurd Person Singular). Renee Lutz is production stage manager.
In conjunction with The Crucible, Barrington Stage will host Symposia on Arthur Miller Columbus Day Weekend, October 9-10. The weekend will include two free events: Seeing Red: Children of Blacklisted Writers and How The Crucible Came to be the Voice of American Conscience. Seeing Red: Children of Blacklisted Writers, a panel discussion moderated by Chris Rohmann, will be held on Saturday, October 9 at 4pm on the BSC Mainstage, 30 Union Street. Rohmann is an arts writer, theater director, critic, author and musician. Panelists include Kate Lardner, whose father was blacklisted journalist and screenwriter Ring Lardner, Jr., one of the "Hollywood 10;" Marguerite Thomas, whose father was the blacklisted film publicist George H. Thomas, Jr.; and Tony Kahn, whose father was the blacklisted screenwriter Gordon Kahn. How The Crucible Came to be the Voice of American Conscience will be held Sunday, October 10 at 1pm on Stage 2. Dr. Sue Abbotson, noted Arthur Miller scholar, will talk about how Miller came to write the play, the public's initial reaction and how it has since grown in stature. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Box Office at 413-236-8888.
Performances of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible are from October 6 through October 24 - Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm at BSC Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield. An additional matinee will be held on Wednesday, October 20 at 2pm. Student matinee performances are October 8, 15, 19 and 22 at 10am (not open to the public). Press Opening: Sun., October 10 at 3pm. Tickets: $15-$35. Weeknight Previews: Oct. 6-8: $20 and $15. Pay What You Can Night for 35 year olds and younger: Friday, October 8 at 8pm. Family Night: Youth 18 and younger are free when accompanied by a parent/guardian on Friday, October 15 at 8pm. Barrington Stage is fully-accessible, including wheelchair accessibility and assisted listening devices at every performance. Accessible seating is available by reservation. For ticket information, call 413-236-8888, stop by the BSC Box Office at 30 Union Street or visit www.barringtonstageco.org