Galway City Tribune: The Crucible
Washington’s Keegan Theatre return with The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s classic parable of mass hysteria, The Crucible, will be presented by the Keegan Theatre Company from Washington DC at the Town Hall Theatre from Monday, September 12 to Saturday, September 17.
Miller’s classic parable of mass hysteria, The Crucible, will be presented by the Keegan Theatre Company from Washington DC at the Town Hall Theatre from Monday, September 12 to Saturday, September 17.
In 1692, the community of Salem was stirred into madness by superstition, paranoia and malice, with their actions culminating in a terrible climax.
From that dark deed, Arthur Miller wrote a masterpiece that portrayed the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false accusations. The play draws a chilling parallel between the Salem Witch Hunt and the McCarthy era which gripped America in the 1950s, when people were hounded by the government for having communist sympathies – frequently without any evidence of this.
This year’s production of The Crucible will be Keegan Theatre’s 13th annual Irish tour; most recently they toured Fool for Love in 2010.
The Crucible is a co-production with Town Hall Theatre, and will feature local Galway actresses, Nicole Brennan, Karen Kenny, Eva O’Callaghan and Sarah Gardiner playing the younger roles. The young actresses will rehearse with the American cast after Keegan arrives in Ireland this week.
The Crucible tells the story of one man’s struggle toward grace in the scorching context of the 17th-century Salem witch trials. His community has been galvanised by fear and suspicion. A wife has been betrayed by lust, an orphan girl is blind with passion and possessed with revenge. Thee are ruthless prosecutors, deluded holy men and covetous neighbours. The play pulses with the destructiveness of socially sanctioned violence, the power of hysteria, the blindness of zealots, and the heart of one tortured man trying to find his own goodness.
The cast features Keegan Artistic Director Mark A. Rhea, who has toured to Ireland every year. His roles have included include Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Eddie in Fool for Love, McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and George in Of Mice and Men. The cast also includes five other veterans of the Ireland tour, including Kevin Adams who will play Deputy Governor Danforth.
Keegan’s Associate Artistic Director, Susan Marie Rhea, directs The Crucible for the second time: Keegan first produced the show in the States in 2003 to widespread critical acclaim and a sold-out run. Susan has previously performed in Ireland also directed shows that toured here, including One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and True West.
Booking is now open at the Town Hall Theatre 091-569777 or www.tht.ie