Sept. 03--When Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1953, America was struggling with itself over issues of freedom, politics and, to a large extent, fear.
The House Un-American Activities committee was blacklisting some of this country's greatest creative minds over association -- real or imagined -- with communism. If you admitted to any communist affiliation, you'd be blacklisted. If you refused to name people associated with communism, whether true or not, they would be blacklisted. U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, railed against communism and anyone he suspected of supporting it. He displayed "lists" of fellow travelers in the State Department and elsewhere in government. That the lists were empty didn't faze the senator.
For much of a decade, America lived in fear of being labeled with the red brand.
It was into that atmosphere that Miller used the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693 as an allegory for McCarthyism. Miller himself would be convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name others who attended a communist meeting he visited.
The Crucible was not well received when it opened in January 1953. Even Miller wasn't happy with the production, although it won a Best Play Tony Award. In 1954, a revived version was mounted and critics and audiences embraced the play, which has become a classic in modern drama.
This week, the fine arts department at College Station High School will tackle the powerful, important play that retains its impact more than 60 years later. The Crucible will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday in the school auditorium.
Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. They are available from fine arts students and online at collegestationdrama.com.
Members of the cast include Thomas Torres, Rosetta Wang, Ayana Dickey, Courtney Sumlin, Aubrey Wynn, Jillian Volkmar, Alexander Sanchez, Brianna Soltis, Lauren Klaus, Aidan Parsi, Rebecca Summer, Corey Barron, Jonathan Beikirch, Kathleen Finch, Mitchell Bradford, Seth Hardin, Michael Robison, Kayla Karmaskie, Marcus Nealy, Emma Ward, Eric Robinson, Brandon Fortner, Peter Cahill, Sullivan Strohmeyer, Rhiann Susik and Becca Watson.
Director is Greg Stanley, while Jillian Volkmar is assistant director. Stage manager is Peyton McCutchen. Others in the crew are Carson Beckmann, lighting design; Larry Robinson, sound design, as well as publicity; Aly Sams, hair and makeup; Abby McIntyre, costumes; and Aubrey Wynn, props.
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