Arthur Miller’s classic drama, “The Crucible,” takes to the stage in Ridgway this week, featuring a cast of community theater performers.
Just in time for Halloween, Minerva West is presenting eight opportunities to see the play, which focuses on the power of false accusations, mass hysteria, fear and intolerance. Miller’s play was written in response to McCarthyism in the 1950s, in which there was a “witch hunt” for communists in society. But the play also highlights the history of the Salem witch trials, which happened in the 1690s when people were persecuted and accused of practicing witchcraft and sometimes sentenced to death.
The play tells the story of how small lies can build and feed hysteria, ultimately ruining people’s lives and well being.
“To me the play is about the ease with which suspicion and intolerance may lay waste to a community – or a nation,” Director Edward Cating said in a press release. “I believe that Arthur Miller wrote a timeless play which, sadly, needs to be revisited from time to time. The people in Salem were governed by a theocracy that broached no dissent. ‘The Crucible’ is a cautionary tale that reflects the danger of government power when it is combined with intolerance.”
The production includes 25 actors and designers from across the region, including Joyna Petta as Tituba, Bill Bottomly as Giles Cory, Stephen Laster as the Rev. John Hale, Vera Coulter as Betty Parris, David Olson as the Rev. Samuel Parris, Riley Burr as Abagail Williams, Meghan Gaspari as Mary Warren, Brenda Ratcliff as Ann Putman, Guthrie Castle as Thomas Putman, Anna Quickle as Mercy Lewis, Jamie Coulter as John Proctor, Elizabeth Cook as Rebecca Nurse, Andrea Sokolowski as Elizabeth Proctor, Adin Sterling as Ezekiel Cheever, Sam Grothaus as John Willard, Edward Cating as Judge Hathorne, Tim Price as Judge Danforth and Judy Yeo as Sarah Good.
The show is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 26, 27 and 28 and at 3 p.m. on Oct. 29. It continues at 7 p.m. on Nov. 2, 3 and 4 and at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center in Ridgway. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and are available online at minervawest.org/theatrecompany. Tickets will also be available at the door 30 minutes prior to the show on the day of the performance.