Jaryd Whitmore and M.J. Mason in Augustana College's "The Crucible" -- October 12 through 21.

Friday, October 12, through Sunday, October 21

Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center, 3750 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island IL

One of America's most powerful and iconic works by one of the world's preeminent playwrights, Arthur Miller's Tony-winning drama The Crucible opens the 2018-19 mainstage season at Augustana College – a wrenchingly timeless tale that, according to the New York Times, “insists that we identify with not only the victims of persecution but also with those who would judge them.”

Since its premiere in 1953, The Crucible – a masterful and chilling portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials and an allegory for the rise of McCarthyism in the late 1940s – has rightfully become an American classic serving as both a cautionary tale and provocation that compels each generation to reflect upon the harrowing world it portrays. In Miller's 1953 Tony Award winner for Best Play, the people of Salem are whipped into a bloodthirsty frenzy by a series of escalating misinterpretations after a group of teenage girls are accused of dancing devilishly in the woods. Fearing retribution, the girls begin a chain of finger-pointing until neighbor turns against neighbor, whispers become testimony, fabrications become facts, and the once powerless teenage girl Abigail Brown suddenly has the ability to decide the fate of all those around her. As the hearts of the townsfolk become poisoned, even John Proctor, a principled farmer and family man, must wrestle with a corrupt court and his own transgressions to protect his family’s good name.

Serving as The Crucible's director is Augustana's Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Jennifer Popple, whose previous productions for the college have included In the Next Doom (or, The Vibrator Play), Crimes of the Heart, and Shakespeare's As You Like It. Portraying John and Abigail are Jaryd Whitore and M.J. Mason, two Augustana seniors who enjoyed leading roles last season in The Drowsy Chaperone and The Madwoman of Chaillot, respectively. And joining them in Popple's presentation are more than 20 fellow student actors: Peter Alfano, Jeana Brown, Natalie Brown, Sophiarose Brown, Shyan DeVoss, Keenan Ellis, Erich Fang, Katie Griswold, Bradley Heinrichs, Emma Hydorn, Cassandra Karn, Maddie McCobb, Jonathan Meir, Emily Minarik, Amy Nicholson, Lauren Palmer, Emily Palmieri, Jonathan Quigley, Johann Roman, AJ Weber, and James Wheeler.

The Crucible will be staged in Augustana's Brunner Theatre Center October 12 through 21 with performances on Fridays at Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Admission is $10-15, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)794-7306 or visiting Augustana.edu/tickets.

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