Friday, March 8, through Sunday, March 17
Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Avenue, Moline 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 will enjoy a March 8 through 17 staging at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre, with the New York Times stating that Miller's wrenching, timeless tale “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 good name, as well as that of his damaged yet devoted wife Elizabeth.
Directing The Crucible for Playcrafters is longtime area-theatre favorite Patti Flaherty, a frequent stage performers whose recent directing credits include Deathtrap for the Moline venue, The Merchant of Venice for Genesius Guild, and It Had to Be You for the Black Box Theatre. Portraying John and Elizabeth Proctor are Playcrafters veterans Andy Curtiss (The Woman in Black) and Jessica White (The Nerd), with the scheming Abigail played by Mattie Gelaude (A Wrinkle in Time). And joining this trio in Flaherty's ensemble are 17 additional talents: Bill Bates, Michael Carron, Craig Cohoon, Jacque Cohoon, Cassie Dowell, Don Faust, Mischa Hooker, Kaitlyn Jacoby, Bella Kuta, Sara Kutzli, Linda Larson, Jillian Maxwell, Sara Meyer, Mike Miller, Bill Peiffer, Jim Strauss, and Eric Teeter.
The Crucible runs March 8 through 17 at the Playcrafters Barn Theatre, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $7-13, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting Playcrafters.com.