Steppenwolf for Young Adults Presents
Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Now Playing Through October 21, 2017
Salem, Massachusetts, will always be synonymous to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, where a group of young girls in Salem Village, Mass., claimed to be possessed by dancing devilishly in the woods. The teenagers accused several local women of witchcraft that influenced their satanic behavior and a wave of hysteria swept throughout Colonial Massachusetts until a special court convened in Salem to hear the cases.
When you enter Steppenwolf Theatre to see the legendary play “The Crucible,” do not be a fool to believe that this play is left in the 1690’s; this is a gripping tale with dark and ominous twists and turns in the story that has not diminished with time. Arthur Miller’s masterful and formidable portrayal of the historic Salem Witch Trials “The Crucible” represents a cautionary tale that forces us to reflect upon the disturbing world in which we live in today.
This classic dramatic piece moves quickly and it is centered on a respected farmer and husband by the name of John Proctor (Travis Knight) who has committed adultery with a seventeen-year-old girl by the name of Abigail Williams (Naïma Hebrail Kidjo).
Abigail has made John the object of her desires and will stop at nothing to summon up John’s heart back to hers, even if it means condemning others of witchcraft and igniting the deadly flames of panic and paranoia that will, in the end, lead many to the gallows of death.
John finds himself grappling with the truth of trying to save his own soul when his world collapses when he is accused of witchcraft because of the merciless slurs spun by Abigail. He is conflicted to whether he should tell the truth of indicting his former lover of the lies and attempted murder. He also realizes that he has to deal with an unethical court and his own immoral wrongdoings to protect his innocent wife Elizabeth Proctor (Kristina Valada-Viars) and his family’s good name.
Travis Knight does an excellent job portraying the excruciating tormented John who struggles to do the right thing for his family and his community, and the audience gets to watch how he continuously battles with his inner thoughts throughout the play.
Director Jonathan Berry’s take on The Crucible was interesting if you are fascinated with witchcraft and court drama. It was entertaining but at times hard to follow due to the dual roles that some of the actors played– so you had to really pay attention.
Although the modern perspective in the opening scene is geared for young adults with stomping and dancing, it didn’t quite flow with the darkness of the play. Nonetheless, “The Crucible” is filled with solid performances.
Let the “witch hunt” begin because this play is noteworthy and it is just in time to get you ready for Halloween so we recommend that you go and see it and judge it for yourself.
The Cast includes
Echaka Agba (Tituba/Judge Hathorne)
Larry Baldacci (Giles Corey/Sarah Good)
Taylor Blim (Mary Warren)
Naïma Hebrail Kidjo (Abigail Williams)
Erik Hellman (Reverend Hale)
Millie Hurley (Francis Nurse/Rebecca Nurse)
Travis Knight (John Proctor)
Peter Moore (Reverend Parris)
Avi Roque (Ezekiel Cheever/Mercy Lewis)
Stephanie Shum (Ann Putnam/Susanna Walcott/Martha Corey)
Michael Patrick Thornton (Deputy-Governor Danforth)
Kristina Valada-Viars (Elizabeth Proctor/Betty Parris)
Philip Winston (Thomas Putnam/John Willard)