1692…SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS…THE TRIAL OF A CENTURY…WITCHCRAFT!
We’ve all heard the stories that surround the notorious Salem Witch Trials of 1692-1693, whether that be through history books or novels, the media, the movies and even TV shows.
It is a story that has intrigued, shocked and undoubtedly baffled people for many centuries, and still to today we ask ourselves…how did this all take place, who was responsible, but most of all…was there any truth in the accusations?
It is a story that has fascinated me since I was a child…when other kids were reading books on their favorite sports star or thumbing through the typical teenage novella series, I had my head stuck in a book which surrounded the mystery of Salem and the accounts of what happened.
However, in many ways, the media has recognized everyone’s interest in this piece of history and run with it. Take shows like Sabrina The Teenage Witch, who unsurprisingly had a cat called Salem. How about the 1993 family classic Hocus Pocus, which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters; hung at Salem in 1693, only to return 300 years later to wreak havoc on the town that wronged them?
Or the recent fan favorite that had everybody talking; WGN drama series SALEM, which introduced characters not widely known in Salem’s history, and developed the theory that maybe the accusers of Salem where actually the ones guilty of Witchcraft…and therefore not the accused.
So as you can see, even Hollywood loves re-telling this tale, as there are endless ways to approach this troublesome time in history.
Despite the entertainment of seeing these adaptions on screen, one looks for more…we look to experience the panic, and the events that followed for ourselves.
So therefore…go no further that the HART HOUSE THEATRE this January/February Season, as Arthur Miller’s famous play The Crucible will hit the stage; ready to re-open this chapter in history, right before your very eyes.
Directed by Michael Rubinstein, the play centres around the historical account of the the Salem Witch Trials, beginning with the discovery of several young girls and a slave, seemingly conjuring spirits within the woods. Rather than be accused and punished for such actions in a Puritan community, the girls begin to accuse others within Salem of the crime of Witchcraft. From here, the line between reality and illusion becomes blurred, allowing the accusers to take advantage of a town now drowning in panic. Love affairs, lies and friends becoming foes are only a few examples to what lies ahead.
The most wonderful thing about The Crucible is that, although it is a somewhat fictionalized account of these trials, it remains truthful to the characters involved and even shows us the scandals that they wished to remain hidden in their own lives.
Not only does the Hart House Theatre have a fantastic director on board to breathe life into this play, but a wonderful production team, including set designer Chris Penna, have many surprises in store, as they plan to recreate 17th century Salem on this Toronto stage. As a huge fan of Chris’ past projects like ground-breaking TV show The Strain, I am super excited to see what this artistic genius has planned for us. With both stunning visual and sound effects also in store, this show is sure to stand out among the many.
It goes without saying that this show boasts some of the best performers in Toronto, some new faces making their debut and some Hart House regulars, which adds something really special to the acting skills base.
The wonderful aspect of this play is that every single character gets their story told, which allows each actor/actress to shine in their parts. As a Salem Witch Trial fan, I must admit I will be looking out for my favorite historical characters and their portrayal. In particular, I look forward to the portrayal of MERCY LEWIS by actress Joanna Decc, as there is always a sense of mystery surrounding her actions during the trials.
If you too cannot wait to see this remarkable show, make sure to get down to The Hart House Theatre, Toronto from January 19th until February 3rd 2018.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the the theatre box office (located on lower level of Hart House), but to avoid disappointment, you can purchase them online by clicking HERE
The Run-time is approximately 2 hrs and 30 mins (including 1 intermission).
“A timeless play and a pivotal work, The Crucible is a tale of caution that warns of the deadly consequences when a society allows fear, suspicion and superstitious gossip to rule over facts and reason.”
This is a play that will not only entertain you, but inform you. Many of us have heard of the Salem Witch Trials, but remain unaware of those involved. Whether you are a history buff or not, there is one thing everyone can agree on from seeing this classic. The Crucible is more relevant in today’s society than ever before. It is a lesson that teaches us to not allow our own fear and lack of understanding to rule over common sense, and most of all, prevent the intentional spread of our own personal insecurities onto others for our own benefits.
Hope you all enjoy the show!!!!