LINWOOD — The curtain will go up Thursday on the Mainland Regional High School fall drama production of Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.”
The play is a partly fictionalized story about the Salem witch trials that took place in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692. Miller penned the story in the 1950s as an allegory for the McCarthy era, when the United States government was blacklisting people for being suspected communists.
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Directed by veteran Mainland drama teacher Becky Sannino, the cast has been in rehearsals since the school year began. Nearly 65 students are involved in the cast and crew.
Sannino said the group of drama students she has working on this production have a strong range and are very capable of pulling off a meaty piece like “The Crucible.”
Set during a time when a rumor or an accusation was enough to cause someone to be ostracized or their career destroyed, the story line is quite relevant given current political headlines, she said.
The Crucible opened on Broadway in 1953 and was named the best play of the year in 1954.
In the play, the narrator describes an isolated society that is in conflict with that of the Native Americans living around them. When 10-year-old Betty Parris and some other girls are discovered dancing with the servant Tituba from Barbados, they are accused of engaging in witchcraft. Though they deny any involvement in witchcraft, arrests are made and eventually the Salem witch trials begin.
It is complicated story of lies, fear, courtroom drama, religion and adultery.
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The leads in the Mainland performances are double-cast to allow more students an opportunity to share the spotlight.
Sydney Freihofer and Marlisa Bongiovanni play Abigail Williams. John Proctor is played by Luke Lodgek and his wife, Elizabeth Proctor, is played by Merrick Adams and Jessica Clouser.
Jeff Toth is Reverend Parris, and the role of Deputy Governor Danforth is played by Max Castellano.
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Show times are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16-18 plus a 1 p.m. matinee Saturday. Tickets are $7 at the door.