June 16–September 30
by Arthur Miller
Salem, Massachusetts in 1692, a community staunch in its beliefs, where even the most mundane tasks of everyday life are strictly dictated by that philosophical code. A system of governance designed not only to regulate, but also to protect. But when a group of young girls, accompanied by a local slave, Tituba, are discovered in a forbidden act, dancing in the woods, rumors of witchcraft suddenly consume the town throwing it into chaos. Refusing to admit any wrong-doing, the girls quickly turn the tables on their accusers and set off a chain reaction that leads to a dark secret lurking beneath the veneer of this seemingly simple and uncomplicated world that threatens to expose the entire system as nothing but a shameful lie.
While the play was written in 1953, its author, Arthur Miller, wrote it in response to the American political scandals of the HUAC trials which he felt could be better illustrated by this reflection…
“It is simply impossible to discuss what is happening to us in contemporary terms. There has to be distance, given the phenomena. We are all going slightly crazy trying to be honest and trying to see straight and trying to be safe…it seemed to me the hysteria in Salem had a certain inner procedure or several which we were duplicating once again…by revealing the nature of the procedure…some light could be thrown on what we are doing to ourselves.” Arthur Miller