April 5, 2016
By Dr. Leonard Golubchck, LaborPress Entertainment Editor
New York, NY – This is a revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play 1953 “the Crucible” which details the Harlem Witch Trials but is a metaphor for Senator McCarthy’s Committee of Un-American Activities which was looking for communists under every bed in 1950’s America. This is Miller’s anthem to herald the importance of free speech and uphold the First Amendment rights of Americans.
The cast is led by Oscar nominee Saoirsse Ronan and includes Tony Award winner Sophie Okonedo,Ben Whisaw and Ciaran Hinds. The performances are magnificent and give plenty of personality to the characters. The acclaimed Belgian Director Ivan Can Hove who gave is a view from the Bridge in this production illuminates the battle between good and evil and the impact of gossip upon a community that believes that sickness and misfortunate is the result of evil and witchcraft.
The story revolves around teenage girls being caught dancing naked in the woods, perhaps under influence the influence of digesting mushrooms which caused hallucinogens. In the 1692 Puritan Community located in Massachusetts Bay Colony this was a means for those engaged in a love triangle or as a means of settling grievances to designate the afflictions are the results of witch craft and why not testify against those who we want to settle a score with call them a witch. During a nine month period 22women and men were put to death for practicing witchcraft. The accusations caused mass hysteria and a crowd mentality which overtakes wisdom. Just like the accusations of being a communist or un-American during the 1950’s. Does this have any parallel to our time when folks are inaccurately portrayed by politicians or the media?