Keegan Theatre set for The Crucible

Oct 6, 2011
The Crucible

The Keegan Theatre kicks off their 15th Anniversary season with Arthur Miller's masterpiece The Crucible. Off a successful 3 week tour of Ireland, The Crucible opens October 22, 2011, at the Church Street Theater.

The Crucible, a classic portrait of one man's struggle toward grace, is set in the scorching context of the 17th-century Salem witch trials. The Crucible renders human struggles both internal and external: a community galvanized by fear and suspicion, a wife betrayed by lust, an orphan girl blind with passion and obsessed with revenge, ruthless prosecutors, deluded holy men and covetous neighbors. Miller's script pulses with the destructiveness of socially sanctioned violence, the power of hysteria and rancor, the blindness of zealots, and the heart of one tortured man trying to find his own goodness.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest American plays of all time, The Crucible was originally written as a parable of 1950's McCarthyism. "McCarthyism was about intolerance born out of fear, a human impulse that has certainly repeated itself many times in world history," director Susan Rhea explains. "The Crucible will always resonate - the larger context of brewing tensions over land and power and the underpinnings of religious intolerance - these realities are all too familiar today. And Proctor's personal story, of a man searching for forgiveness and grace, is ageless and so human as well. Miller told both a small story and an epic story in The Crucible - and both stories are compelling and relatable as ever."

Susan Marie Rhea directs The Crucible for the second time; Keegan first produced the show in the U.S in 2003 to widespread critical and audience acclaim and a sold-out run. A Keegan company member as well as its Associate Artistic Director, Rhea couldn't be happier with the success of this year's Ireland tour. "We have wanted to bring Crucible to Ireland for years, but financial realities -- size of the cast, for one -- kept us from being able to realize that dream," she says. "So the satisfaction of this dream becoming a reality at last was profoundly rewarding for all involved -and the reception the show received was a tremendous and enthusiastic as we hoped it would be. We're looking forward, now, to sharing this extraordinary production with local audiences."

Mark A. Rhea reprises his acclaimed performance as John Proctor; The Crucible also features Sarah Lasko as Abigail Williams, Karen Novack as Elizabeth Proctor, and Kevin Adams as Deputy Governor Danforth.

The Keegan Theatre, in its 15th season in Washington DC, is the resident company at Church Street Theater in Dupont Circle.